Shortlist year: 2012

Shortlist category: Poetry

Published by: Allen & Unwin

The ravaging effects of illness, the breakup of a relationship and the disturbing nature of relocation. These are the subjects under award-winning Luke Davies' meditative eye. Interferon Psalms is a song of the brutality of time, a song of death, yet equally as beautiful.

About the author

Luke Davies

Luke Davies is the author of three novels, God of Speed, Isabelle the Navigator and the cult bestseller Candy, which was shortlisted for the NSW Premier's Literary Awards in 1998 and has since been published in Britain, the United States and translated into German, Spanish, Hebrew and French.

A film version starring Heath Ledger was released in 2006 and won the AFI for Best Adapted Screenplay.

Davies was awarded the Philip Hodgins Memorial Medal for Poetry in 2004. He has published five books of poetry, including Running with Light which was the winner of the Judith Wright Poetry Prize 2000, and Totem, which was the winner of the 2004 Age Book of the Year Award.

Judges’ comments

This long poem made up of shorter lyrics is a concerted effort by Luke Davies to write a major poem and it is notable for the power of its poetic realisation.

This potently organised suite of poems articulates a vision which invokes the traditional psalmist’s prerogative to utter the thousand names of the Most High.

Interferon Psalms encompasses not only the meditative intensities of the dark night of the soul but a tragicomic vision which is by turns dramatic, alarming and luminous in its formal expression.