The Beautiful Anxiety

$25.00 inc GST

Product Description

The Beautiful Anxiety continually breaks across boundaries of the intimate and the global in an invigorating and unsettling mix of materialist and speculative writing on the interconnectedness of life amidst the environmental and cultural turmoil of the 21st century. The poems are in turn provocative, tender, impatient, playful, and swerve through the world, awake to its lostness as well as its ‘flesh and spark’.

“This is surely a break-through book. Jill Jones has compressed her lyric awareness into an exacting and low-key brilliance: alert, astute, unsentimental, and with a linguistic intelligence so sharp in its inner and outer registers I kept asking myself: how is she doing it? There is incisive balance between the sensory and the fugitive, yet her images and figures are so crisp they feel more real than so-called reality.”—Philip Salom

“Jill Jones’ The Beautiful Anxiety, dedicated to the memory of her mother, joins elegiac witness to ‘another flow’. Her sparse ‘ruined lyrics’ expand into ‘something planetary’. Sensate poesis unfolds ‘genres of dust’; the ghosts of Voss, Sappho and Messaien appear. The Beautiful Anxiety dwells in the imminence of loss, its ‘vast frontier’ and scope.—Kate Lilley

“Jill Jones’ poetry attains a Newtonian clarity by occasioning objects to collide with displaced emotion, breaking new ground through the estranging effect of coupling wonder with wryness. This book is an intense celebration of that subcutaneous disturbance often only present in the most acute poetic sensibilities.”—Brian Castro


“Many of the poems in her new book, The Beautiful Anxiety, are grounded in a broader perspective stemming from the experience and self-awareness of the mature writer.” MARTIN LANGFORD, Meanjin

“When or how can anxiety be beautiful? Consider the possibility of a trembling current within all things, like the flickerings of light and water; the pulse of language becoming elevated; an overload of images; the meshings of city temporalities; tinglings and scratches of affect; the moment’s anxious possibilities for birth, death and rebirth. Jill Jones’s latest collection reaches towards all of these, and is informed by them.” STU HATTON, Rochford Street Review

“Throughout The Beautiful Anxiety, corporeality and ethereality, the vast and the intimate, the personal and the (eco)political, are twinned with skilful precision, musicality, and a sense of the strange and mysterious.” JO LANGDON, Cordite Poetry Review

“Jill Jones’s The Beautiful Anxiety.. finds its strength in small moments and details, and the very large resonances these can have, in the ‘‘ephemeral world’’ for which ‘‘there’s barely words’’, as the poem Grids puts it. But what’s most interesting, and powerful, about these details is the way Jones draws them from both the elemental world — patterns of weather, nature and ecology — and human landscapes such as traffic-clogged highways and car parks, elevators and staircases, houses and offices. So too are the strange mediascapes of tabloid newspapers and music interwoven throughout the collection.” FIONA WRIGHT, The Australian

The Beautiful Anxiety begins with an epigraph from Spanish writer Javier Marías: “You forget whole years, and not necessarily the least important ones.” This sums up Jones’ acceptance of the fact that any individual concern, event or memory is at best fragile, at worst destined to disappear. But the anxiety this impermanence causes does have a kind of beauty to it. We may be no more meaningful than dust, but we are no less meaningful either. We are partners with our environment – not the ones in charge.” ALICE ALLAN, Plumwood Mountain Journal