Just a little out of date (ok, a couple of weeks) is the news that my disturbingly talented compatriot, Emma Jones, has won the Forward Prize for Best First Book 2009 for her book, The Striped World (Faber and Faber, 2008). Apparently not only is she the first Australian to win the award, but also the first Australian to be published by Faber.
I came across Emma’s work when I was living in the UK. She won the prestigious Academi Cardiff International Poetry Prize in 2003 (you can read her winning poem here and the judge’s report here), and then took out the Newcastle Poetry Prize in 2005. (She’d shared the prize with three other poets in 2002.) Her name and her poems kept cropping up. I can remember at the time noting her as someone to watch. So it was especially pleasing to find myself published beside her in New Poetries IV.
An intriguing title, The Striped World. Brings to my mind images of prisoners, thylacines, shadows, cracked earth and breaking points. My copy is on order. Can’t wait to read it.