Andy Jackson

Andy Jackson has featured as a poet and a performer at literary events and arts festivals in Ireland, India, the USA and Australia. His most recent collection, Music our bodies can't hold (Hunter Publishers, 2017), consists of portrait poems of other people with Marfan Syndrome, and was recently featured on ABC Radio National's Earshot.

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

RadarRadar. 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

Lost Places by Carl Rickard Perrin Creek Press, 2005 Sea Wall and River Light by Diane Fahey Five Islands Press, 2006 Carl Rickard's Lost Places and Diane Fahey's Sea Wall and River Light are distinctly Australian, both in their themes …

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