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Jill Jones (1951 – )

Jill Jones was born in Sydney in 1951. She has worked in a number of different fields, including legal publishing, journalism, government information, public policy and arts administration, and has also worked freelance as a writer and editor. Her involvement with writing and publishing poetry began in the late 1980s, when she was a co-founder of the gay and lesbian imprint Black Wattle Press, and a member of the collective producing Refractory Girl, at that stage Australia’s longest running feminist magazine. Since then she has been highly active in the Australian literary and poetry scene, and has been regularly involved with writers’ groups, editing and publishing journals, and organising literary festivals. With Laurin McKinnon, she co-founded Black Wattle Press, which specialized in gay and lesbian writing. With Judith Beveridge and Louise Wakeling, she edited the poetry anthology A Parachute of Blue (1995), and with Michael Farrell, she co-edited Out of the Box: Contemporary Australian Gay and Lesbian Poets (2009). She is currently a senior lecturer in Creative Writing at the University of Adelaide.

Her first book, The Mask and the Jagged Star, appeared from the New Zealand publisher Hazard Press in 1992. It was well received in both Australia and New Zealand, winning the Mary Gilmore Award in 1993. She has since published eight poetry collections, including Screens Jets Heaven: New and Selected Poems, winner of the Kenneth Slessor Prize in 2003. Often dedicated to exploring and dissecting the identity of contemporary urban Australia, her work regularly appears in leading Australian literary journals and newspapers, and her poems are frequently anthologised. Besides poetry, she is the author of literary and cultural criticism and book reviews, and maintains weblogs including Ruby Street.

Poetry Collections

The Mask and the Jagged Star (Melbourne: Hazard Press, 1992).

Flagging Down Time (Wollongong, NSW: Five Islands Press, 1993).

The Book of Possibilities (Sydney: Hale and Iremonger, 1997).

Screens Jets Heaven: New and Selected Poems (Applecross, WA: Salt Publishing, 2002).

Struggle and Radiance: Ten Commentaries: A Calling (Wicklow, Ireland: Wild Honey Press, [2003]).

Where the Sea Burns and Other Poems (Warners Bay, NSW: Picaro Press, 2004).

Fold Unfold (Sydney: Vagabond Press, 2005).

Broken/Open (Cambridge: Salt Publishing, 2005).

Dark Bright Doors (Kent Town, SA: Wakefield Press, 2010).

Suggested Further Reading

Tom Beckett, ‘Jill Jones: Inteviewed by Tom Beckett,’ in Beckett, ed., E-x-c-h-a-n-g-e-V-a-l-u-e-s: The Final XIV Interviews + One (Rockhampton, Qld: Otoliths, 2008), pp. 73–86.

Keri Glastonbury, ‘I Like it Both Ways: Keri Glastonbury reviews Dark Bright Doors by Jill Jones,’ Mascara Literary Review no. 8 (2010). http://www.mascarareview.com/article/252/I_like_it_both_ways%3A_Keri_Glastonbury_reviews__Dark_Bright_Doors__by_Jill_Jones/

Jill Jones, Ruby Street: Jill Jones Takes Poetry for a Walk, Weblog, http://rubystreet.blogspot.com

Jill Jones, Jill Jones: Poetry - & other writing, Website, http://pandora.nla.gov.au/tep/34836

Jill Jones, ‘Tradition the Invention,’ Five Bells 17.4 (2010), pp. 75–81.

Justin Lowe, ‘Screens, Jets, Heaven: poetry of Jill Jones,’ Retort Magazine (2003) http://pandora.nla.gov.au/pan/21323/20040304-0000/retortmag.com/content/07.03/id_review_lowe.htm

Gig Ryan, ‘Let’s Get Lost,’ Australian Book Review no. 322 (2010), p. 64.

Ralph Wessman, ‘An Interview with Jill Jones,’ Famous Reporter no. 33 (2006), pp. 69–76. http://walleahpress.com.au/FR33Jones.html