Andy Jackson

Andy Jackson is a poet and creative writing teacher, and was awarded the inaugural Writing the Future of Health Fellowship. He has been shortlisted for the Kenneth Slessor Prize for Poetry, the John Bray Poetry Award and the Victorian Premier's Prize for Poetry. Andy has co-edited disability-themed issues of Southerly and Australian Poetry Journal, and his latest poetry collection is Human Looking, which won the 2022 ALS Gold Medal.

Porous Walls, or, Why don’t you join me?: Poems from the Future of Health

In Poetry and the Fate of the Senses, Susan Stewart writes that the use of caesura or enjambment ‘bring[s] pulse and breath to the poem itself’, at the same time opening ‘the text to the excentric positions of unintelligibility and death’.

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On the Holding of Spaces for Essaying Into

It’s a putting oneself into a space of deliberate uncertainty. Stepping into the unknown. A practicing in that space. Training.

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2021 Queensland Poetry Val Vallis Award Winners

Rich in imagery that is both vividly real and subtly symbolic, ‘Cicadas’ is a lyrical meditation on mortality, transformation and sustenance.

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Andy Jackson Reviews Solid Air: Australian and New Zealand Spoken Word

Is an anthology greater than the sum of its parts? Does it effectively capture its milieu? Who’s been included, who left out? Is it genuinely of the moment? Will it endure?

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While we live, we ourselves are inhabited – William Bryant Logan, ‘Dirt: The Ecstatic Skin of the Earth’ In the earth, prepared and silent, what will I be offering you? It’s said the menu opens with the liver and the …

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Song not for you

after ‘Das Lied des Zwerges’ (The song of the dwarf), Rainer Maria Rilke Crooked blood, stunted hands, cripple, out of place – uncanny how small thoughts can be, while I’m incomparable, only a dwarf because the so-called average person is …

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The Change Room

This morning, walking almost naked from the change room toward the outdoor heated pool, I become that man again, unsettling shape to be explained. Such questions aren’t asked to my face. Children don’t mean anything by it, supposedly, so I …

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Andy Jackson Reviews Mary Cresswell and Natasha Dennerstein

In a recent essay for the London Review of Books, Ben Lerner provocatively suggested that the reason that we dislike poetry (as Marianne Moore does in her infamous ‘Poetry’, which begins ‘I too dislike it’) is that all poems are failures. Each poem is an attempt to translate experience, research, idea or desire into language, and in that leap something is invariably lost – and, I would say, gained – because success is not the polar opposite of failure, but its way of proceeding. The success of a collection of poetry depends upon how the poet, rather than denying this inevitable ‘failure’, acknowledges and incorporates it.

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I dust the cobwebs off my spandex and sneakers. This is where I document my progress. I want to take this moment to apologise            to my muscles for whatever the hell          happened to them the first day. Everyone            is fighting their own battle. …

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Andy Jackson Reviews Ivy Alvarez and Janet Galbraith

How do we truly belong here on this continent, come to terms with our collective and personal history and build a genuine home for the future? And what of the ongoing legacy of violence on an intimate scale, by men against their partners and children – how can this be challenged and interrupted, changed into mutual trust? These are crucial questions; complicated and painful, yet unavoidable. Two new books recognise this and respond with what, to me, are poetry’s great strengths: the generation of an empathic interpersonal encounter, and that aching paradoxical space of both knowledge and productive ignorance.

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Andy Jackson Reviews Kevin Brophy and Nathan Curnow

Radar. Green blips on a black screen. A large and vulnerable craft navigating a changeable world. A technological attempt to locate an invisible danger, or to give shape to darkness. All these associations emerge out of the poetry of Kevin Brophy and Nathan Curnow in their joint collection Radar, albeit in an intimate mode: these poets observe the ways in which we navigate through our lives in the contemporary world and improvise meaning. It is difficult, though, to talk about ‘the book’ because these two poets differ strikingly in their approaches.

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for Matthew Hall, after reading ‘High Pink on Chrome’ by J. H. Prynne   Light glancing off polished steel.                         Steam, petrol, adrenaline in the air.             Surfaces – skin, metal, language –                                     all the muscle implied by them. This wreckage of …

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Notes from Chennai: Rigour and Flow in Urban India

I am so pleased to introduce Melbourne poet Andy Jackson, who is kicking off our new monthly blog series that explores ideas of poetry and place, both domestic and abroad. In late 2011, Andy undertook an Asialink-supported residency to India. …

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What’s possible between us

As another Spring begins, the bird’s brain cells bloom. New songs. Fingerprints return after the hand is burnt. Who knows what we’re capable of? I part the vertical ocean of clothes and find you there. Spider, it is almost terrifying …

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Andy Jackson Reviews Carl Rickard and Diane Fahey

Carl Rickard's Lost Places and Diane Fahey's Sea Wall and River Light are distinctly Australian, both in their themes and as products. They indicate something about how writers living in Australia see their place in the world, and how they try to make themselves heard.

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Lee N. Mylar: The dynamic ribbon device

Forget the question Who is this?. Ask instead What do I have in my hands? and compare your receiver with my gun. Then listen, my friend, to the sound of the butt of it kissing your son's skull. Keep in …

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Lee N Mylar: How to deal with something that doesn’t happen

Lee N Mylar does not write poetry, fiction or libretti. Lee exceeds the constraints of the apolitical industry of literature, ironically, by submitting veiled revolutionary manifestos in the form of (cue hand-gestured quote marks) poems to the literary journals that get mentioned in The Age, then uses the rejection letters as rollie papers. Lee hates anagrams, and harms Satan age.

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Andy Jackson Interviews Patricia Sykes

Patricia Sykes has published two collections of poetry, partly with the fuel of New Work grants from the Australia Council and Arts Victoria. Her first, Wire Dancing (Spinifex Press, 1999), was commended in the Anne Elder and the Mary Gilmore awards for 2000.

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Andy Jackson Reviews Patricia Sykes

In spite of poetry's continued insistence on its own marginality, its retreat into abstract stylistic expression or into words that act as anaesthetic or lullaby, there is still the possibility that words can undermine the way things are.

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Hearing Things at the Interactive Sound Exhibit

Scrape at First Site by Chris Henschke, Oct 2001 It's easy to talk as if mere words didn't hold understanding like a sieve, easy to succumb to binaries in a digital age. Some things sneak underneath the radar, work not …

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Andy Jackson: No Anchovies Please!

or, Is there a place for combining music and poetry? Like I had just suggested putting anchovies in his ice-cream, a fellow poetry connoisseur once screwed his face up and told me that a poem put to music was not …

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