This essay discusses the revival of a failed creative/biographical poetry project, on Australian ballerina Lucette Aldous. I had begun this project in 2015 but, despite several years of research—both archival (Ballet Rambert and Victoria & Albert, London; Australian Ballet archives at the Arts Centre, Melbourne) and through interviews with Aldous in Perth—I was unable to find a way to structure and convey the ‘life’, and the project was put aside in 2018. Lucette Aldous passed away in 2021, and this loss was followed by Australian poet Jordie Albiston’s unexpected passing, in February 2022. In part, it was the proximity of these two losses that sparked the revival of the Aldous project, fuelled as I was both by a sadness that I had not been able to deliver a completed manuscript to the retired ballerina before she died, and also by my revisiting of the poems in Albiston’s wide-ranging oeuvre. Albiston’s poems, often documentary in nature, and ruled by mathematics and constraint yet open to possibility, multiplicity, irony, opened a way for me to move forward with the Aldous project.


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