The Next Big Thing: Andy Jackson

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This is the next post in my ‘Next Big Thing’ series, featuring current or forthcoming books by exciting Australian Poets. This entry showcases Andy Jackson and you can read Andy’s work and follow his adventres at http://www.amongtheregulars.wordpress.com.

What is the title of your book?
“Unhomely”

What genre does your book full under?
Poetry.

What is the one-sentence synopsis of your book?
A new collection of poems about the strangeness of home, the consolations of alienation, our familiar bodies and their otherness – poems that are moving, questioning and beautifully inconclusive (if I don’t say so myself).

Where did the idea come from for the book?
The “idea for the book” was really in retrospect. I’d written a series of poems on medical tourism, a kind of not-quite-fictional loose verse novella. This became the contrast with the poems I’d written between 2010 and 2012, which had no real theme apart from my usual – how we get on with our bodies. “Unhomely” appeared one day as a word that would hold all the poems together.

How long did it take you to write the first draft of the manuscript?
Two years.

Who or what inspired you to write this book?
Time spent in India. The people I love. Reading about medical tourism. Artists like Berlinde de Bruyckere, Bill Viola and Ron Mueck. Years of writing about myself that created a desire to look outside. And yes, Coburg.

Will your book be self-published or represented by an agency?
I’ve talked with two publishers, but who might put it out is still unconfirmed.

What other books would you compare this book to in your genre?
Other people would probably be able to answer this question better! I’ll just say who I’ve been influenced by while I wrote these poems – Tu Fu, David Constantine, Adrienne Rich, Kerry Leves, Ryokan, Jeet Thayil and Nicholas Powell.

What actors would you choose to play the characters in a movie rendition?
Ooh, that’s not easy. All I know is I’d hold the camera and do the voice-overs, but the audience might not ever see me in focus.

What else about your book might pique the reader’s interest?
I think these poems have many doors and many windows.

Hope everyone who reads this is well!

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