A black and white photograph. The mast and bow of a ship are on the left hand side of the image and water littered with ice chunks are on the right. This image is taken from an elevated position.
Frank Hurley, 'Steaming through light pack-ice, passage is very slow, some hundreds of miles were passed through, [Australasian Antarctic Expedition, 1911 - 1914]', nla.obj-141792618

Frank by Jordie Albiston 

A new title from NLA Publishing combines daily snapshots from Australian photographic pioneer Frank Hurley’s Antarctic diaries into a moving documentary poetry collage.  

Comprising over 130 poems, Frank offers a portrait of Hurley, as photographer and as man, at the end of the heroic era of exploration. In this book, award-winning Australian poet Jordie Albiston explores the idea that historical narratives can yield a strange and unexpected power when subjected to the pressures of poetic form, bringing Hurley’s thoughts and actions to life in a manner never seen before. 

Hurley accompanied both Mawson and Shackleton on their celebrated expeditions to Antarctica in the early twentieth century. His polar diaries, held at the National Library of Australia, represent a written accompaniment to his pictorial surveys of what was then a geographical, cultural and artistic unknown. 

The poems were written and compiled during the author’s tenure as the National Library of Australia’s 2021 Creative Arts Fellow in Australian Writing. Jordie Albiston sadly passed away during the production of Frank, but NLA Publishing is proud to now be realising her vision. 

Frank is a beautiful, evocative and highly accessible volume that will delight both poetry readers and those interested in Antarctica and Frank Hurley.  

About the author 

Dr Jordie Albiston published fourteen poetry collections, three children’s books and a handbook on poetic form. Two of her collections were adapted for musical theatre, both enjoying seasons at the Sydney Opera House.  

Albiston’s work has been recognised by many awards, including the Mary Gilmore Award, the Wesley Michel Wright Prize and the NSW Premier’s Prize. Albiston was honoured in 2019 with the Patrick White Literary Award and in 2022 (posthumously) received the John Bray Award in the Adelaide Festival Awards for Literature. In November 2022, Fifteeners (Puncher and Wattman, 2021) was shortlisted for the Prime Minsters Literary Awards. 

Additional Information 

The front cover of the book 'Frank'. In the middle of the cover is an image of an iceberg. Above the image is the text 'Frank'. Below the image is the text 'Jordie Albiston'.

Images for media use are available for download via Dropbox. 

Extracts from the book are available on request. 


Georgia McDonald, Media Liaison, National Library of Australia

M: 0401 226 697

E: media@nla.gov.au