My name is Andy Jackson. I’m a poet. My family’s been in the country for a couple of generations, English, Irish, Scottish. And I live here in Coburg.
I was never really aware of being a poet or writing poetry when I was growing up, but certainly the experience of growing up affected my thinking and how I lived and how I felt about myself.
I have a genetic condition called Marfan’s Syndrome, which for me has meant fairly obvious spinal curvature. That’s not the easiest of things to experience when you’re a young person. It does make you think a lot about people and human nature and how people treat each other and so I was always writing but only sort of became a poet I guess in my twenties.
I found when I was reading my poetry on a stage in front of other people it was just actually a really powerful experience. It wasn’t just about how other people saw me but I could stand up and talk about my own life and be in control of what it meant.
I do talk about my own identity in my poetry quite a lot, and especially about embodiment and what it means to have a body and what it means to have this particular body. And it’s kind of liberating for me, definitely, to be saying those things, but also, I think it’s kind of liberating for other people.
(reciting) The building tilts only slowly yet the men are beginning to sway. They hold each other up, slap backs.
For me it’s a very, very personal book of poems. But it also feels to me like the entry into a broader literary community, a sort of watershed in my development as a writer I think.
(reciting) I would find a pub that’s more me but they’re rare and this place like everywhere, needs an exception.
I used to think of a poem just being one thing, an object. And now I think of it more like a room. So, you know, you just open up all the doors and hopefully a lot of people can come into it. And hopefully there are windows that they can see out of as well.