I am so thrilled with my new collection from Pitt Street Poetry, The Alpaca Cantos. Alison Goodman called the beautiful teal package "absolutely gorgeous". She also says
Jenny Blackford's poetry creates a unique commentary on life, sometimes sweet, sometimes dark, but always with a delicate touch full of insight and emotion.
Esteemed poet Judy Johnson would have launched the collection on 4 April but for social distancing. But her launch speech is online, beautifully presented at the Rochford Street Review, along with two of the poems that Judy mentions: "Black ice night, frogmouth" and "Going home". Judy writes,
The recurring theme of animals in the titles both is and isn’t misleading. There are indeed many creatures who dot the pages of this new book as well as previous collections, but there are also fine human studies of love, grief, joy and hardship. More often than not humans and animals come together in poems that are insightfully larger than the sum of their parts. Often in these works an animal appears as either a catalyst for deeper thought or as a subtle spirit guide...
Beyond her facility with craft, what attracts me particularly is that rarer quality: the generosity of her vision combined with an ability to stand aside rather than taking centre stage, despite the often confessional first person narration. In this way the words wrap themselves around the reader, delivered with the quietly coaxing voice of a natural born storyteller.