Beveridge, Judith 1956–

views updated

Beveridge, Judith 1956–

PERSONAL: Born 1956, in England; emigrated to Australia, 1960; married, husband's surname, Joson. Education: Attended University of Technology, Sydney, Australia.

ADDRESSES: Agent—c/o Author Mail, Giramondo Publishing Co., P.O. Box 752, Artarmon, New South Wales 1570, Australia.

CAREER: Poet. Has also worked as research officer, library assistant, and teacher. Visiting professor of creative writing, Newcastle University and University of Technology.

MEMBER: Bushcare.

AWARDS, HONORS: Dame Mary Gilmore Award, New South Wales Premier's Award, and Victorian Premier's Award, all 1988, all for The Domesticity of Giraffes; Wesley Michel Wright Award, and Josephine Ulrick National Poetry Prize, both 2003, both for "Between the Palace and the Bodhi Tree," published in Wolf Notes; Judith Wright Calanthe Award, and C. J. Dennis Award, both for Wolf Notes.



The Domesticity of Giraffes, Black Lightning Press (Wentworth Falls, New South Wales, Australia), 1987.

(Editor with Jill Jones and Louise Wakeling) A Parachute of Blue, Round Table Publications (West Ryde, New South Wales, Australia), 1995.

Accidental Grace, University of Queensland Press (St. Lucia, Queensland, Australia), 1996.

Wolf Notes, Giramondo Publishing Co. (Artarmon, New South Wales, Australia), 2003.

SIDELIGHTS: Since 1988, when her work The Domesticity of Giraffes won numerous awards, Judith Beveridge has emerged as an important voice in Australian poetry. Beveridge's verse engages the world—its animal and plant life, its human seekers—without delving into the intensely personal. A practitioner of Buddhism, Beveridge described her working method in an interview with Southerly magazine. "I don't like to bring intellectual concepts and ideas too much into the writing process," she said. "I prefer to let the poems work themselves out more intuitively."

In the same Southerly interview, Greg McLaren noted of Beveridge: "One of the things that exhilarates me about many of these poems is the way they can suggest so much, on political, spiritual, and other levels, through the use of imagery while hardly appearing to mount any kind of specific argument." In works featuring bats, elephants, giraffes, and herons, Beveridge at once revels in the natural assets of the animals and uses them or their plights to muse on human tampering with nature and ecology. The poet also employs the imagery of thread, weaving, and knot-tying to imply the deeper connections between individuals and the universe, both physical and spiritual.

Martin Duwell in Australian Literary Studies described Beveridge's work as "a poetry … carefully produced and sensitive to the dense interweavings of reality." Duwell concluded: "On a first reading, Beveridge's poetry seems to be alive with an extraordinary sensitivity to smells and sounds as well as sights—all of which lead to a precise and intense response to the world that often emerges as rhapsodic."



Australian Literary Studies, May, 2000, Martin Duwell, "Intricate Knots and Vast Cosmologies: The Poetry of Judith Beveridge," p. 243.

Quadrant, November, 1997, Alison Croggon, review of Accidental Grace, p. 74.

Southerly, autumn, 2002 Greg McLaren, interview with Beveridge, p. 50.


Red Room Company Web site, (February 4, 2005), "Judith Beveridge."