Red Room Poetry Fellowship Shortlist 2022

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.

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!

My handiwork! (Photo by Anne Sawyer)
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)

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

darks forest trees against a teal background and stars shining through

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.’

Poem in 2016 Short and Twisted Anthology, Celapene Press

two photos side by side of legs standing next to a vase on the ground, the first with wilting tulips, the second with wilting yellow flowers

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



‘Word OCD’ Poem Published in Tincture Journal

a drawing of a fork with the letter J hooked onto it's prongs

My poem ‘Word OCD’ was selected for publication in Tincture Journal, Issue 13, Autumn 2016.

Word OCD

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.

For later.


First published in Tincture Journal, Issue 13, Autumn 2016

Word OCD

‘Release’ Poem published in ‘One Page Brisbane’

a photo collage of a girl jumping from a low bridge into deep water

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