About Jill Jones
Jill Jones is a poet and writer who was born in Sydney and currently works in Adelaide, Australia.
Her work has been widely published in most of the leading literary periodicals in Australia as well as in a number of print and online magazines in New Zealand, Canada, the USA, Britain, the Czech Republic, France and India.
Poems have been translated into Chinese, Italian, Spanish, French, Czech and Dutch.
In 1993 Jill Jones won the Mary Gilmore Award for her first book of poetry, The Mask and the Jagged Star (Hazard Press), published in 1992.
Her second book, Flagging Down Time, was published in late 1993 by Five Islands Press.
Her third book, The Book of Possibilities (Hale & Iremonger), was published in 1997. It was shortlisted for the National Book Council 'Banjo' Awards, The Age Poetry Book of the Year award, and the Adelaide Festival Awards.
Her fourth book, Screens, Jets, Heaven: New and Selected Poems, was published by Salt Publishing in 2002. It won the 2003 Kenneth Slessor Poetry Prize (NSW Premier's Literary Awards).
A chap book, Struggle and Radiance: Ten Commentaries, was published in Ireland by Wild Honey Press in 2004.
Also in 2004, Picaro Press produced a chapbook of mainly previously published work, Where the Sea Burns, as part of the Wagtail series.
Her fifth full-length book, Broken/Open, was published by Salt Publishing in 2005. It was shortlisted for The Age Poetry Book of the Year 2005 and the Kenneth Slessor Poetry Prize 2006.
Also in 2005, Vagabond Press produced a limited edition (100 copies) of a chapbook of poems responding to paintings, Fold Unfold.
In 2007, a 'tiny book', Speak Which, was published as a hand-written edition by Eileen Tabios of Meritage Press in California. Tiny Books use very small books (1 3/4" x 1 3/4") made in Guatemala by artisans paid fair wages, as sourced by Baksheesh, a fair trade retailer. All profits from book sales are donated to Heifer International, an organisation devoted to reducing world hunger by promoting sustainable sources of food and income.
In 2010 her sixth full-length book, Dark Bright Doors, was published by Wakefield Press.
Jill Jones' work appears in a number of recent anthologies, including:
Penguin Anthology of Australian Poetry,
Kinsella, Penguin Books, 2008
Best Australian Poems 2009,
ed Robert Adamson, Black Inc, 2009
ed David Brooks, UQP, 2008
Australian Women's Poetry 1986-2008,
eds Jennifer Harrison and Kate Waterhouse, Puncher and Wattmann, 2009
City Poems: Sydney in Verse 1788-2008,
ed Martin Langford, Puncher and
Over There – Poems from Singapore and Australia, eds John Kinsella and Alvin Pang, Ethos Books, 2007
Readings and Festivals
Jill Jones has been a frequent reader of her poetry at many Sydney venues and has also read in Melbourne, Adelaide, Perth, Brisbane, Newcastle and Wollongong. She was one of a number of poets featured at the first National Poetry Festival, held in Melbourne in April 1997, and at the first Australian Poetry Festival in Sydney in 1999. She has appeared at most of the major literary festivals in Australia including Adelaide Writers Week, the Sydney Writers Festival, the Brisbane Writers Festival and the Byron Bay Writers Festival.
Other literary activities
Jill Jones has been involved in a number of writing groups over the years, including the NSW Poets' Union, No Regrets women writers' group, and the Round Table writers' group. She was a co-convenor of "The Whole Voice", the second national conference on poetry, held in Sydney in 1995. She and her fellow co-convenors were guest editors of an issue of Southerly in which proceedings from this conference were published.
She served as a judge for the 1995 NSW Premier's Literary Awards, was a co-judge for the inaugural Broadway Poetry Prize in 2001, the Roland Robinson Prize in 2002, the Vall Vallis Award in 2008, and the Newcastle Poetry Prize in 2009, and was a member of the Sydney Writers Festival committee in 1996.
She was been the recipient of two Australia Council grants in the 1990s and has also been involved in literary publishing. She was a co-founder, with Laurin McKinnon, of BlackWattle Press, and she co-edited (with Judith Beveridge and Louise Wakeling) A Parachute of Blue, an anthology of recent Australian poetry (Round Table Publications, 1995). With Michael Farrell, she co-edited a selection of Australian poetry on sex for an edition of Slope magazine. Also with Farrell, she has edited Out of the Box: Contemporary Australian Gay and Lesbian Poets (forthcoming from Puncher and Wattmann).
Jill Jones has worked in a number of different fields over the years: legal publishing, journalism, government information, public policy and arts administration. She has been a regular reviewer of books, theatre and music for a number of periodicals and was film reviewer for the Sydney Star Observer. For seven years she was Program Manager with the Literature Board of the Australia Council for the Arts. She currently teaches at the University of Adelaide.
Collaboration with other artists
Jill Jones has been involved in a number of collaborative projects. They include:
- the DiVerse series of readings at galleries and museums in Sydney and other places
- c-side, set up by poet James Stuart to provide a virtual and physical space for artistic dialogue. The first c-side event was an electronic-lounge event in which collaborative written word/still image "slideshows" by poets and photographers were screened in a social space with DJs mixing a live soundtrack. It took place at the This Is Not Art festival, Newcastle, October 2003. A reprise of this event was presented as part of the Live Bait Festival at the Bondi Pavilion in January 2004.
She has also worked with photographer Annette Willis on a number of multi-media projects including:
- Sea Shadow Land Light, which was first presented at On The Beach, a conference presented by Edith Cowan University at Fremantle in February 2004
- The Romance of Death, a series of photographs (Willis), poems (Jones) and a soundscape (Solange Kershaw), about Paris cemeteries, exhibited at Horesham Regional Gallery, 2008, and as a digital presentation at the Ballarat International Foto Biennale 2009
She also took part in a postcard project with poet and print-maker, Angela Gardner, based on an exchange of poems sent between Australia and the United Kingdom in October and November, 2003. The postcards and cover were digitally produced as an artist book by Angela Gardner, which is in the collection of the Fryer Library, University of Queensland.
A series of poems, 'Questions for Light', was part a limited edition artist book produced by Melbourne artist, Bruno Leti in 2008.
Jill Jones also keeps a weblog at Ruby Street.
You can contact Jill Jones at this email address: jpjones at ihug dot com dot au.
Where the Sea Burns
Title image: Medici grotto pool, Paris, 2007. Photo by Jill Jones