In Frank, Jordie Albiston has combined daily snapshots from Australian photographic pioneer Frank Hurley’s Antarctic diaries into a moving poetry collage. This volume, comprising about 120 poems, offers a portrait of Hurley as photographer and as man, at the end of the heroic era of exploration. Albiston explores the idea that historical narratives can yield a strange and unexpected power when subjected to the pressures of poetic form, and in this way she brings Hurley’s thoughts and actions to life in a manner never seen before.
Frank Hurley accompanied both Mawson and Shackleton on their celebrated expeditions to Antarctica in the early twentieth century. Hurley’s polar diaries, held at the National Library of Australia, represent a written adjunct to his pictorial surveys of what was then a geographical, cultural and artistic unknown.
Frank is a beautiful, evocative and highly accessible volume that will delight both poetry readers and those interested in Antarctica and Hurley. The poems were written and compiled during the author’s tenure as the National Library of Australia’s 2021 Creative Arts Fellow in Australian Writing. Jordie Albiston sadly passed away during the production of Frank; NLA Publishing is proud to now be realising her vision.