Latest Posts & Publications
UPDATED October 2023
***You can find a full and comprehensive bio (new!) by scrolling down the Contact page on this website.
My short story Shadow Dancing is the latest to be published – in P76 Magazine, Number 8, the Sonic Poetry Festival Edition, Spring 2023. And Shadow Dancing is a humorous fantasy love story set in Newcastle, NSW, about a dancer smitten with his partner Luna, and eagerly awaiting her return. P76 is full of much interesting material, available from Rochford Press, see: https://rochford-pressbookshop.square.site/product/p76-issue-8-sonic-poetry-festival-special-issue/164?cp=true&sa=true&sbp=false&q=false
*** More good news!
A DOUBLE ACT, poems co-written by John Jenkins and Ken Bolton
The Selected Poems by John Jenkins and Ken Bolton, titled A Double Act and published by Puncher and Wattmann now available, from: https://puncherandwattmann.com/product/a-double-act-the-selected-collaborative-poems/ Or order a copy from your favourite bookshop or online supplier.
Over the years, Ken and I have co-written numerous poems, with many published in the following books and booklets: Airborne Dogs and Other Collaborations (Brunswick Hills, 1988); The Ferrara Poems, a verse novel (Experimental Art Foundation, 1989); The Gutman Variations (Little Esther, 1993); Gwendolyn Windswept, a verse novel (serialized Otis Rush Magazine, 1994); The Wallah Group (Little Esther, 2001); Nutters Without Fetters, (Press Press, 2002); Poems of Relative Unlikelihood (Little Esther 2005); Lucky for Some (Little Esther, 2012). And The Ferrara Poems was also made into a short film. Now, a complete Selected is available here, in A Double Act. Bards of a feather, indeed! This book was recently reviewed by Caroline Overington, Literary Editor, in Notable Books, p. 14 of the July 22-23, 2023 Weekend Australian.
*** A restoration for celebration! My essay on the Australian painter Jeffrey Smart, titled Jeffrey Smart (1921-2013): a painter’s eye to poetry and story, originally published Nov. 3, 2013 in the Long Paddock section of Southerly Literary journal (issue 73.3, titled 'The Naked Writer') has now been restored to the new Southerly website, and you can directly access it here: first, go to https://southerlylitmag.com.au/long-paddock-for-southerly-73-3-the-naked-writer/ then scroll down to The Long Paddock, ESSAY heading, and there it is!
Forthcoming, and in progress: A Collection of Short Stories, and Quadrella of Novellas.
I am now working on many short stories, and also A Set of Novellas. I am toying with the title A Quadrella of Novellas for the latter. I am still considering several titles for my short story collections.
So far (as of Oct 2022) I have completed more than 80 stories, nearly half to final editing stage; and 26 of which have been previously published.
By mid 2023, I will probably have enough material for two collections, we will just have to wait and see.
I have been fascinated by short fiction since the mid 1970s, and since that time, a good selection have been published in magazines, journals, anthologies, newspapers, websites, etc. I have also edited several anthologies containing new Australian short fiction. For more info, see the Short Stories page of this website.
My 2022 poetry collection, The Sky Inside Us, has been published by Ginninderra. Its 108 pages contains new and previously unpublished poems – many written (almost) yesterday. That said, a sparkling sprinkle date back to the 1960s and '70s.
Here is an extract from the back page blurb: "In his eleventh poetry collection, John Jenkins displays a boldness and creative variety, across a wide sweep of subject matter, which should hold great appeal to readers... (as he) takes us on a rich and engaging journey, into the heart of modern Australian poetry."
(This volume also contains a wining poem from my local Shire of Nillumbik 2021 'Age-on-the-Page' Poetry Challenge, 'Independence Category'. See: https://www.nillumbik.vic.gov.au/Community/Older-people/Projects/Age-on-the-Page-poetry-challenge.)
Early days, but I will post links to reviews of The Sky Inside Us as they appear.
I am one of 35 verse novelists from Australia and Aotearoa-New Zealand interviewed by Linda Weste in her comprehensive, wide-ranging and inclusive book The Verse Novel Australian & New Zealand, from Australian Scholarly Publishing, 2022.
And on Amazon kindle:
Here, Linda Weste.... "explores the uniqueness of storytelling through poetry and the genre of the verse novel".
And Weste also asks some pertinent questions about my own A Break in the Weather, pub. Modern Writing Press 2003, and its back-then ground-breaking subject matter of environmental catastrophe and climate change. (See Poetry Books section of this website for more details on this earlier book of mine.)
Although I am included in The Verse Novel Australian & New Zealand, I have tried to remain objective in my review, recently published in the Rochford Street Review, see: https://rochfordstreetreview.com/2022/06/17/the-third-in-a-telling-triumvirate-john-jenkins-reviews-the-verse-novel-australia-new-zealand-by-linda-weste/
**** On a much lighter note:
A Half-Baked Fruitcake Of Nuts and Nonsense
Silly stuff for kids of all ages
During a Covid lockdown in my corner of the world, I was amazed to discover that I could draw. I had never tried before. Never! But I just started, and kept going. That said, I did know how to write silly rhymes! So I put the two together, my nonsense rhymes and new silly scribbles, then published this little book.
Here listed are some of the online bookstores now selling this title: https://booko.com.au/9781922465658/A-Half-Baked-Fruitcake-of-Nuts-and-Nonsense-Silly-stuff-for-kids-of-all-ages
I am delighted that my short story, The Stars Shine For Bach, was published in a recent issue of the Oz Music Trust's E-Zine, Loud Mouth. See: https://musictrust.com.au/loudmouth/the-stars-shine-for-bach-a-short-story-by-john-jenkins/
In the same issue is a feel-good book review. See: https://musictrust.com.au/loudmouth/the-essence-of-you-and-me-kada-barney-miller/
Another short story of mine, Under His Hat, about Mozart and his dad's heist of a secret score, was published in a previous Loud Mouth: https://musictrust.com.au/loudmouth/under-his-hat/
As was my response to a special tribute issue on Chris Mann, recently published in the Web magazine of New York's The Open Space:
A piece of mine titled The Silence Around A Glass of Water is included in the comprehensive Anthology of Australian Prose Poetry, edited by Cassandra Atherton and Paul Hetherington, published in 2020 by Melbourne University Press. This impressive compilation documents the role and value of prose poetry within Australian literary culture, selecting the best from the past 50 years. Now available here: https://www.mup.com.au/books/the-anthology-of-australian-prose-poetry-paperback-softback My review of the above Anthology is now available at Rochford Street Review:
P O E M S F A R A N D W I D E
In 2019 Puncher & Wattmann published my collection, Poems Far and Wide:
See cover below:
Poems Far and Wide is now available through all good bookshops.The national distributor is New South Books:
The most recent review of this collection is by Devika Brendon on Rochford Street Review: https://rochfordstreetreview.com/2020/11/24/the-idea-of-a-chosen-plenitude-poems-far-and-wide-by-john-jenkins-reviewed-by-devika-brendon/
The terrific launch speech by Alex Skovron is also on Rochford Street Review: https://rochfordstreetreview.com/2019/10/01/delightfully-eclectic-alex-skovron-launches-poems-far-and-wide-by-john-jenkins/
And there is a review by Martin Duwell on his Australian Poetry Review website: http://www.australianpoetryreview.com.au/2019/10/john-jenkins-poems-far-wide/
Plus review by Jo French, scroll down to page 26 of local paper, The Warrandyte Diary: https://warrandytediary.com.au/wp-content/uploads/2020/02/FEBRUARY-2020-WEB-final.pdf
And here's a link to Readings Bookshops, Melbourne: https://www.readings.com.au/products/27273259/poems-far-and-wide
And another to Dymocks, Melbourne: https://www.dymocks.com.au/book/poems-far-and-wide-by-john-jenkins-9781925780123
Without being too cocky I believe this is a substantial collection, which includes many poems that have been previously published, anthologised, or have won - or shortlisted in - local and international competitions.
"This very lively collection contains a wide sweep of poems, many of them prize-winning, taking readers on a remarkable journey. Some look to the past, others to the future, but all are of their time: the reverberating now. The tone is contemporary and bold, while the poet’s sensibility tends to favour an eclectic inclusiveness. Uniformly, this wide-ranging and poetically engaging collection demands to be enjoyed."
I hope readers enjoy Poems Far and Wide.... just as much as I enjoyed putting it together.
Some poems date back a little, while others are very recent indeed! The tone is contemporary and bold. There are are some longer dramatic and narrative poems, and others more lyrical in essence.
There are poems very close to home, some are observations of the natural world, while others take readers to far-flung destinations around the globe. Some are dramatic, or the poetic equivalent of 'character studies', with reverberating psychological resonance. There are poems of fast-paced wit and humor, and others deadly serious. There are trance-like or dream-like poems too, and experiments in language – often contrasting with hard-nosed factual observation. I hope the wide-ranging ambition of this collection will be enjoyed.
** Poems Far and Wide includes two first-prize winners, of both an international literary award and leading Australian poetry competition; plus eleven poems that have placed or been highly commended, commended or shortlisted in major awards.
No Long Faces Here! A Horse's Tale. I had the pleasure of doing the structural edit, then copy-edit, for this terrific read by my partner Shan Shnookal: Inspector Kelly: The Life and Lessons of a Police Trooper, published by Spikeback Books. It begins as the story of ‘Inspector Kelly’, a big grey horse bred by Victoria Police, who then went on to do many amazing things after he was retired from duty. It is a biography of great scope and delight, for all those who love horses – and animals generally – and want to better understand them. Along the way, the author recounts her own journey of learning with horses, and the vital contribution of science. She discusses welcome changes that have occurred in the more effective nurturing and management of paddock pals world-wide, and of working animals of all kinds. Her charming account is replete with fascinating snippets of Australian social history, as she examines developments in ethical horse care that have arisen in the span of 'Inspector Kelly’s' long and eventful life. Length: 330 pages, with black and white photos and Shan’s quirky cartoons to enliven the tale. Available through a speciality horse book distributor: https://www.horsebooks.com.au/product/0/114456/inspector-kelly-life-and-lessons-of-a-police-trooper-9780646992969/
Sept, 2019. Ashbery Mode, edited by Michael Farrell, and published by Hawai's Tinfish Press, has recently appeared in print. It is a well-edited collection of poems by Austrlian writers who raise their collective hats to the work of New York's legendary poet, John Ashbery. I am delighted to have something included. See: https://www.spdbooks.org/Products/9781732928602/ashbery-mode.aspx I have also written a review of this book, now posted on Rochford Street Review, see: https://rochfordstreetreview.com/2020/04/18/words-perception-memory-and-poetry-john-jenkins-reviews-ashbery-mode-edited-by-michael-farrell/
News for 2018:
FIRST PRIZE, 2018 Elyne Mitchell Short Story Competition
My story, The Girl Who Wasn't There won the Open Section of the 2018 Elyne Mitchell Award, for a story up to 2,500 words.
2nd Prize, C. J. Dennis Society Short Story Competition
My story, Rosemary's Summer Harvest won second prize in the 2018 C. J. Dennis Society Short Story Competition.
Alan Marshall Short Story Award, shortlisted stories: I was shortlisted for the Alan Marshall Short Story Award in 2022, 2018 and 2017. See: http://www.nillumbik.vic.gov.au/Living-in/Arts-and-Cultural-Development/Alan-Marshall-Short-Story-Award
2017 and earlier:
The following is a brief sampler of recently published, performed (or short-listed) pieces, going back to around 2016. For news of larger-scale projects, go to main menu categories, above.
2017: My short story, Through a Latte Darkly, was published by Margaret River Press in the prize anthology, Joiner Bay & Other Stories, edited by Ellen van Neerven, 2017. (A previous short story, That Summer at Manly, was published in the MRP 2013 prize anthology, Knitting and Other Stories.
2012 - 2017. My short story, Her Ladyship's Pleasure, which was shortlisted in the 2015 Josephine Ulrick Literature Prize, was included in Volume 14 of the online-only magazine, Review of Australian Fiction (RAF). (Unfortunatey, RAF is no longer being published.)
My cautionary poem ‘Mr Menzies Shows Me My File’ from Growing Up with Mr Menzies is included in the recent anthology titled Contemporary Australian Poetry, edited by Martin Langford, Judith Beveridge, Judy Johnson and David Musgrave; published by Puncher & Wattmann, 2016. See: https://puncherandwattmann.com/product/contemporary-australian-poetry/
Also, two piano pieces of mine were included on a compilation CD, which has now been re-listed here: https://shamefilemusic.com/product/various-artists-nmatapes-1-digital-cdr/
**My work goes back to the 1970s.
***You can now find a full and comprehensive bio (new!) by scrolling down the Contact page on this website.
Meanwhile, spot the bell-ringing Kookaburra!
Pics by JJ.