new zealand electronic poetry centre

Anna Jackson 

Thursday 22 August 9.00pm Glottis poets read at The Temple
Friday 23 August  7.30-10pm  once and for all
Saturday 24 August 11.45 – 1.00pm  breaking ground, preserving ground
Sunday 25 August 9.30 – 11am brunch with poetry at iguaça 

Anna Jackson was born in Auckland, New Zealand, in 1967 and is once again living there with her partner Simon Edmonds and her children Johnny and Elvira. She is attached to the English Department at the University of Auckland.

The family moved back and forth between Auckland and Oxford for seven years while Anna completed her D Phil ‘A Poetics of the Diary’ at Oxford University (in fact spending a large part of her time having babies). ‘A Poetics of the Diary’ studies the diaries and diarian writing of a number of writers including Sylvia Plath, John Cheever, Katherine Mansfield and Virginia Woolf.

In 2001 they lived in Hamilton, New Zealand, while Anna was the 2001 Writer-in-Residence at the University of Waikato.

Anna has lectured at the University of Otago (NZ), the University of Auckland (NZ) and at Oxford in the UK – on film studies, Victorian literature, Renaissance drama, twentieth-century literature, drama on stage and screen, modern poetry, academic writing skills and medicine and literature.

Anna’s was one of several poets first published in book form in AUP New Poets 1 (AUP, 1999). Her second book and first solo collection, The Long Road to Teatime, was published by AUP (April 2000). Her second solo collection The Pastoral Kitchen (AUP, 2001), completed with the assistance of a Louis Johnson Award for 2000, was a finalist in the 2002 Montana New Zealand Book Awards.

Anna has attracted critical notice for her short fiction, particularly her story in The Picnic Virgin (VUP, 1999). She was highly commended in the 1999 Landfall essay competition.

In the visual arts she also writes in print – screenprinting, etching and aquatint. Anna used to be involved in theatre, acting and directing, but says she’s ‘not doing that any more’.

Anna is essentially a Pilgerist politically – she sees the world dominated by multinational corporations and an economic system destructive to most people and to most people’s values.

She and her partner share the care of Johnny and Elvira, their arrangements changing every year or even two or three times a year. It’s a bit of a deal, Anna says.

Kitchen drain

Elvira is talking to the drain again:
a language learnt at two
is a mother tongue.

The drain mothers my daughter,
and she replies, supplies
her own grammar:

‘Grammar, mother’, and the drain takes
grammar and swirls it away
with fame and genius,

swirls it away with a trillion people
but we don’t care, it all comes up again.
It is a bulimic drain.

Why do my hydrangeas turn yellow
and shrink as all around them
swill swamp lilies?

Because it all comes up again.
They yellow with grammar and Elvira
is speaking English again.


from The Pastoral Kitchen. Auckland UP, 2001.

  • Pickup (nzepc)
      lo-fi (rm : 140KB, streaming)
      hi-fi (mp3 : 310KB)
  • Watch (nzepc)
      lo-fi (rm : 170KB, streaming)
      hi-fi (mp3 : 360KB)
  • In a minute (nzepc)
      lo-fi (rm : 190KB, streaming)
      hi-fi (mp3 : 390KB)
  • Three poems from Catallus for children: Deer, Homecoming, Catallus for babies (nzepc)
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      hi-fi (mp3 : 1.3MB)
  • The Gate of Horn, or Virgil for Elvira (nzepc)
      lo-fi (rm : 340KB, streaming)
      hi-fi (mp3 : 650KB)


© Anna Jackson

Last updated 18 March, 2003