Winner of the 2020 Nillumbik Prize for Contemporary Writing: Open Creative Nonfiction Category

a piece of yellow and green paper marbling with a white air bubble space in the middle

I am over the moon and beyond to have won the 2020 Nillumbik Prize for Contemporary Writing in the Open Creative Nonfiction Category. This was incredibly special for me as it means an extract from my memoir manuscript is now published in the Nillumbik Prize for Contemporary Writing Anthology 2020 for the first time. You can download the eBook version of the anthology here.

You can also watch the announcement and reading from an excerpt of my work (read by actor Dennis Coard) at the 10min mark here.

Thank you so much to the judges Claire Coleman and Jeff Sparrow. In their judges’ report they say: ‘

‘As all our certainties collapse around us, we need truth, more than ever, but we also require writers with the poet’s ability to turn a phrase and make the familiar feel strange and the strange, recognisable.’

I feel very honoured and grateful to have won this prize.

Memoir through Poetry Workshop, 26 July 2020

a line drawing of a path leading from a photo to a pen to pages of poetry

I’m very excited to be running an upcoming online ZOOM poetry workshop through the wonderful Avid Reader. Book your place here.

Join me online on Sunday 26 July from 1pm-4pm, as we explore using our memories as a springboard for writing poetry.

This poetry workshop will include a talk about my experience of writing memoir poetry, a poetry reading from my collection Amnesia Findings, poetry exercises and prompts, and I will leave time to answer all questions poetry.

This workshop will focus on:

– The dark and light of memoir poetry. 
– Memory (and gaps in memory) and how poetry is the perfect form to express these short vignettes.
– Our poetry journeys and how we came to poetry or how poetry found us.
– Storytelling through poetry and snapshots we can use from our lives to inspire poems.
– Reclaiming a sense of agency for our stories through poetry by working through ideas and experiences we want to understand further. 
– Using simple language and vivid imagery in poetry to evoke strong emotional responses.

To book a place, visit the Avid Reader website here. I look forward to seeing you!

2019 Word for Word National Non-fiction Festival

The 2019 Word for Word National Non-Fiction Festival was directed by the wonderful Rochelle Smith and held at the Geelong Library and Heritage Centre from 15-17 November. I was invited to be on a poetry panel (Rhythm and Language) with poet Andy Jackson, and facilitator of the panel David McCooey.

David McCooey, Anna Jacobson and Andy Jackson (photo credit: Sari Jacobson)

I travelled with Mum from Brisbane to Geelong. We saw many stimulating and thought-provoking discussions and events. These included Tyson Yunkaporta’s opening address, which drew on his book Sand Talk: How Indigenous Thinking Can Save the World. As a diary keeper, I also loved The Bad Diaries Salon. Another highlight for us was the Bodies of Work panel with Lee Kofman and Andy Jackson, facilitated by Maria Takolander.

Anna at the opening night of the Word for Word Festival (photo credit: Sari Jacobson)

I was so grateful to be part of this fabulous non-fiction festival, especially as my poetry collection Amnesia Findings draws on so many facets of my life. The crowd was warm, asked good questions and I was touched by their kind comments after the panel.

Anna and Andy (Photo credit: Sari Jacobson)
Signing Table (Photo credit: Sari Jacobson)
Festival program

Launch and Upcoming Author Events

Thank you everyone who celebrated the launch of my poetry collection Amnesia Findings with me at the Queensland Poetry Festival. I could feel your beautiful support filling the Judith Wright Centre. I had a wonderful time and it was a very special day.

Photo by David Jacobson
My beautiful family. Photo credit: Linda Cartmill
Photo by David Jacobson
Anna with friend and poet David Stavanger. Photo by David Jacobson
Anna with friends at launch. Photo credit: Josh Corsbie
Photo credit: David Jacobson
Photo credit: Anne Sawyer

Thank you to my creative editor and mentor Felicity Plunkett for sending these beautiful flowers in the lead up to my launch.

Flowers from Felicity

If you couldn’t make the launch, do not worry—you can order Amnesia Findings here and there are plenty more author events coming up in September!

On 6 September 2019 from 5.30-6.30pm at Brisbane Square Library, I will be reading from Amnesia Findings. Books will be available for sale.

I will also be the featured reader on 19 September 2019 at 6pm at Wynnum Library’s Poets Up Late night.

On 24 September 2019 at 6.30 pm I will be reading and talking about my creative process at Riverbend’s Flash Fiction/Non fiction and Poetry night with writer Amanda O’Callaghan.

Looking forward to seeing you there!

Anna’s Book Launch Details – Save the Date!

Dear family, friends and lovers of poetry,
The book launch of my first full-length poetry collection Amnesia Findings (UQP, 2019) will be held on Saturday 24 August 2.30-3.30pm at the Judith Wright Centre during the Queensland Poetry Festival. My launch will be accompanied by a screening of my short poetry films. You can access the festival and launch with a day pass of $10 here. You can read more about Amnesia Findings here.

If attending the book launch, you are welcome to buy a copy of Amnesia Findings on the day at the festival, or if you can’t make the launch and wish to preorder, you will receive your copy in early September. Hope you can make it along and looking forward to seeing you there!

Anna holding an advance copy of Amnesia Findings
Launch details as featured in the QPF2019 program

Poetry Mural

On Saturday May 18 2019, as a collaboration between Queensland Poetry Festival and Brisbane Street Art Festival, five poets: Shastra Deo, Raelee Lancaster, Mindy Gill, Anisa Nandaula, and myself, created a temporary public poetry street art wall in the Valley’s Brunswick Street Mall.
I created illustrations (including a cat for Shastra’s fabulous choose-your-own-adventure poem) and spent the day drawing and writing with paint pens and street markers. With thanks to QPF Director Lucy Nelson and to all who visited throughout the day!

After
My handiwork! (Photo by Anne Sawyer)
Shastra
the cat I drew for Shastra’s choose-your-own-adventure poem
purple hand with bright red nail polish
Raelee, Shastra and Mindy (Photo by Sari Jacobson)

2018 Thomas Shapcott Poetry Prize Winner

For the past seven years I have been entering the Arts Queensland Thomas Shapcott Poetry Prize for an unpublished manuscript and it feels very surreal and thrilling to have won it this year. Thank you to my wonderful family, friends and poetry mentors for your support and encouragement- it means so much. Thank you also to the Queensland Poetry Festival, UQP and judges Felicity Plunkett and Ali Alizadeh. I’m looking forward to the editing process and having my debut collection of poetry launched at the 2019 Queensland Poetry Festival!

a group of four smiling colourful creatives
From left to right: Ray Briggs, Sari Jacobson, Zenobia Frost, and Anna Jacobson (Photo by David Jacobson)

Anna Jacobson and Pascalle Burton (Photo by David Jacobson)

Jarad Bruinstroop, Torrey Atkin, and Anna Jacobson (Photo by David Jacobson)

Anna at the mic on stage (Photo by Alan Jacobson)

‘The Last Postman’ has arrived!

I’m so thrilled that my contributor’s copies of my poetry chapbook The Last Postman have arrived today! Thank you to Michael Brennan and Michelle Cahill for having me as part of Vagabond Press deciBels 3 series and for Michelle’s lovely words in her introduction to the series: Anna Jacobson’s surreal narratives riff on memory, desire and destiny with stylised Mozartian grace in The Last Postman. The train carriage becomes a framing device for her beguiling stories, echoing exile, survival and post-memory.

To order a copy of The Last Postman, please click here.

To read more of Michelle’s deciBels 3 introduction, please click here.

Holding my copy of ‘The Last Postman’ in front of a detail of my artwork ‘The Letters’.

‘The Last Postman’ Poetry Chapbook

I’m thrilled my poetry chapbook The Last Postman, is coming out as part of Vagabond Press deciBels series 3. In The Last Postman, a girl delivers letters addressed to travellers in carriages on a train. The Last Postman is a chapbook of unusual poetic letters that give intimate glimpses into the lives of everyday characters. With themes of the domestic, yearning, hope, and a hint of magical realism, these are poems of quiet and acute observation grounded in the experience of a familiar contemporary urban environment.

You can preorder your copy here, which will arrive at the earliest from the end of March.