Updated August 2023:
New! 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, is now available from: https://puncherandwattmann.com/product/a-double-act-the-selected-collaborative-poems/Or order a copy from your favourite bookshop.
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. This book was recently reviewed by Caroline Overington, Literary Editor, in Notable Books, p. 14 of the July 22-23, 2023 Weekend Australian.
New! My 2022 poetry collection, The Sky Inside Us, was recently 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 Its 108 pages contains new and previously unpublished poems – many written (almost) yesterday.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 1970s.
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.
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.)
POEMS FAR AND WIDE
My 2019 collection of poems, Poems Far and Wide, available from Australian literary publisher Puncher & Wattmann:
Poems Far and Wide is now available through all good bookshops.
It is distributed nationally through 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 was 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.
Published in 2021:
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 the online bookstores now selling it: https://booko.com.au/9781922465658/A-Half-Baked-Fruitcake-of-Nuts-and-Nonsense-Silly-stuff-for-kids-of-all-ages
For a record of my previous work:
Growing Up With Mr Menzies, published by John Leonard Press, 2008. Download sections here, and also see more info on some earlier collections by John Jenkins: https://webarchive.nla.gov.au/awa/20190305182307/https://www.poetrylibrary.edu.au/poets/jenkins-john
Also, Ethos Books, Singapore, incuded the poem I Can Read Now, from Growing up With Mr Menzies, in their 2013 anthology of poetry, Little Things, see: https://www.ethosbooks.com.sg/products/little-things-an-anthology-of-poetry?_pos=1&_sid=e74ab2819&_ss=r
In December 2008, Morag Fraser, in Australian Book Review, named Growing up With Mr Menzies as one of her top three Australian books of the year.
This book is now out of print and unavailable, but you can download a free copy here:
Dark River, published by Five Islands Press, see: https://catalogue.nla.gov.au/Record/2631465
Dark River is also listed in the Five Islands catalogue (scroll to year 2003):
Or, to download a free pdf of Dark River: https://www.johnjenkins.com.au/images/PDFs/Dark-River.pdf
Also: Dark River ABC Radio National broadcast, on 'Poetica',
A Break in the Weather, pub. Modern Writing Press 2003. You can now downbload a pdf file of A Break in the Weather here: http://johnjenkins.com.au/images/PDFs/A-Break-in-the-Weather.pdf,
**** For a more complete record of poetry books I have published over the years, see the Books/Poetry section of this website.
Cocky pic above, JJ. Cartoon opposite, Shan.