Book review: Birds

Judith Wright's beautiful book of poetry Birds take flight 60 years on

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Judith Wright's beautiful book of poetry Birds take flight 60 years on

Judith Wright was one of Australia's most celebrated poets and one of only two to be considered for the Nobel prize.


Her book Birds (NLA Publishing, $24.99) was first published in 1962, and 60 years on the National Library of Australia has brought this precious collection to today's audience in this modern new edition.

The poems in Birds commemorate Judith's love of birds, while on a deeper level exploring the gamut of very human experiences, from the delightful, to the humorous, to the sorrowful.

It is illustrated in full colour by artworks from the National Library of Australia's collection.

Featuring a contemporary, elegant design, and illustrated with artworks by renowned nature painters such as William T. Cooper, Neville Cayley, and Lilian Medland, this book will be treasured not only by lovers of poetry and art, but anyone who appreciates beauty.

Birds features the poems from the original 1962 volume, as well as six additional bird poems drawn from across Wright's oeuvre.

Poet, essayist, conservationist and campaigner for Aboriginal rights, Judith Arundell Wright (1915-2000) was 25 when her first poem was published and her first collection of verse, The Moving Image, was published in 1946.

She went on to publish many other works including poetry, a biography of her pioneering family, children's books and her autobiography.

Wright was awarded numerous fellowships throughout her career and received a number of awards for her writing. Her papers are now held in the collection of the National Library of Australia.

Birds features a personal introduction by her daughter Meredith McKinney.