Pilbrow’s poetic practice is one of systematic enquiry into the components of body and mind. “I think of the poet as a kind of scientist, and poems as hypotheses of the self and the body, among other things. Unlike the scientist, though, I don’t really make conclusions.” (Hall, 2016) Published in Vagabond Press’s deciBels 3 chapbook series, Pilbrow’s debut collection Body Poems (2018) delights in the physical grit and the abstract pleasure of the body. Her theoretic concerns have shifted from their formative focus on language and diaspora to a cultivated cataloguing of the self in terms of the physical and the ancestral body. Her work situates the self at the intersection of the individual with the family.
Born in New York City (1993) to Indian and Australian parents, Anupama Pilbrow migrated, with her family, to Australia (2006) as a teenager where she completed her secondary education. She studied creative writing and English literature at The University of Melbourne in 2014, before undertaking graduate studies in mathematics.
Pilbrow began publishing poetry during her undergraduate degree and joined the editorial team of Melbourne-based creative journal The Suburban Review in 2014, before becoming co-editor in 2016. Her poetry has largely been influenced by Indian poets writing in English, such as Kamala Das, A.K. Ramanujan and Nissim Ezekiel, and by traditions in Indian folk tales. Her manuscript the ravage space, a collection of poems aiming to "reframe pluralism as the cultural norm", was shortlisted for the 2014 Whitmore Press Manuscript Prize, before winning the Dinny O'Hearn Fellowship in 2016.
Pilbrow's poems, essays, and reviews have been published in Australian and international journals and anthologies such as Cordite Poetry Review, Rabbit Poetry Journal, JEASA, Southerly, Off the Coast, Contemporary Australian Feminist Poets, and Meanjin. She regularly performs her poetry, and speaks on her work as an editor, a writer, and a performer.
Body Poems, deciBels series 3, Vagabond Press, Sydney, 2018.
'my mother told this story of the white girl in the library'
The poet performing at Red Dirt Poetry Festival 2016
Matthew Hall, An Animating Impulse, in EASA
The poet on 'the moments in between' in Poetry Says
Vital Literary Genealogies in Southern Crossings
The Poet's Guide to Mathematics in Meanjin Quarterly