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Lisa Gorton Lisa Gorton i(A12400 works by)
Born: Established: 1972 ;
Gender: Female
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Lisa Gorton is a poet, essayist, reviewer and novelist. Her first novel, The Life of Houses (2015) was co-winner of the Prime Minister's Award for Fiction in 2016. She has also written a children's book, Cloudland.

Lisa's fist collection of poetry, Press Release, won the Victorian Premier's Award for Poetry in 2008, and was a finalist for the Melbourne Prize, Best Writing Award. As the inaugural winner of The Vincent Buckley Poetry Prize, Lisa travelled Ireland, then went to Oxford on a Rhodes Scholarship to study for a Masters of English Renaissance Literature. Lisa then complete a PhD on the poetry of John Donn at University of Oxford, for which she received the John Donne Society Award for Distinguished Publication in Donne studies. She also has a BA (Hons) from the University of Melbourne.

Lisa's poems and essays have been widely published in anthologies and various journals, including Antipodes, Poetry and The American Review of Books. She has been Poetry Editor for Australian Book Review, and a judge for Red Room Poetry (2015). 

In 2019, Lisa was based in Melbourne, and has previously lived in Ireland, England, South Africa, Sydney, Lismore and Katherine.



Most Referenced Works

Awards for Works

y separately published work icon Mirabilia Artarmon : Giramondo Publishing , 2022 24488703 2022 selected work poetry

'The poems in Mirabilia test the relationship between art and politics. They are ekphrastic poems complicated by historical narrative; or, they are political poems, inspired by artworks. The title poem is a tribute to the pangolin, the world’s most-trafficked mammal implicated, some say, in the evolution of coronavirus.

'Written in Fibonacci syllabics, it is also a reflection on Marianne Moore’s poem The Pangolin w ith its sense of nature’s perpetuity lost in the years since her poem was written. The final sequence Great World Atlas tracks the destructive extent of nuclear testing across the world in the 1960s.

'It was written for Izabela Pluta’s artist’s book Figures of Slippage and Oscillation. The sequence Tongue reflects on da Vinci’s 1478 painting The Benois Madonna , including the circumstances of its creation in the Pazzi conspiracy and the life of Fioretta del Cittadino perhaps the painting’s model who gave birth to the child of the murdered man. Her child was taken; she was written out of the record. In other poems too, Gorton reflects on the experience of the female muse, wife, or mother.' (Publication summary)

2022 winner Australian Centre Literary Awards Wesley Michel Wright Prize in Poetry
2023 longlisted APA Book Design Awards Best Designed Literary Fiction / Poetry Cover designed by Jenny Grigg.
2023 shortlisted New South Wales Premier's Literary Awards Kenneth Slessor Prize for Poetry
y separately published work icon Empirical Artarmon : Giramondo Publishing , 2019 15634882 2019 selected work poetry

'Lisa Gorton began writing Empirical when the Victorian Government of the time threatened to cut an eight-lane motorway through the heart of Royal Park in Melbourne. She walked repeatedly in the park, seeking to understand how the feeling for place originates, and how memory and landscape fold in and out of each other. The poems exploring this feeling for place are followed by a sequence which recreates the colonial history of Royal Park through the gathering of fragments from newspapers, maps and pictures, a different way of asserting its value, by demonstrating how a landscape can conceal the history of country beneath its layers of time. From this close-up study, in its second part the collection opens out into poems which meditate on ancient statues, Rimbaud’s imperial panoramas, the making of Coleridge’s poem ‘Kubla Khan’, the exhibition galleries of Crystal Palace — tracking, through chains of influence, and a phantasmagoric procession of images, the trade between empire, commodities and dreams of elsewhere. Empirical follows a deluxe promenade of thought, in which landscapes are mirrored and refracted in the contemporary Baroque style for which Gorton is renowned.'

Source: Publisher's blurb.

2020 shortlisted Prime Minister's Literary Awards Fiction
2020 shortlisted New South Wales Premier's Literary Awards Kenneth Slessor Prize for Poetry
y separately published work icon The Life of Houses Artarmon : Giramondo Publishing , 2015 8315197 2015 single work novel

'The Life of Houses explores, with a poet's eye for detail, the hidden tensions in an old established Australian family that has lived for generations in a large house in a coastal town in south-eastern Australia. These tensions come to the surface when the granddaughter Kit is sent by her mother to spend a holiday with her grandparents, and the unmarried aunt who looks after them, in their old and decaying house by the sea. Kit barely knows them, because her mother is estranged from the family and never talks to or visits them. Recently divorced from Kit's father, she sends her daughter to her parents now so she can pursue an affair with her new lover. Kit's presence brings the old quarrels to life as family memories take hold of the present, brought to a flashpoint by the anger and resentment of Kit and her mother, and the dementia and sudden illness of her grandparents. The Life of Houses is written in an extraordinarily expressive and dynamic prose that makes use of the close focus and the oblique perspectives that Gorton has mastered so successfully in her poetry. It is a style reminiscent of Henry James and Patrick White, a high style, perfectly suited to the social decorum and inhibition of her socially elevated but unhappy subjects.' (Publication summary)

2016 shortlisted Voss Literary Prize
2016 shortlisted New South Wales Premier's Literary Awards Christina Stead Prize for Fiction
2016 joint winner Prime Minister's Literary Awards Fiction With Charlotte Wood's The Natural Way of Things.
Last amended 20 Jan 2020 12:27:09
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