Poetry (books)


MrMenziesCover web.jpgGrowing up with Mr Menzies

John Leonard Press, 2008. ISBN: 978 0 9805269 0 5; 252pp. pbk. RRP: A$24.95. Collectively, the poems tell a story, tracing a biographical journey though an important era in Australian social life. This book was very enthusiastically reviewed and received, now available through bookshops or via the publisher's website: http://www.johnleonardpress.com/ 

Read for free at Australian Poetry Library, at: http://www.poetrylibrary.edu.au/poems-book/growing-up-with-mr-menzies-0736000 


darkrivercover web.jpgDark River

Five Islands Press, 2003; ISBN 1741280214.

Now out of print, but can be read free at Australian Poetry Library: http://www.poetrylibrary.edu.au/poems-book/dark-river-0271000Also read free in an advanced cutting edge and 'Kindle-friendly' digital format, via FreedReads: http://freedreads.com/free-poetry-plays-screenplays-books 

Or download a free pdf copy here. 



breakcover webA Break in the Weather

A verse novel, Modern Writing Press, 2002; ISBN 0958187401. 96 pp. This book has entirely sold out of its first edition, and is now a very rare book. Now more relevant than ever - unfortunately! - it concerns climate change and the gradual destruction of  Australia’s Great Barrier Reef.

Can be read free in an advanced Kindle-friendly digital format, via FreedReads: http://freedreads.com/free-poetry-plays-screenplays-books

Or download your free pdf copy here.


dayslikeaircover webDays Like Air

(Modern Writing Press, 1992.) ISBN 0646033876 Paperback, 28pp. This original limited edition is now a rare book.

OR download your free pdf copy here.




wildwhiteseacover webThe Wild White Sea

(Little Esther Books, 1990.) ISBN 0731683595. Paperback, 56 pp.

This book comprises two long poems: 'The White Liner', and 'The High Tides' and is now a rare book. Copies may still be available from DarkHorsery Bookshop, at http://aeaf.org.au/bookshop/aboutbookshop.html

 OR download your free pdf copy here.

chromcargos fcover condChromatic Cargoes

(Post Neo Publications, 1986). Experimental poems, Paperback, 32pp. Now a rare book. 

OR download your free pdf copy here.




inlandseacoverThe Inland Sea
(Brunswick Hills Press, in association with Rigmarole Books, 1984). ISBN 0959092900, paperback, 48pp. Now a rare book. (Note: 'We Drive' was adapted for musical treatment and performed by John Gaden in a cabaret style show featuring Robyn Archer. 'Art Poem 1' was set to music by Rainer Linz, and sheet music published as ‘Three Pieces’ by Red House Editions, available: http://www.redhouse.com.au/editions/main.html)

 A limited number of copies remaining. 

OR download your free pdf copy here.


blindspotcover webBlind Spot

(Gargoyle Poets 23, Makar Press, Brisbane, 1977). ISBN 0909354138 Paperback 28pp, with dust jacket.

Blind Spot is now a very rare collection of original poems that were ground-breaking for their time, and many still are today. Unfortunately, print copies are no longer available.

But download your free pdf copy here.



new zonewwolf cover condsZone of the White Wolf and Other Landscapes

(Contempa, 1974). ISBN 869410059 Paperback, 92pp. A book remarkably adventurous for its time, now very rare indeed. Print copies are no longer available. However… 

You can now download your free pdf copy here.





1. With Ken Bolton:

aborne dogsdrawing webSince 1988 John Jenkins and Ken Bolton have co-written eight books of often experimental, thoughtful, witty and entertaining poetry. Their characteristic collaborative style has been called “tough, terse and terrific!” Their most recent book (2012), and almost certainly the last (we are both just too busy with other things!) is the first in this highly distinguished list, available from their various publishers, from Collected Works Bookshop (Melbourne) or C/- the Contact page of this website.

(Cartoon by K.B.)

Lucky for Some. (Little Esther Books, 2012.)  Chapbook (in fact, two chaps). 36pp, illus.

Poems of Relative Unlikelihood. (Little Esther Books, 2005.) ISBN 0958626170. Chapbook format, 40pp.

The Wallah Group. (Little Esther Books, 2001.) ISBN 0958626162. Chapbook, 28pp.

Gwendolyn Windswept. A verse novel serialized in Otis Rush magazine,1994 to 1996.

The Gutman Variations. (Little Esther Books, 1993.) ISBN 0646128302. Paperback, 48pp, illus.

The Ferrara Poems. A verse novel. (Experimental Art Foundation, 1989.) ISBN 0949836214. Paperback, 184pp, illus. This book was the basis for director Jenni Robertson's 1988 film, 'The Ferrara Poems' (30-min 16mm) with cinematography by John Tonkin, copies c/- Research & Resources of Australian Centre for the Moving Image (ACMI) linked to National Sound and Film Archive.

Airborne Dogs. (Brunswick Hills Press, 1988.) ISBN 0959092935. Paperback, 90pp, illus. Now very rare and no longer available. (Some poems were featured in ‘Collaborations’, 2003 (rpt 2005) on ABC Radio National's Poetica series: http://www.abc.net.au/rn/poetica/stories/2005/1481629.htm)

Nutters Without Fetters. (PressPress, 2002). ISBN 0958036705. Chapbook format, 28pp. Available from the publisher's website or: P.O. Box 94 Berry, NSW 2535, Australia.


2. With Robert Harris:

The Arthur Tantrum Letters. By Robert Harris and John Jenkins, writing under pseudonyms of Prof. Orson Rattray Der & Dr. Maurice Slipteal was published by Stitch & Time, Sydney. This is not really a book of poems, but it is about a poet. The rarest of the rare! The Arthur Tantrum Letters was first printed in a run of only 2 copies, displayed on the walls as part of a 1970 multi-media installation at Central Street Gallery, Sydney. In 1975, more copies were printed. It is now extremely difficult to find, to the point of near impossibility. I think Robert Harris would have wanted it this way, and certainly his altar ego O. R. Der would not have been surprised, considering the book's subject matter: namely, the luminous poet Arthur Tantrum, who was almost invisible – “gloriously invisible” Der might have said - both to poetry and to scholarship, except for his two (and only) devoted disciples, the obsessive, driven and authoritative authors of this book.



Eclogues, Newcastle Poetry Prize Anthology 2007. Co-edited by John Jenkins, Martin Harrison and Jan Owen (Hunter Writers' Centre, 2007). Eclogues is the 2007 anthology of the annual Newcastle Poetry Prize, one of most prestigious in Australia and often awarded to a longer poem. Each year short-listed poems are published in a handsome anthology. Available from the Hunter Writer's Centre, which administers the prize, at: http://newcastlepoetryprize.com/wp-content/uploads/2009/01/npp07-generalorder.pdf

Cheeries & Quartermasters, co-edited by John Jenkins and David Miller (The Paper Castle/Etymspheres, 1975).  The theme of this Australia and UK avant-garde crossover was unfettered language games. Now very rare.

Dreamrobe Embroideries and Asparagus for Dinner, co-edited by John Jenkins and Walter Billeter (The Paper Castle/Etymspheres, 1974). ISBN: 0909629021. 144 pp. An anthology of mostly poetry. Also very rare.