poetry in translation

Duino Elegies

Rainer Maria Rilke, translated by Alison Croggon

Shortlisted for the NSW Premiers Awards Translation Prize 2023

Alison Croggon’s revelatory new translation captures the energies of Rilke’s poems with an urgent, acute clarity. ‘The turbulent currents that make the Elegies so enthralling are generated by the dynamic contradictions of a mind acutely conscious of its own movements,’ she writes in her afterword. ‘The poems are not “about” life: rather, they are a startling mimesis of its instability and transience.’ 

Alison Croggon’s transformative and impassioned translation of Rilke’s Duino Elegies attempts the extraordinary… Signature, regret, pain, trauma, wonder, euphoria, wonder, rapture and an immersion in the senses are all contained in the crispness and experiential sensibility that guides her relationship with the original poems. Croggon lives in the wild beauty of these Elegies and makes them glow in translation… This is an incendiary work.

– John Kinsella

‘Alison Croggon’s new translation of the Elegies has a directness, immediacy, sensuality, and violence that distinguishes her from precursors like J.B. Leishman and Stephen Spender.’

– Australian Book Review

‘Croggon’s poems offer something intense, difficult and fragile, but simultaneously intimate and hugely rewarding in the reading.’

– Cordite Poetry Review

Rainer Maria Rilke (1875-1926) is one of the major modernist poets in the German language, notable for the lyric intensity of his work. He considered the Duino Elegies – a cycle of ten poems written in inspirational bursts between 1912 and 1922 – to be his major achievement.

Printed en face with the German text and with an afterword and notes by the translator. Preface by John Kinsella.

ISBN: 9780648874430
Paperback, 106 pages
Newport Street Books

April 18 2022



a reckoning

“A marvel of a book” – Ruby Hamad, author of White Tears/Brown Scars

‘This figure I see in the foreground, this me. How monstrous am I? What does it mean to be a monster? From Latin monstrum, meaning an abomination … grotesque, hideous, ugly, ghastly, gruesome, horrible…

I was born as part of a monstrous structure — the grotesque, hideous, ugly, ghastly, gruesome, horrible relations of power that constituted colonial Britain. A structure that shaped me, that shapes the very language that I speak and use and love. I am the daughter of an empire that declared itself the natural order of the world.’

From award-winning writer and critic Alison Croggon, Monsters is a hybrid of memoir and essay that takes as its point of departure the painful breakdown of a relationship between two sisters. It explores how our attitudes are shaped by the persisting myths that underpin colonialism and patriarchy, how the structures we are raised within splinter and distort the possibilities of our lives and the lives of others. Monsters asks how we maintain the fictions that we create about ourselves, what we will sacrifice to maintain these fictions — and what we have to gain by confronting them.

Scribe Publications 

Cover design: Daniel New


‘A marvel of a book … Croggon spares no one, least of all herself, as she unearths colonial history and family complicity to scrutinise those demons that both torment and shape us. This is exactly the kind of book I have longed to see white authors write, and I love it for its refusal to provide easy answers to the dilemma at the heart of the modern human condition.’


‘Steady and acute self-scrutiny such as Croggon’s is necessary to a widening interrogation of privilege that underpins the illumination and refusal of racism and sexism and promised a historical pivot away from overt and covert violence … Monsters is full of gloriously expressed insights … stylistically, the rhythms and sonic patterns of Croggon’s prose are a poet’s.’


‘In language at once fiery and elegant, [Croggon] reckons with the collective failures of her imperialist ancestors and the personal shame of their legacy. It’s a book I will return to often for its power and its truths.’

‘Monsters is a hybrid memoir about family, colonialism and how external forces invisibly shape us, by renowned critic and impressive brain Alison Croggon.’



The Threads of Magic

An atmospheric and riveting fantasy adventure, perfect for fans of Frances Hardinge and Cornelia Funke.  Alison Croggon conjures a rich, immersive world with brilliant and memorable characters in this captivating story of loyalty, courage and friendship.

“Sinister assassins, ghoulish Specters, and feisty witches make this a rousing read.” Kirkus

“A gripping stand alone from the acclaimed Alison Croggon … A beautifully written adventure full of courage and kindness, The Threads of Magic transports readers to a magical city of airy palaces and rotten slums, of agents of the Office of Witchcraft Examination and midsummer dancing in the Weavers’ Quarter, of dangerous fathers and chosen family.” The Contented Reader

“The distinct characters and a vein of humor that ensures the story never takes itself too seriously are really where this novel shines…Australian author Croggon delivers another great story.” Bulletin of the Center for Children’s Books

“A lyrical, poetic writer and a compelling storyteller”  Garth Nix

“Vivid, compelling, utterly, utterly magical.” Read and Reviewed

Newport City

Cyberpunk dystopia

The revolution has begun. But where will it end?

Fleshers and Pinkers are a fast-paced and original dystopian duology from award-winning writers Alison Croggon and Daniel Keene.

The Newport City duology is available in paperback and e formats from your favourite retailer.

“The coolest science fiction I’ve read in years – if cyberpunk dystopian SF is your jam, I highly recommend this amazing book.” – Ellie Marney

“Draws readers through an action-packed, multi-layered narrative and will leave them with the desire to learn more about the complex and unusual characters.” – Books+Publishing

What readers are saying:

“Quantum perfection” Five stars

“Gritty, fast-paced, intelligent dystopian sci-fi. An intense and satisfying ride.” Five stars

“Cyberpunk plus shapers plus dread diseases set in a future where human beings are the odd ones out.” – Five stars

Alison Croggon

Alison Croggon is an award-winning novelist, poet, theatre writer, critic and editor who lives in Melbourne, Australia. She works in many genres and her books and poems have been published to acclaim nationally and internationally. She is arts editor for The Saturday Paper and co-editor of the performance criticism website Witness. On this site you can find details on all her books – fantasy, science fiction, poetry, theatre texts and critical essays. 


More books you might enjoy

The Books of Pellinor

Alison Croggon best-selling fantasy quintet.

“Croggon’s humbly exquisite prose weaves splendor into everything, from spells of magery and the frightening, otherworldly realm that the protagonists must tread to the regular World’s aesthetic beauty and human emotion (grief, shame, terror, trauma)…Magnificent yet intimate, dark yet tender.” – Kirkus Reviews

Pinkers – Newport City

Dazzling new science fiction from award-winning writers Alison Croggon and Daniel Keene

“”The coolest science fiction I’ve read in years – if cyberpunk dystopian SF is your jam, I highly recommend this amazing book.” – Ellie Marney

“A vividly imagined post-collapse story, anchored by a sharp understanding of the ways imperfect people confront an oppressive government.” – Kate Elliott

Black Spring

Dark Gothic fantasy 

“A darkly captivating tale of heartbreaking, destructive passion.” Booklist

“Bronte devotees will swoon. For those who take their romance tumultuous and doomed.” Kirkus Reviews

The River and the Book

Winner of the 2016 Environmental Award for Writing for Children
Shortlisted for the WA Premiers Literary Awards
A Children’s Book Council of Australia 2016 Notable Book

“A resonant, haunting story… a simply told and dreamlike tale that tackles huge questions about conservation, capitalism, colonialism and cultural appropriation.” – The Age

New and Selected Poems

Raw, passionate and dazzling, Alison Croggon’s poetry confronts a world fractured by different kinds of violence – patriarchal, colonial, sexual and emotional – and finds there a difficult beauty.

“Free verse in Australia has rarely come better than Croggon’s.” – The Australian

“Alison Croggon is one of the most powerful lyric poets writing today.” – Australian Book Review

Remembered Presences

Critical essays

Searching, challenging and always entertaining, Croggon grapples with the contradictions and delights of writing about performance, an ephemeral artform central to our cultural memory.

“There is no question that Croggon is among the best critics this country has produced, and there is not a review here that doesn’t attest to her precision of thought and expression.” – Australian Book Review


As every reader knows in their heart, there is much more to truth than mere fact.

― Alison Croggon

Agent: Jenny Darling and Associates
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