I feel honoured to be shortlisted for the Red Room Poetry Fellowship 2022, among so many poets I admire. Congratulations to: Shastra Deo, Scott-Patrick Mitchell, Jessica Wilkinson, Jill Jones, Rozanna Lilley, Bonny Cassidy, Anne Casey, Heather Taylor Johnson and Audrey Molloy. Further details are over at Red Room Poetry here. My sincere thanks to the judges: Charmaine Papertalk Green, Andy Jackson and Rachael Mead.
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!
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.
I’m very excited and honoured to be part of the Australian Book Review’s States of Poetry Queensland, Series Two. Thank you to the wonderful editor Felicity Plunkett for having me as part of the series in 2017, among such fabulous poets including Zenobia Frost, Pascalle Burton, David Stavanger, Sam Wagan Watson and Liam Ferney. You can read my poems featured here.
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.
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
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.’
Anna was excited that her poem ‘Wilt’ was selected to be part of the 2016 Short and Twisted Anthology, published by Celapene Press. Her poem was inspired by her photography series Wilt, that documented flowers her mother had kept.
My mother keeps flowers until they wilt.
Late at night she picks out the drooping stems—
she tells me her mother did the same.
My father brings home a bunch for Rosh Hashanah.
By the third week, only one remains. Two months pass
and we check it’s not a plastic one thrown in by mistake,
by pressing on the petals with our fingernails,
leaving crescent marks. Three months pass
and my mother continues to change the water.
Four months pass and it mutates, edges expanding.
One night, the vase shatters. We sweep up the glass, wrap
shards in newspaper, eye the flower warily. Soon it takes
up the kitchen bench. The petals are big enough to cover
our round wooden table. We pull off the petals and use them
as tablecloths. Heirlooms to hoard in the linen cupboard.
Poem First Published in Short and Twisted Anthology 2016, Celapene Press
My poem ‘Word OCD’ was selected for publication in Tincture Journal, Issue 13, Autumn 2016.
She collects words in snap-lock packets
so they won’t go stale. Each word
in its individual packet, each word
precious. She runs her fingers over the plastic
and stops; one of the snap-lock seals is half-open.
So she melts some butter in the pan, dips
the word in egg and fries it.
When the butter bubbles the edges crispy,
she turns it onto the plate. Divides the letters up.
‘Don’t play with your words,’ her mother says.
‘Eat it up, go on.’ So she spears a letter,
now yellow-grey with yolk and ink, onto her fork.
It hovers mid-air and she knows that if she takes
a bite, the letter ‘J’ will fishhook-stick in her throat.
Instead she wraps it all up, hides it
in the back of the freezer.
First published in Tincture Journal, Issue 13, Autumn 2016
My poem ‘Release’ was selected for publication in One Page Brisbane, Volume 2: Issue 1, Heat and Waves 2015.
That afternoon in the Brisbane heat
she jumped fully clothed
from the timber bridge
straight into water —
Splashed in the current and let
the cool seep into her bones
drag her down briefly —
Let the water
release her from its muddy
lungs back into the land
of the living.
First published in One Page Brisbane, Volume 2: Issue 1, Heat and Waves, 2015