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Screens jets Heaven contains a selection of poems from Jill Jones's previously published books, followed by a solid selection of new and uncollected poems. The work is intellectually sharp, alternately tough, lyrical, fibrous, dangerous, sceptical and delicate, characterized by clear-eyed imagery, taut lineation, humour and a distinctive mellifluous rhythm. Jones explores the boundaries of inner and outer experience, the shifts and discontinuities between fact and possibility. Hers is often a poetry of atmospheres – physical, emotional, etheric as it encompasses and moves through the grit and clamour of streets and neighbourhoods, the traffic of both road and air, harbours and city office blocks, work life, domesticity, the passions of the heart. She is an exploratory, expansive poet: nature (both terrestrial and celestial), the movement of the elements and weather, various affects of night and day are integrated within her human, psychic landscapes as a way of engaging with the rhapsodic. Her work is concerned with both the physical and material as well as more subtle levels of feeling and inner consciousness. Throughout the collection there is an involvement with the nature and quality of urban and inner suburban existence – as represented by the city of Sydney. The poet's persona observes, engages with, absorbs, scrutinizes and meditates on contemporary urban existence, in all its various tempers and tones. She invites the reader to share in the speculative processes of discovery. Overall this is a powerful collection, characterised by a sensual richness and a surrealist, transformative energy.
‘Jones’ work is so easy on the eye and senses, you wonder what tricks she has just slipped through your inattentive gaps, because you know she has disturbed you in the most devious sort of way. Her style is one of the waiting thunderstorm amidst the tight stasis of before-rain.’ —Bev Braune, Australian Women’s Book Review
‘One of those poets who is beginning to move Australian poetry into new directions – towards a greater trust than ever in the poet's own responses, a quietening of judgemental implications, and a desire to be able to articulate positive emotion, to find ways of exploring the rhapsodic.’ —Martin Langford, Southerly
‘One of the most exciting voices in contemporary Australian poetry … a rich layering of image and idea, an archaeology of fiercely intellectual, and poignantly vulnerable insight and juxtaposition.’ —Rose Lucas, Australian Women’s Book Review
‘Urban evocations both heartfelt and gritty.’ —Alan Wearne, The Age