This is the third year that, with the help of the Malcolm Robertson Foundation, Overland has hosted the Judith Wright Poetry Prize for New and Emerging Poets, a competition that is closing very, very soon. Like many poets, Wright had a long and fruitful association with Overland, the journal in which her last published poem, ‘To Younger Poets’, appeared. It seems fitting, then, in the last days before the prize closes, to feature Fiona Capp’s remarkable piece from the new edition of Overland, an essay that begins with Capp’s acknowledgment of Wright as a mentor and guide. It begins like this:
Sometimes in life you get lucky. Someone of rare vision and remarkable gifts crosses your path and, in ways that may be apparent only to yourself, they touch your life and change its course. I was seventeen when I first met Judith Wright. Everything that followed from this encounter led me, thirty years later, to the places she loved and dwelt in, the landscapes that made her a singular poet and environmental visionary. It was a journey I had been waiting to take since I first discovered her poetry as a teenager; a journey not only to actual places but also into a psychological and imaginative terrain as real as anything recorded on a map.