Wednesday, March 21, 2012
My permaculture poem Step by Step was yesterday awarded joint runner-up in the 2011 Overland Judith Wright Poetry Prize. Today I recorded the poem with some guitar accompaniment.
Overland will publish the poem in the next issue. Here's what judge Peter Minter very generously said about the work:
I think it’s probably fair to say that reading Jones’ ‘slow-text mesostic’ poems (cf John Cage) is a bit like extruding the brain through barbed wire mesh. But, as the saying goes the grass is always greener on the other side, so it’s a worthwhile endeavour in the end. Jones makes an explicit attack upon the romantic self-consciousness of white Australian literary culture and its oblivious transportation of European aesthetic modes into antipodean landscapes. ‘Step by step’ is not about ‘emotion recollected in tranquillity’. Its typographical interferences and static slowdown, hook and strain the reading process, such that emotion, reflection and cognition are caught and inflected in the present-time of reading. Jones forces us to grapple with a specific set of poethical considerations: how does language-use contribute to the violence of colonisation and machineries and economies of ecological destruction? What kinds of vernacular interventions might inhibit such violence? Can poetry save the world? Jones’ poetry isn’t for everyone, but the world he is saving is the same one you’re living in.Congratulations Joel Ephraim who's poem Rock Candy won the prize, and Sam Langer's Clouds fall like snow on the sky’s clear rocks who shares runner up with me. Also congrats to commended poets Rebecca Kylie Law, Alana Kelsall, Ella O’Keefe, Astrid Lorange, Fiona Hile, Stephen Nichols, Andrew Slattery, Banjo James, Molly Murn and Aden Rolfe.
Read Peter's full report here.