By Jill JonesPoetryPuncher & Wattmann

The Beautiful Anxiety

The Beautiful Anxiety is an intimate, playful, deeply reflective collection that blends the intimate and the global, and explores the interconnectedness of life amidst the environmental and cultural turmoil of the twenty-first century.

Jill Jones draws on imagery from tabloid newspapers, music, the natural world, traffic and the rain, as well as the language of human connection and absence. Environmental change and the loss of her mother are two substantial themes that recur in this collection.

In the Australian, Fiona Wright praises Beautiful Anxiety for its ‘keen sense of humour’ and ‘experimentation with form and linguistic registers’.

Portrait of Jill Jones

Jill Jones

Jill Jones was born in Sydney and currently lives in Adelaide. Her previous books have been shortlisted for a number of awards and she has won both the Kenneth Slessor Poetry Prize and the Mary Gilmore Award. She is a member of the J.M. Coetzee Centre for Creative Practice at the University of Adelaide.

Judges’ report

The Beautiful Anxiety reveals Jill Jones as a leading contemporary stylist who has disciplined her lyric into a rigorous and highly economical poetry of description and response. Her syntax makes tensile use of line and turn and is pared back almost haiku-like in perception and suggestion; to read these poems is like being inside them as they speak unexpected and sometimes fugitive insights of life both intimate and public. There is almost no attention-seeking or ornamental rhetoric in this work, yet it remains distinctly personal and a growing elegiac undertone provides compassion, irony and a self-deprecating resignation.


The Victorian Premier’s Literary Awards shortlist