Presented by Melissa Cranenburgh


Backstory: Negotiating The Limits Of Language With Anwen Crawford

An elegy is a poem of reflection, often lamenting the dead. Anwen Crawford says her latest book – an elegy – is “trying to make up for an absence that can’t be, well, made up for. All elegies in that sense are a failure by definition because you can’t bring the person back.” The Sydney-based writer joins Mel to discuss her latest work No Document, the constant negotiation with “the limits of what language can do”, and her critical music writing.

The elegy is for Anwen’s close friend and artistic collaborator. She says that she “wanted to honour the way [...] that [they] conceived ourselves”. The pair met at art school as late teenagers and were involved in activism at the time, particularly around Australian border policies and the War On Terror. Despite being a personal narrative, Anwen “wanted it to be a work that looked outwards, that moved across different periods of time”.

Why did she write it? “Because it was the only way I had to try and finish our work together.”

Anwen Crawford Promo Image April 2021
Listen to Backstory: Negotiating The Limits Of Language With Anwen Crawford45:2321 April 2021