Highly Commended in the 2020 Wesley Michel Wright Prize
'Jessica Wilkinson’s poems about George Balanchine draw on extensive archival research for her unique non-fictional poetic choreography. Melding the ephemerality of dance with an extraordinary biography of a great 20th century artist, Wilkinson’s talent for conveying dynamic movement in a range of styles suffuses this poetic sequence.' Selection committee for the 2020 Wesley Michel Wright Prize
Music Made Visible is a poetic biography on the life and works of George Balanchine, one of the most influential choreographers of the twentieth century. Jessica L. Wilkinson explores the possibilities and imaginative leaps that poetry can offer to the writing of a life. Her poetic series of Balanchine ‘ballets’ unfold from his early life as a student at the Imperial Ballet School in St. Petersburg, through his engagement at Diaghilev’s Ballets Russes, to his later co-founding and development of the New York City Ballet. Wilkinson’s poems are attuned to the ephemeral qualities of music and movement that were so vital to her subject’s life.
Jessica L. Wilkinson is the author of marionette: a biography of miss marion davies (2012) and Suite for Percy Grainger: a biography (2014), both published by Vagabond Press. She co-edited Contemporary Australian Feminist Poetry (Hunter Publishers, 2016) and is the founding editor of Rabbit: a journal for nonfiction poetry. She teaches in the Creative Writing program at RMIT University, Melbourne.
“In the growing field of poetic biography, Wilkinson is both a pioneer and innovator. For Wilkinson, who brings to her work the creative and critical sensibilities of both poet and scholar, it is not enough to ask who and what, but also, and often more importantly, how and why. … Arresting, intellectually stimulating, original and compelling, this work rewards multiple readings.” Bella LiJessica L.Wilkinson, Music Made Visible: A biography of George Balanchine
2019. 148mm x 210mm. 192pp.
This project has been assisted by the Australian Government through the Australia Council, its arts funding and advisory body.