Latest Posts & Publications
UPDATED FEBRUARY 2021
I am delighted that my short story, The Stars Shine For Bach, has just been published in the latest 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: https://musictrust.com.au/loudmouth/for-chris-mann/
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 Australain literary culture, selecting the best from the past 50 years. Now available here: https://www.mup.com.au/books/category/new-releases
My review of the above Anthology is now available here, at the excellent Rochford Street Review: https://rochfordstreetreview.com/2021/01/02/anything-but-prosaic-john-jenkins-reviews-anthology-of-australian-prose-poetry-edited-by-cassandra-atherton-and-paul-hetherington/
I also had the pleasure of helping to edit an inspiring story of harrowing struggle and eventual triumph over adversity, A Different Kind of Seeing, by Marie Younan and Jill Sanguinetti, published 2020 by Scribe Publishing Melbourne. This non-fiction account is a must-read corrective to pessimism, full of inspiring insights and peppered throughout with absorbing stories. For more information: https://scribepublications.com.au/books-authors/books/a-different-kind-of-seeing
P O E M S F A R A N D W I D E
I am delighted to announce that Puncher & Wattmann recently published my collection of poems, 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 on page 26 of local paper, The Warrandyte Diary: http://warrandytediary.com.au/february-2020/
And here's a link to Readings Bookshops, Melbourne: https://www.readings.com.au/products/27273259/poems-far-and-wide
I will post links to further reviews as I learn of them.
Without being too cocky I believe this is a substantial collection, possibly my best so far, and 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.
*Puncher & Wattmann is one of Australia's leading literary publishers, so I am in excellent company. To date, they have published 150-plus titles, with more on the way. They deserve support from all serious readers.
A Horse's Tale. I had the pleasure of doing the structural edit, then copy-edit, for this terrific rambling 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: https://www.spikebackbooks.com/book_inspector_kelly.php Or through a speciality horse book distributor: https://www.horsebooks.com.au/product/0/114456/inspector-kelly-life-and-lessons-of-a-police-trooper-9780646992969/ Also from Readings: https://www.readings.com.au/products/27164506/inspector-kelly-the-life-and-lessons-of-a-police-trooper
News for 2020/2019:
Oz Burp Six (published Sept, 2019) and Read On 3 (Jan 2020) are both edited by Pete Spence, with a great variety of interesting material. And both publications include four poems of my own. From the always indomitable Donnithorne Street Press.
Sept, 2019. Then May, 2020. 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://tinfishpress.com/?projects=ashbery-mode-book 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/
May, 2019. "Rae of Hope for a Damaged World." I delivered this speech for the Melbourne launch of Rae Desmond Jones' final collection of poems, The End of the Line, published by Rochford Press. See: https://rochfordstreetreview.com/2019/05/01/a-rae-of-hope-for-a-damaged-world-john-jenkins-launches-the-end-of-the-line-by-rae-desmond-jones/
May, 2019. It was my pleasure to take part in the launch of The Gang of One, The Selected Poems of Robert Harris, edited by Judith Beveridge with an introduction by Philip Mead; and published by Grand Parade Poets. The launch took place at Readings bookshop in Carlton, Victoria. I read Robert's wonderful ‘Concerning Shearers Playing for the Bride / A Painting by Arthur Boyd’ , and later also took part in video discussions of Robert 's life and work. My video can now be viewed at: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=93210nh1qLU&feature=youtu.be
News for 2018:
Dec. 2018. Three of my poems were published in Suburban Whistlestop, the Melbourne Poets Union anthology for Poets @ Watsonia. They were: 'Suburban Whitlestop' (the book's title poem), 'Early Winter' and 'Slick'. For information on this excellent production: https://rochfordstreetreview.com/2018/12/21/texture-and-complexity-carmel-macdonald-grahame-launches-suburban-whistlestop/
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 story: I was shortlisted for the Alan Marshall Short Story Award, both in 2018 and 2017. See: http://www.nillumbik.vic.gov.au/Living-in/Arts-and-Cultural-Development/Alan-Marshall-Short-Story-Award
Early 2018: Two ultra short poems were included in Coolabah Short Poem Issue (No 33, 2018), curated by Australian poet Peter Bakowski and published by the University of Barcelona.
See following link: http://revistes.ub.edu/index.php/coolabah/issue/view/1786
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, see: https://margaretriverpress.com/?s=John+Jenkins&post_type=all
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, I have just learned that 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. To purchase a copy: https://puncherandwattmann.com/books/book/contemporary-australian-poetry/
2002 - 2016/7 and (fingers crossed) ongoing... I am delighted that Travelers' Tales of Old Cuba, from Treasure Island to Mafia Den, ed. John Jenkins, 2002/2010/2014/2016 is still selling very well after going into several editions, the most recent in 2016, and with probably more to come. Published by Ocean Press; see the Books (non-fiction) section of this website for more details. Available to order via all good bookshops, in Australia and internationally. Pic opposite: El Quijote de la farola (The Don Quixote of the lamp post) by Alberto Korda, 1959.
Also, two piano pieces of mine were some time ago included on a compilation CD, which has now been re-listed: https://shamefilemusic.com/product/various-artists-nmatapes-1-digital-cdr/
**My work goes back to the 1970s.