Posted by: Lisa Hill | August 11, 2017

Painting Red Orchids – Eileen Chong plus bonus poet interview

From the series of poetry reviews with interviews, at Messenger’s Booker

Messenger's Booker (and more)


The 2017 Victorian Premier’s Literary Prize Poetry shortlist contains three collections only, all by women from migrant backgrounds, and all using very different forms, a very diverse collection that I thoroughly enjoyed reading. Each of the shortlisted poets have agreed to be interviewed for Messenger’s Booker and today I present Eileen Chong, starting with a review of her collection “painting red orchids” and finishing up with a detailed interview. I’m very proud to be able to feature the three poets, their work and their thoughts.

Today I look at “painting red orchids”, Pitt Street Poetry’s 2016 publication of fifty poems from Eileen Chong. From the opening poem, the title work, “painting red orchids” you can see meticulous craftsmanship at work;

Painting Red Orchids

Last night, red orchids in the thatched hut burst into blossom.
Worrying about the wind and rain, unable to sleep.
‘Red Orchid’, Huang Shen

My brushes hang…

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