In this edition of the Verity La Poetry Podcast Alice Allan and Michele Seminara chat with Eileen Chong about her forthcoming book, Rainforest, out soon from Pitt Street Poetry, discussing its structure and the meaning behind its title.
We also talk about Li-Young Lee’s influence on Eileen’s work and hear his poem Persimmons before talking about how Eileen’s poem Measure was written. Finally Eileen talks about whether she feels pressure to be a ‘representative’ writer in Australia and the diversity of Asian-Australian experiences.
Eileen Chong is a poet who lives and works in Sydney, Australia. Her publications include Burning Rice (Australian Poetry, 2012), Peony (Pitt Street Poetry, 2014), Painting Red Orchids (Pitt Street Poetry, 2016), Another Language (George Braziller, 2017), The Uncommon Feast (Recent Work Press, 2018), and Rainforest (Pitt Street Poetry, 2018). Her books have shortlisted for the Anne Elder Award, the Victorian Premier’s Literary Award, and twice for the Prime Minister’s Literary Award. www.eileenchong.com.au
Alice Allan’s poetry has been published in previous issues of Verity La as well as in Cordite, Rabbit and Australian Book Review. She is the creator and convenor of the Verity La Poetry Podcast and produces her own regular podcast, Poetry Says.