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Petra White Petra White i(A69887 works by) (a.k.a. Petra White-Matthews; Petra White Matthews)
Born: Established: 1975 Adelaide, South Australia, ;
Gender: Female
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Petra White comes from English, Scottish and Irish ancestry and is the eldest of six children. She has been interested in writing since early childhood and began writing in earnest (attempting a novel) after graduating from high school. In 1998 White moved to Melbourne and began to focus seriously on poetry. She completed a BA with honours in English and a major in German literature at Melbourne University.

In 2002 White studied at Essen University, as well as travelling throughout Germany, Belgium and Luxembourg. She has a particular interest in the study of the Irish poet Medbh McGuckian. White has worked part-time as an editor and tutor.

Most Referenced Works

Awards for Works

y separately published work icon Reading for a Quiet Morning Melbourne : GloriaSMH , 2017 11484263 2017 selected work poetry

'Petra White's poetry is distinctive for its sharp and unusual imagery, its authoritative expressions of the inner life and its existential preparedness and irony. Mythic imagination and narrative are at the heart of this book, her fourth collection. The ancient Book of Ezekiel is the unlikely source for a compact epic, "How the Temple was Built". Playful in its invention, this poem is terrifying and poignant. The Bible account is reinvented through a secular lens, touching on familiar concerns: war, displacement and feminism. The old epic tropes - love, death, faith, despair - drive this story. White's myth-making here explores the limits of being human and the limits of being a god. The second section, "Landscapes" is thirteen sketches of human solitariness, featuring ancient mythic figures and anonymous modern ones. Unobtrusively presented landscapes, at times hyper-real, or shading to dream, interpolate the characters. These incursions into psyche are fluid and metamorphic. Each singular poem crackles with impulse, marking iconic stillness and strange beauty. Reading for a Quiet Morning, which also includes several spirited versions of Rilke, is Petra White's most daring collection to date.' (Publication Summary)

2018 highly commended Victorian Premier's Literary Awards Prize for Poetry
y separately published work icon The Simplified World Melbourne : John Leonard Press , 2010 Z1690772 2010 selected work poetry (taught in 1 units)

'Like Petra White’s applauded first collection, her second begins and ends with a fable of the uncanny ordinary. Between is a cornucopia of odes: epistolary, philosophical, elegiac. These poems think through and honour the normal mysteries of fate.

'Her world is large and contemporary, anchored by a young poet’s own memories. White inhabits her poems lightly, using personal experience with wit and without self-pleading. Some of this work shows the shadow of depression: not so much expressing moods as touching on how depression dwells, finding its register so it can speak.

'A number of poems openly engage with notable depressives of literary history, but we don’t need those homages to realise that this poet is a very capacious reader. It is there in her music. Late Lowell and Bishop, along with Harwood, ghost the swift edge in her language. Beyond these, a large tradition of cadences and tropes is absorbed in her fluent free verse lines.'

Source: Publisher's blurb.

2012 shortlisted Festival Awards for Literature (SA) Adelaide Festival Awards for Literature John Bray Award for Poetry
2011 commended Australian Capital Territory Poetry Prize Judith Wright Award for a Published Collection by an Australian Poet
2010 joint winner Grace Leven Poetry Prize
Last amended 3 Oct 2012 17:26:53
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