Shortlist year: 2015

Shortlist category: Poetry

Published by: Puncher & Wattman

A substantial volume of poetry by Alex Skovron spanning some thirty years of writing, it opens with the book-length new collection Towards the Equator, then continues with poems selected from his five previous collections, book by book, from The Rearrangement (1988) to the prose-poems of Autographs(2008).

The poetry encompasses a broad range of interests, concerns, styles and techniques. Among the poetry's preoccupations are time, history and memory; music and art, faith and philosophy; the creative impulse and the erotic; and the quest after self-knowledge.

About the author

Alex Skovron

Alex Skovron is the author of six collections of poetry and a prose novella.

Many journals and anthologies in Australia and overseas have published his work, and his novella, The Poet (Hybrid, 2005), was recently translated into Czech.

The numerous public readings Alex has given have included appearances in China, Serbia, India, Ireland, and on Norfolk Island. The Attic, a selection of his poetry translated into French, was published by PEN Melbourne in 2013.

Judges’ comments

Alex Skovron's poetry combines a degree of intellectual sophistication with an atmosphere of unspecified totalitarian menace that is somewhat at odds with the middle class security of his home in Melbourne.

Towards the Equator, Skovron's new collection of poems, is the length of any conventional poetry book, yet it carries on its back a comprehensive collection of the author's previously published works, helping to set the new work in context.

The interface between old and new is smooth and consistent, as both sections of this book contain many poems that allude to the music, philosophy and art of the Old World, evoking cities with cobblestones and bell towers, while 'the bombers are still over the horizon'.