Books

The Beautiful Anxiety
Winner: Victorian Premier's Literary Award for Poetry, 2015
 

"Throughout The Beautiful Anxiety, corporeality and ethereality, the vast and the intimate, the personal and the (eco)political, are twinned with skilful precision, musicality, and a sense of the strange and mysterious. … With its focus on creating and collating these ephemeral moments, Jones’s invigorating linguistic play and The Beautiful Anxiety’s seamless, surprising slippages offer startling images and connections that reintroduce the reader to the world in thrilling ways." - Jo Langdon, Cordite

"From my readings of The Beautiful Anxiety I noted the consistency of Jones’s attentiveness to affective and sensual registers, and to ‘all that outside / which is / being too’ (‘Sensate’). These qualities will be familiar to those who have read her earlier work, but they seem especially distilled in this collection. Not only is Jones capable of an attention-in-miniature, but also of flitting effortlessly between scales (by which I mean scales of proportion, of music, and of weight). So often she catches you unawares to extend and renew your awareness of what is." - Stu Hatton, Rochford Street Review, 2014

"Jill Jones’s The Beautiful Anxiety … finds its strength in small moments and details, and the very large resonances these can have, in the ‘‘ephemeral world’’ for which ‘‘there’s barely words’’, as the poem Grids puts it. But what’s most interesting, and powerful, about these details is the way Jones draws them from both the elemental world — patterns of weather, nature and ecology — and human landscapes such as traffic-clogged highways and car parks, elevators and staircases, houses and offices. So too are the strange mediascapes of tabloid newspapers and music interwoven throughout the collection." - Fiona Wright, The Australian, 17 May, 2014

"Jill Jones has always been a sensual writer, a close observer of weather, cityscapes and urban detritus: … Many of the poems in her new book, The Beautiful Anxiety, are grounded in a broader perspective stemming from the experience and self-awareness of the mature writer. With a heightened consciousness of limits and relativities, this may be rich ground for the poem, but it is not necessarily a comfortable site for the subject to operate from. … There are no easy places to rest in Jones’ world—least of all in the assumptions her subjects might make about themselves. Small wonder that such a world is pervaded by anxiety: the astonishing thing is the persistent emergence of its beauties." - Martin Langford, Meanjin

Ash is Here, So are Stars
"This is not poetry as commentary, and if it resembles film it is not in the sense of ‘I am a Cinematographer’ or editor, but rather: now I’m the honey, now the bee, now the pollinating scene. If Jones’ previous poetry (which like that of all poets, changes as we read their new work) suggested the phenomenological, the experiencing denizen, now the poems themselves seem to be offering sense experiences for readers." - Michael Farrell, Sotto, March 2013

"Jones’ polyphonic, visual, ‘broken’ language draws fierce attention to the way language constructs meaning: life’s stages, love, death, past, future, culture, place. But there is a driving emotional core at the heart of this fine collection that anchors formalism to universal human desires for narrative and insight. The beauty is in the lack of resolution between these two impulses." - A. Frances Johnson, Cordite

"The poems come in fast – they swerve, they flash you with the scent of ‘Blood Bones & Diamonds’ they catch you, distracted by their songful voice and plunge you among the lanes and backstreets of the city.  They turn your eyes to the graffiti on the walls and make it meaningful, then up to the ‘ghost moon bitten apple’.  Jones writes better lyrics than those pretty boys with guitars strapped to their groins." - Lucy Alexander, Verity La

Dark Bright Doors
Shortlisted: Kenneth Slessor Poetry Prize, NSW Premier's Literary Awards 2011

"In 1992, Australian poet Jill Jones released a stunning debut collection of poems The Mask and the Jagged Star [...] Her latest collection of poems, Dark Bright Doors,, continues to explore the road less travelled. [...] Her poems can be violent. They are all haunted by the same brutal truths about love and hope and the wedges that age, distance and human frailty drive between them. Dark Bright Doors exudes wide-eyed angst and a sense of discovery that's hard to put across in prose." - Hamesh Wyatt, Otago Daily Times, 19 June, 2010

"Jill Jones’s sparse lyrics, most barely filling a page, are warm, wondrous and sensual. From [the] opening image it is clear that these poems will be dark, sinuous, unsettling and enigmatic. The volume does not disappoint. It gleams. ... This is not transparent poetry. It is intelligent and elusive as well as allusive ... Portraying a dysfunctional and disquieting dystopia, Jones’s poetry is both symptomatic of and diagnostic of this fallen realm we inhabit: the Twenty-First Century. ... Yet here and there are glimpses of tranquillity ... revelling in colour, form, plane, angle and light. I cannot speak highly enough of Jill Jones’s work. She is quite simply one of the best poets writing in Australia today, and her poetry deserves a wide audience – indeed, it demands to be read." - Alison Clifton, M/C Review


These older books of mine are now out of print although they may still be obtainable either new or second-hand, and are also available through a number of libraries:

Broken/Open
Shortlisted: Kenneth Slessor Poetry Prize, NSW Premier's Literary Awards, 2006

"The result is poetry of unsettling mystery and beauty. ... [t]he art of this book lies in the precision with which it renders the glassiness of things, the shatterings, without having to say so - passionate and parodic at once, as cool as all get out."- Barry Hill, The Australian

Screens Jets Heaven
Winner: Kenneth Slessor Poetry Prize, NSW Premier's Literary Awards, 2003
 
The Book of Possibilities  
Shortlisted: Adelaide Festival Awards, 1998
Shortlisted: National Book Council ‘Banjo’ Award for Poetry, 1997
 
Flagging Down Time

The Mask and the Jagged Star
Winner: Mary Gilmore Award (Association for the Study of Australian Literature),1993
Highly Commended: Ann Elder Award (Fellowship of Australian Writers),1993