Dead Bolt

$25.00 inc GST

Product Description

Winner of the 2020 Anne Elder Award. Winner of the 2019 Puncher & Wattmann Prize for a First Book of Poetry. 

This is a captivating and varied collection. No matter what Ella Jeffery turns her attention to, her subjects find sharp resolution in language that has been subtly crafted and beautifully honed. These poems carry their insights deftly and intensely, her lens always focussed on those alchemical images that move her work from sensation into perception, from observation into shimmering awareness. Everything shines with the gloss of her highly polished linguistic and imaginative skills. Her work is a triumph and a delight.
– Judith Beveridge

As its title suggests, Dead Bolt is a meditation on home and its ability to become suddenly unhomely or uncanny. Ella Jeffery’s poetry ranges from the plangent and elegiac to the comic and satirical. It attends to both the eye and the ear; its extraordinary imagery is matched by a marvellous attention to poetry’s sonic capacity. Dead Bolt is a compelling, exquisitely realised debut.
– David McCooey

I love Ella Jeffery’s poetry. Like Elizabeth Bishop’s, it is companionable and unshowily surprising, and has perfect timing. Jeffery is clear-eyed and has a gift for the exact word, one that opens a rift. This is a masterly and original first collection—a major work.
– Lisa Gorton


“Dead Bolt is anchored in personality and one of the (admittedly negative) strengths of the book is that it exploits this without ever being coy or cloying. There is always a strong sense of the author whether she is killing spiders, admiring the scaffolding around Shanghai, watching butter-bream on Stradbroke Island or staying with her parents. Another negative strength is the way the poems resist the diaristic: each poem has to have enough of a conceptual distinctiveness to stand on its own feet: and most of them do.” MARTIN DUWELL, Australian Poetry Review

“Ella Jeffery’s debut poetry collection Dead Bolt is a wandering contemplation of home and the accompanying feelings of belonging or alienation…The poems vary greatly in form and mode as they move through conversations with or about literary and pop culture figures, ekphrastic responses to art, and rumination on the environmental role of the humble spider. The central concern that drives the collection, though, is the speakers’ sense of themselves as (un)settled, (un)loved, (un)safe.” JULIA CLARK, Plumwood Mountain Journal

Martin Duwell reviews ‘Dead Bolt’ in Australian Poetry Review