Jill Jones

Jill Jones has published nine full-length books of poetry including Breaking the Days (2015), The Beautiful Anxiety (2014), which won the 2015 Victorian Premier's Literary Award for Poetry, and Ash is Here, So are Stars (2012). Her work is represented in major anthologies including the Macquarie PEN Anthology of Australian Literature and The Penguin Anthology of Australian Poetry. She is a member of the J.M. Coetzee Centre for Creative Practice, University of Adelaide. She was poet-in-residence at Stockholm University for five months in 2014-15.

Jill Jones reviews ‘Candy’ by Luke Davies

December 1996–January 1997, no. 187 01 January 1997
Jill Jones reviews ‘Candy’ by Luke Davies
Not another novel about heroin, you might ask. You might as well say, not another novel about addiction to anything, including love or death. Luke Davies’ novel risks being seen to jump on the bandwagon of relevance, or grunge, or whatever turns you off. But this a good book, a true book, which left me feeling sad for some days, not a bad thing in these times of numbing busyness in which many of ... (read more)

Jill Jones reviews 'Pirate Rain' by Jennifer Maiden

October 2010, no. 325 01 October 2010
Jill Jones reviews 'Pirate Rain' by Jennifer Maiden
Jennifer Maiden is a great experimenter – in a specific sense. In a 2006 interview in The Age she said: ‘I have always found poetry a useful tool for tactical and ethical problem-solving … I suppose it’s a laboratory for testing out ideas.’ Maiden works from an ethical stance, but not, as some critics and readers have assumed, a facile leftist one (whatever ‘left’ means in the twenty ... (read more)

Jill Jones reviews 'Interval' by Judith Bishop

April 2018, no. 400 27 March 2018
Jill Jones reviews 'Interval' by Judith Bishop
Judith Bishop’s Interval appears just over a decade since the publication of her first book, also using a one-word title, Event (Salt, 2007). This gap seems far too long. Certainly, there have been two chapbooks in the intervening years – Alice Missing in Wonderland and Other Poems (2008), in the Wagtail series from Picaro Press, and Aftermarks (2012), in the Vagabond Rare Objects Series, – ... (read more)

Jill Jones reviews 'The Man Who Took To His Bed' by Alex Skovron

March 2018, no. 399 22 February 2018
Jill Jones reviews 'The Man Who Took To His Bed' by Alex Skovron
This is a playful, intelligent, unsettling series of stories, fourteen of them, collected from publications going back a few decades from 1987 until 2012 as well as, presumably, unpublished work. Due in part to this long span, the book traces back and forth through time. There is even a Sydney pre-Opera House (just) in one story, and various social and cultural artefacts and processes come and go. ... (read more)

Jill Jones reviews 'The Metronome' by Jennifer Maiden

May 2017, no. 391 27 April 2017
Jill Jones reviews 'The Metronome' by Jennifer Maiden
Jennifer Maiden’s latest book, The Metronome, is essentially part of a series that could be dated to the appearance of Friendly Fire in 2005, if not further back. While it may not be a series in the sense of a life-poem, Maiden’s ongoing production of this sequence of books carries an impression of vocation or serious commitment, rather than simply poems-as-project. There are continuing chara ... (read more)

Jill Jones reviews 'Everywhere I Look' by Helen Garner

May 2016, no. 381 22 April 2016
Jill Jones reviews 'Everywhere I Look' by Helen Garner
You could regard this latest book by Helen Garner as simply a collection of various essays, a miscellany if you wish, but to do so would be to give it less than its due. There is nothing casual or accidental about Everywhere I Look. Its coherence may, of course, have much to do with Garner's voice, which is consistent and compelling, as is her actual writing style: those sentences that either buil ... (read more)

States of Poetry 2016 - South Australia | 'Smooching the Parameters' by Jill Jones

States of Poetry South Australia - Series One 22 February 2016
This may be the new hunger, walkingthrough buildings that are off limits.Fraught kisses on the carpark stairs.Tripping on rubble that does not build.Meanwhile, the clucky gesturestowards klutzy. Choices that seemwrong somehow. Sentiment or sensibility.A plantation daring not to flower.A vacant bouquet you can't throwover the skyline. A tabletroughly swiping over the cataclysmfrom backbench to back ... (read more)

States of Poetry 2016 - South Australia | 'Come in Colours' by Jill Jones

States of Poetry South Australia - Series One 22 February 2016
Sometimes it's better in our clothes.We are together as we are not,we come as we are.The sky is immense and frail,we are full of lists and feedback,there are no private numbers.Why does everyone care?The smell of sun is in thelees.A flower is a flower, flowers nowbecoming a book of consummations.As light enters a house,there's nothing to return in it.Though it's never enough, it's realas preferenc ... (read more)

States of Poetry 2016 - South Australia | 'Memory Lapses and Clues, or "Don’t Forget to Remember"' by Jill Jones

States of Poetry South Australia - Series One 22 February 2016
Amongst discarded data, twigs,plastic containers, fingernails –'The unconscious, at all events,knows no time limit' –the shape of an ear, marginal factsblown about by a northerly,washed by stiffening rain – somethinglike symptoms, clues, bird spit,possum fur, leaf miner, blood and bone,a story or many of what passesthrough here daily – what the drift of oilor rice grains, the tea leaves (a ... (read more)
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