Andy Jackson

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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Review Short: Andy Jackson’s Music Our Bodies Can’t Hold

The Music Our Bodies Can’t Hold’s premise is unique: 54 poems for the 54 chromosomes in the human body. Each poem is distinctive in typography and voice, gleaned from a primary source interview of a public or private figure believed to have Marfan syndrome.

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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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Lucy Van Reviews Little Windows 1 with Jill Jones, Andy Jackson, Alison Flett and John Glenday

The full set of LW1 arrives in the post like a present, a gift-wrapped bundle of square, slate-coloured books. It came to me looking so perfect, that a couple of days passed before I had the heart to a prise a chapbook from under the clear binding ribbon. This situation gave shape to a thought about the necessity of obstruction in order for words to seduce. Some form of this theory of desire continued to occur to me as I read the books’ divergent visions.

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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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Review Short: Andy Jackson’s Immune Systems

Andy Jackson’s viscerally potent anthology Immune Systems exposes the reader to the bloodline of medical India, where medical tourism leaves the general population battling fraught poverty and the medical afflictions which accompany 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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Review Short: Andy Jackson’s The thin bridge

‘Poetry from a body shaped like a question mark’ That is the tag line for Andy Jackson’s blog, and it perfectly sums up the to and fro in his work. Jackson, who has Marfan’s Syndrome, has said that he came to write poetry partly ‘ to control the way people see me. I’d lived with the staring and comments that having an unusual body brings, and I wanted to be in charge.’

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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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