Queensland Literary Awards, Shortlists 2017

I am so thrilled to make the shortlist for two categories in the 2017 Queensland Literary Awards. My unpublished memoir How to Knit a Human is shortlisted for the Emerging Queensland Writer – Manuscript Award. I am also shortlisted for the Queensland Premier’s Young Writers and Publishers Award. Thank you to my family, friends and wonderful mentors for your support – it means so much. The winners will be announced at the Queensland Literary Awards Ceremony night on Wednesday October 4. For more details on the full shortlists, view the website here.

I am grateful to the judges for their lovely comments below:

Manuscript award comments

How to Knit a Human is a moving and beautifully crafted memoir of a young woman’s close encounter with mental illness and her attempts to piece together the lost months of her life. The prose is clear and immediate and supported by vivid imagery and unusual insight. Using the metaphor of knitting, which the author takes up as she is recovering, it weaves together Jewish culture, the writer’s creative journey and an exploration of mental illness. This is a remarkable and ultimately uplifting story that deftly combines a literary narrative structure with life writing.

Young Writer award comments

Anna Jacobson’s poetry has a quiet, elegance that greatly impressed the judging panel. Her meditative, introspective verse makes her one of Queensland poetry’s brightest new lights.

Losing the Plot: Poetry and Mental Health Panel at QPF, 2017

On Sunday 27th August at the 2017 Queensland Poetry Festival, I was on a panel about Poetry and Mental Health. Sharing my experience was so incredible— I felt honoured to be part of it. I will never forget the feeling in the room and seeing the audience connect with my words alongside panelists Paula Keogh (author of The Green Bell) and Justin Heazlewood (The Bedroom Philosopher). The session was chaired at the Judith Wright Centre by David Stavanger. Annie and David are magnificent, warm-hearted co-directors who made QPF 2017 Distant Voices one of my favourites yet. Each day was inspiring, thought provoking and exciting. Over the festival I met poets I admired, made new friends and caught up with wonderful old friends. Thank you Annie and David for bringing our distant voices to the fore.

Photo by Charlotte Brakenridge

 

Photo by Annie Te Whiu

The Good Room: Brave New Worlds and These Frozen Moments, 2017

Curated by Kieran Swann and commissioned by The Good Room, two of Anna’s artworks were printed on flags as part of an exhibition for Brave New Worlds (Jacob’s Ladder, King Edward Park). The flags were displayed from 19-22 July 2017. Her poem ‘The Day the Letterbox Ate the Painted Rose on My Mother’s Antique Watch‘ was also selected as part of a sound installation for These Frozen Moments (Metro Arts Laneway) on 28 July 2017.

‘The Forest’ and ‘Icy Fruit’ Published in ‘Our Home is Dirt by Sea’ Anthology

Anna was excited that her poems ‘The Forest’ and ‘Icy Fruit’ were selected by Di Bates for Our Home is Dirt by Sea (Walker Books), an anthology of poetry for children. Below are her poems.

The Forest

Silent as a mosquito whine just beyond hearing.

A lizard lies languid, tastes the air with its thick blue tongue.

A goanna runs up a gum tree, claws digging into bark.

 

A scrub turkey dashes across the path.

I sit on the timber seat halfway up the mountain,

careful of the red-back’s nest underneath.

 

Leaves dance with the first drops of rain. Birds call out.

A tree dribbles sap, sticky as honey. The downpour starts—

I am drenched in the forest’s earthy scent.

First published in Our Home is Dirt By Sea, Walker Books 2016

 

Icy Fruit, Published in Our Home is Dirt by Sea Anthology (Walker Books) 2016
Icy Fruit, Published in Our Home is Dirt by Sea Anthology (Walker Books) 2016

Shortlist – Queensland Premier’s Young Writers and Publishers Award

Anna was thrilled to be shortlisted for the Queensland Premier’s Young Writers and Publishers Award at the 2016 Queensland Literary Awards. To be eligible for the awards, applicants had to be 30 or under and demonstrate a track record of work as a writer and a publication history. Applicants were also asked to submit a portfolio of writing and a CV.

The judges’ comments were: ‘Anna is a tremendously talented young poet and the judges were moved by the warmth of her poetry and the gentle touch with which she executes it. Her poetry on domestic spaces, familial relations, the rituals of food and Jewishness make hers a unique voice.’