Penelope Layland is an award-winning poet and a former journalist, speechwriter and communications professional. Her 2018 collection Things I've thought to tell you since I saw you last was shortlisted for both the 2019 Kenneth Slessor Prize and the 2019 ACT Book of the Year, and won the ACT Publishing and Writing Award for poetry in 2019. Her most recent book is Nigh (Recent Work Press 2020).
In 1778, Dorothy Wordsworth’s mother died, and the six-year-old Dorothy was sent to live with extended family. She never returned to the family home, and it was not until adolescence that Dorothy became reacquainted with her brother William. The two formed an intense and passionate emotional bond. By 1794 they were living together from that time would rarely be physically separated for more than a few weeks at a time, for the rest of their lives.
Written in the voice of Dorothy, Beloved traces the progression of their relationship, from the ecstatic infatuation of youth onwards, drawing upon Dorothy’s diaries and letters as well as the recollections of friends and family members and literary and biographical scholarship.
From the author of the award-winning Things I’ve thought to tell you since I saw you last comes a new collection of poems steeped in a sense of dark foreboding. Jumping from the global to the everyday, many of the poems in Nigh chime with the mood that all is not right with the world. Even in the seemingly mundane, or overtly beautiful, Layland finds some uncomfortable truths waiting to be unpicked. Nigh displays the confidence of a poet looking and thinking deeply about the world and offering it up in language as crisp as it is beguiling.
This new volume from Penelope Layland absorbingly quizzes memory, while questioning our apprehension of time and the importance of deep human connections. These poems explore mourning and loss in a way that is salutary, affirmative, meditative and uplifting, subtly refracting our common understandings and our claims on knowledge. In these works the ghosted quotidian, like a long filigree of light, reaches out to remind us of what we value and care for.