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Ella Skilbeck-Porter, These Are Different Waters

Shortlisted for the 2024 MARY GILMORE AWARD

Highly Commended in the ANNE ELDER AWARD 2023

"Formally daring, Skilbeck-Porter’s debut is a confident collection that moves elegantly and effortlessly through concrete and lyric poetry. Skilbeck-Porter has developed a poetics that feels truly new and invigorating, characterised by both an eye for intricacy and a steady, guiding formal hand. These Are Different Waters is a significant accomplishment in form, but more importantly, style." Anne Elder Award 2023 judges' comments


These Are Different Waters is the debut collection from poet Ella Skilbeck-Porter.

Deftly working across both verse and visual poetry, Skilbeck-Porter gathers aesthetic experience and layers thought and memory, structuring the collection through the central motif of the municipal swimming pool, where fragments of thought and observation swim and float to the surface. Observational, attentive, and at times surreal, Skilbeck-Porter’s work immerses the reader in a sensory experience that delights the eye and the mind. These Are Different Waters is the first iteration of what Skilbeck-Porter terms a ‘poetics of no division,’ where everything is permitted and boundaries are traversed, emphasising interrelatedness and fluidity without hierarchy. It is a sublime and accomplished debut from a poet who has been working in concrete and verse poetry for over a decade.

Conceptual, droll and formally experimental, These Are Different Waters disposes its wide-ranging materials into an elegant two-part structure: ‘Inflatable pool’, and the substantial visual sequence, ‘Concrete Pool’. Skilbeck-Porter dares to devise her own weird syntax of hallucinatory profusion, a through-composed ‘ink spell’ of restless, post-Steinian parataxis. Decisive and yet dreamy, its poetic bricolage, ‘a stratosphere of shifting surfaces’, resists closure and passes the baton: ‘The end of my swim, the beginning of yours’. Helen Anne Bell Poetry Bequest Award Judges

Ella Skilbeck-Porter is a poet and artist currently living on unceded Wurundjeri Country in Naarm/Melbourne. She holds a double degree in Communications and International Studies with First Class Honours in Writing Studies from the University of Technology, Sydney and is a PhD candidate in French Studies at the University of Melbourne, where she is researching visual poetry. Her poetry has been widely published in literary journals including Rabbit, Cordite Poetry Review, HEAT, Australian Poetry Journal, Going Down Swinging and Otoliths. These Are Different Waters is her first book-length collection of poetry.

Ella Skilbeck-Porter, These Are Different Waters
August 2023. 148mm x 210mm. 80pp.
ISBN 978-1-925735-60-4

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