Jordie Albiston in 2010. Courtesy Wikimedia Commons/

Jordie Albiston
Nationality Australia Australian

Jordie Albiston (born 30 September 1961) is a contemporary Australian poet and academic.


Albiston grew up in Melbourne, and studied flute at the Victorian College of the Arts before completing a Ph.D. in literature.

Her next two books were documentary collections, respectively concerning the first European women in the Port Jackson and Botany Bay settlements, and Jean Lee, the last woman hanged in Australia (1951).

Botany Bay Document was later transformed into a performance work entitled Dreaming Transportation: Voice Portraits of the First Women of White Settlement at Port Jackson by Andrée Greenwell.[1] In 2003, the performance premiered at the Sydney Festival, and in 2004 was staged again at the Sydney Opera House.

Kindness is a handmade and bound limited edition artist's book, with etchings by Sheree Kinlyside in response to one poem. Her latest collection the Book of Ethel consists of 'perfect square' stanzas (7 syllables x 7 lines) and charts the life of Albiston's maternal great grandmother, from her Cornish origins to her years in Australia as mother, reverend's wife and writer.

Albiston's work has been well represented in anthologies, including the Oxford Anthology of Australian Verse (1998), the Indigo Book of Modern Australian Sonnets (2003), the PEN Macquarie Anthology of Australian Literature (2009), the Penguin Anthology of Australian Poetry (2009), the Puncher & Wattmann Anthology of Australian Poetry (2009), Motherlode: Australian Women's Poetry 1986-2008 (2009), and Australian Poetry Since 1788 (2011). She is featured on the ABC Radio National podcast "A Pod of Poets".


Albiston's first collection of poems, Nervous Arcs, won the Mary Gilmore Award, received runner-up in the Anne Elder Award, and was shortlisted for the NSW Premier's Prize.

Her fourth book, The Fall, a collection of chained verse, was shortlisted for Premier's Prizes in Victoria, NSW, and Queensland. This was followed by Vertigo: A Cantata, which utilises musical structures and devices in place of traditional organisational techniques and punctuation. Albiston's sixth collection, the sonnet according to 'm' won the 2010 NSW Premier's Prize, and received runner-up in the Chief Minister's Award (ACT).

In 2006, Jordie Albiston's biographical verse The Hanging of Jean Lee was used as the text for an opera created by Andrée Greenwell and Melbourne playwright Abe Pogos, and staged at the Sydney Opera House, The Studio.[2] The libretto of this work was subsequently shortlisted for the Victorian Premier's Prize for Best Music-Theatre Script.

Other composers having set Albiston's poetry to music include Leonard Lehrman (New York), Barry McKimm (Melbourne), Raffaele Marcellino (Sydney) and Peter Skoggard (Canada). Albiston was selected by The Age (Melbourne Magazine) for its annual Top 100 in 2010


  • 1991 – winner of the Convocation Prize (La Trobe University, Melbourne)
  • 1991 – joint winner of the Wesley Michel Wright Award
  • 1992 – winner of the David Myers University Medal (La Trobe University, Melbourne)
  • 1996 – winner of the Mary Gilmore Award for Nervous Arcs[3]
  • 1996 – runner-up for the FAW Anne Elder Award for Nervous Arcs
  • 1996 – shortlisted for the New South Wales Premier's Literary Award, Kenneth Slessor Prize for Poetry for Nervous Arcs
  • 1997 – recipient of the D.J. (Dinny) O’Hearn Memorial Fellowship (University of Melbourne) [4]
  • 1999 – runner-up for the Gwen Harwood Memorial Prize for 'The Fall'
  • 2003 – winner of the MusicOz Songwriting Award for 'Dreaming Transportation'; composer Andrée Greenwell
  • 2003 – shortlisted for the Victorian Premier's Literary Award, C.J. Dennis Prize for Poetry for The Fall
  • 2003 – shortlisted for the Queensland Premier's Literary Award, Judith Wright Calanthe Prize for Poetry for The Fall
  • 2004 - winner of the Poem of the Millennium, Ngara (Poets Union) for 'Numbers of Reasons to be Grateful'
  • 2004 – shortlisted for the New South Wales Premier's Literary Award, Kenneth Slessor Prize for Poetry for The Fall
  • 2004 – winner of the Grand Prix Marulic, Croatia, for CD Dreaming Transportation; composer Andrée Greenwell
  • 2008 – shortlisted for the Victorian Premier's Best Music-Theatre Script Award for The Hanging of Jean Lee; composer Andrée Greenwell
  • 2010 – winner of the New South Wales Premier's Literary Award, Kenneth Slessor Prize for Poetry for the sonnet according to 'm'
  • 2010 – runner-up for the Chief Minister's Award (ACT) for the sonnet according to 'm'


  • Utterance. 1993.
  • Nervous Arcs. North Melbourne, Vic: Spinifex, 1995; Chicago: Spinifex, 2007.
  • Botany Bay Document : a poetic history of the women of Botany Bay. North Fitzroy, Vic: Black Pepper, 1996.
  • The Hanging of Jean Lee. North Fitzroy, Vic: Black Pepper, 1998.
  • My Secret Life and other poems. Warners Bay, NSW: Picaro Press, 2002.
  • The Fall. Hawthorne, Vic: White Crane Press, 2003.
  • Vertigo: A Cantata. Elwood, Vic: John Leonard Press, 2007.
  • the sonnet according to "m". Melbourne: John Leonard Press, 2009.

Except where noted, bibliographical information courtesy WorldCat.[5]

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