- THE DOROTHY HEWETT AWARD
Stone Mother Tongue
Malta—‘a slight blemish on the sea’s glaze’—forms the beating heart of Stone Mother Tongue, poems fired into existence by Annamaria Weldon’s experience of clambering over temples and monuments built by her ancestors. Now part of her psyche, they are melded with a wider experience of Australia as an ancient land. For Weldon, life is ‘all context and erasure’. When she writes of the masons knowing ‘which prayers to chant while hammering’, her poems entwine the land with a human history many thousands of years in the making.
- Kevin Brophy
Meditative, delicate and restrained, these poems are nonetheless full of vivid realities: the ‘undersong’ of womanhood, family, loss, carob trees, wild rosemary, figs, geckoes, mother’s milk – and psychotropic chickpeas. Delving into her Maltese heritage, Annamaria Weldon shows us how the migrant’s encounter with Australia provokes a reinterpretation of ‘home’, a grappling with place of origin.
- Tracy Ryan