PRAISE for Interval (UQP)

WINNER - 2019 Kenneth Slessor Prize for Poetry

Finalist - 2018 Melbourne Prize for Literature
Best Writing Award

PubliCATION DATE: 26 February 2018

Interval is the much anticipated second volume from the award-winning Australian poet and author of Event (Salt (U.K.), 2007).

Come near, let me
sense you, in this human
way we have – for now
and not forever.

Interval tracks the silence before and after events both personal and global: two births; two deaths; emerging revolutions in technology that will alter what it means to be human; this liminal time for climate change. Fierce in their desire for intimacy and presence, these poems cannot release the past, even as they speed into our own uncertain future.

"Introducing philosophic concerns in a contemporary voice recalling poets like Judith Wright and Gwen Harwood, Interval ranges over many subjects, from Greek myth to Mallarmé to a fault line in the human universe where ‘The Wild Has No Words’. Interval invites the reader’s attention into a complex depth under the surface, gathering light into a form where ‘as if meeting — souls, the dearest sort — / were the lightest touch / a mind’s lips upon the / other mind’s / like this’. Bishop offers readers pleasure with a blending of images, ideas and music conducted by a powerful vision."  - Robert Adamson

 "In the beauty of birth is the muteness of our existence on a planet we're destroying,
and this paradox drives the book in a committed and deeply intelligent way." - John Kinsella

"Interval is a supple exploration of consciousness and an acknowledgement of the mysterious space-time matrix from which change and growth arise. Judith Bishop takes us on a philosophical, singing search guided by human love, ‘its joyous countenance of now’. These intellectually and linguistically graceful poems reach outward to the universe from their grounding in the everyday things of the earth – child and parent, artefact, ant, beetle, leaf and molecule – as they slip away and are replenished. ” - Jan Owen

“Judith Bishop’s new book reveals the very essence of lyricism. It flows forward from Kinderlieder to magical evocations of place and scape. The poems here are musically so subtle that they evoke silence, and pay court to the pages’ snowy whitenesses. In them, she ranges from deep intimacy to seeing “as the astronaut does,/the body of the earth/ lying whole and resplendent.”  - Chris Wallace-Crabbe

"Judith Bishop’s Interval is a space of vigilance and transformation, the bridge between I and Thou. Her antic, ontic lyrics sing of trusting—even trysting—this implacable world." - Andrew Zawacki


“…there is feeling of tenderness in this new book, a sense of care for this world…  a commitment to the things of this world, and their inter-relations, as the world processes to human-wrought environmental disaster… It is this unstable and failing world that Bishop’s book and its intimacies inhabit.” - Jill Jones, Australian Book Review, April 2018, no. 400 (/abr-online/current-issue)

“Judith Bishop’s second book is as brilliant and daunting as her first, Event, now more than ten years old… Complex ideas are explored in complex poems and the range of interests very deliberately covers the spectrum from the atomic to the cosmos with humans and their distinctive experiences placed between.” - Martin Duwell,

”There’s a powerful current of tragedy at work here, but it remains protean, despite the intimate clarity of the utterance. This creates an emotional shimmer that is consonant with flickering hopes of transcendence. […] Bishop’s great strength in Interval is as an explorer of uncharted interiorities where emotion and intellect entwine.” - Ed Wright,