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Jennifer Compton

Author of Aroha: Poems

14+ Works 26 Members 1 Review 1 Favorited

About the Author

Jennifer Compton was born in Wellington, New Zealand in 1949. In the early '70s she emigrated to Sydney, Australia with her husband Matthew O'Sullivan. After attending the NIDA Playwrights Studio, her play No Man's Land (later Crossfire) jointly won the Newcastle Playwriting Competition (with John show more Romeril's A Floating World) in 1974. It was premiered at the Nimrod Theatre in Sydney in 1975 and published by Currency Press in 1976. Her stage play The Big Picture was premiered at the Griffin Theatre in Sydney in 1997 and was published by Currency Press in 1999. In recent years she has mostly written short fiction and poetry. A book of poems, Parker & Quink, was published in 2004, and another, Barefoot, was published in 2010. Barefoot was short listed for the John Bray Poetry Award at the Adelaide Festival in 2012. This City was published in July 2011 and won the Kathleen Grattan Award in New Zealand. In 2015 her title, Mr Clean and the Junkie, made the New Zealand Best Sellers List. (Bowker Author Biography) show less

Works by Jennifer Compton

Aroha: Poems (1998) 3 copies
Blue (2000) 3 copies
Crossfire (PLAYS) (1976) 3 copies
This City (2011) 3 copies
Roma 2 copies
Parker & Quink (2006) 2 copies
The Big Picture (PLAYS) (1999) 2 copies
Barefoot (2010) 2 copies
Brick 1 copy
From the other woman (1993) 1 copy
Ungainly (2012) 1 copy

Associated Works

The Best Australian Poems 2011 (2011) — Contributor — 20 copies
The Best Australian Poems 2017 (2017) — Contributor — 15 copies
Regeneration New Zealand speculative fiction II (2013) — Contributor — 2 copies


Common Knowledge



Parker & Quink: the young might stare at these brand names blankly, but for us sexagenarians they have unmistakeable nostalgic power to evoke the sensual feel of a fountain pen, the aroma of quality ink, the dubious joys of blotting and smudging, perhaps even the quiet pleasure of receiving one’s first Parker pen as a reward for doing well in a school exam. The title poem, just three lines, draws on those associations, but its tone is more bemused than nostalgic:

Parker & Quink
To write your email address
with a fountain pen filled with ink
like lighting a candle on the moon.

The past isn’t just another country, it’s a whole other celestial body, with unbelievably limited, even ineffective communication technology. Yet to my way of thinking a lot of the poetry in the rest of he book uses just that technology: the kind that needs the reader to come and sit with it for a while, rather than providing instant hits, instant links. The book touches on many subjects, speaks in many voices, reflects many moods. There are memories of a New Zealand childhood, private acknowledgement from an eminent theatre critic (though we’re left not knowing if this was real or imagined), a touch of Bildungsroman, a homage to Kenneth Koch's 'Ballade' (a kind of compressed, fragmentary, cryptic autobiography), dreams, dramatic monologues.
… (more)
shawjonathan | Jul 12, 2013 |


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