The Loyalty of Chickens
Illustrations by Gwynne McGinley.
Jenny Blackford’s first full length poetry collection continues the theme of household animals and their obligations, expanding the universe to include history and geography, family and mythology – overlaid with the knowing wry humour which is her trademark.
With selected barnyard illustrations by Gwynne McGinley.
Suitable for readers 11 plus.
Jenny’s poems have appeared in Australian Poetry Journal,
Westerly, Going Down Swinging, the American speculative fiction
magazines Strange Horizons and Asimov’s, and many other
journals, magazines, and anthologies. Her poetry awards include
first place in the Thunderbolt Prize for Crime Poetry, the
Connemara Mussel Festival Poetry Prize, and the Humorous
Verse section of the Henry Lawson awards, as well as numerous
placings, commendations, and listings.
Pitt Street Poetry published an illustrated chapbook of her cat
poems, The Duties of a Cat, in 2013. It was followed in 2017 by
her first full-length book of poetry, The Loyalty of Chickens,
suitable for people aged eleven and up. In 2019, Eagle Books
published her middle-grade novel The Girl in the Mirror. She
lives in Newcastle, NSW with her philosopher husband and her
The Duties of A Cat
Illustrations by Michael Robson.
Pitt Street Poetry’s poetry pamphlet series commenced in May 2012 with the publication of Etruscan Miniatures by London-based poet Tim Cumming. The international success of that work, illustrated with watercolours by the poet, led us to search for additional titles.
The result is The Duties of a Cat – twelve poems by Novocastrian Jenny Blackford, best known for her young adult and fantasy works, but also a regular contributor of poetry to journals such as Quadrant, Westerly and The Pedestal Magazine.
These poems celebrate the essential nature of the cat, friend and alien, following in a long and proud tradition of feline verse from a distinguished lineage of poets:
We who have known loneliness
sigh for the beast. The addled creature lurks,
dark-scraggled, out of our cajoling reach.
Printed on thick creamy paper and encased in a cellophane wrapper, these attractive pamphlets will make an ideal Christmas gift, to post through the mail or leave under the tree near the cat’s basket.