Biography of Stephen Jackson
My main site now is http: //about.me/stephen_jacks58
I was trained in Psychology, Logic & Metaphysics: only later as a lecturer, artist and 'venerable media grafter'.
I've been author or editor of over a dozen books as well as a journalist whose features appeared in The Independent, Time Out, Sunday Telegraph and leading national magazines. I worked in television films, one of which won Crystal Prize at the Prague Festival; and I was cited by the Head of BBC Music and Arts as 'a writer of the Upper-First Division'.
Imagine, then, being lucky enough to find yourself landed in a near-fantasy career: and then nearly losing everything, through what some might have conceived as an accident waiting to happen? The follies of a gratingly naive love affair, I'd rather say; and of too great a predilection for disappointment at the little vicissitudes of things. At the prosaic business of living and learning from fairly witless belated mistakes - you know?
I fell through the cracks in the pavement. But it was only because of this, approaching the Millenium, that I discovered the magical potential of digital imaging to transform our preconceptions of what we imagine the world to be like. The resulting juxtapositions of my art and poetry have been described as 'fascinating and amazing' by a leading US novelist. Elsewhere these visuals found acclaim as 'hauntingly beautiful': the words as 'tight and life-enhancing''(John Hegley) , with a richness comparable to John Donne's.
Mmories of my own darker period, the fresh revelations of a subsequent sort of rebirth, offer endless avenues of inquiry as well as new and welcome pleasures. My latest book Dead People on Holiday is available through Amazon and good bookshops. It has been called 'sublime'... 'visually stunning' and it's also available as an eBook.
Stephen Jackson's Works:
DEAD PEOPLE ON HOLIDAY
ISBN (soft cover) 978-1-4500-3968-0
ISBN (hard cover) 978-1-4500-3969-7
Available September 2010 from Amazon.com, Waterstones, Barnes & Noble. Available too as an ebook from April 2012. See my creative biography on http: //www.amazon.co.uk/-/e/B0034Q712W
“The living”, it has been said, “are dead people on holiday”. This book is a ten-year testimony to one man’s living death, concluding in acceptance and at least the chance of a return to hope, love and a new life. The poetry here pulls apart the inner sadness of encroaching age and irredeemable failure, with a candour which for most of us has to be kept stifled, silent, perhaps barely even thought.
But this is a book which surmounts despair; and for the narrator here as much as for anyone else: if these are the ashes of a failed life, they are the ashes from which a phoenix can rise. And yes, someday it will.
Stephen Jackson’s fusion of his own poetry with digital imagery has been acclaimed as “hauntingly beautiful...tight, life-affirming”. His account has been called “fascinating and amazing”: with a texture of writing comparable to John Donne’s.
Most good poetry is short and to the point. Only a few poets succeed in delivering first class prosaic poetry and Stephen Jackson is one of them. Allow your mind to enter his world of contradictions. Let the borders of his soul enchant you in this spiritual voyage. Go where no one went before and let his introspective poetry ravish your mind. Just sail on, sail on... upon the words and waves of a turbulent sea that is the mind of Stephen Jackson.
Author: Quills of Fire
University of Ghent
THE STORY BEHIND THIS BOOK
Stephen Jackson was trained in Psychology, Logic & Metaphysics at St Andrews - only later as an artist. But from about the age of seven, writing seemed to come to him as naturally as breathing. It was also the refuge and enchantment for a child who, from the outset, perhaps perceived himself as one of life’s outsiders.
Later, through hard slog and a very great deal of luck, he found himself in a media career that for him was a fantasy come true. A shattering fall through the cracks of a seemingly ordered existence caused him to lose it all. Secret writing again emerged as his salvation and his way of making sense of the murmurings to an inner darkness that all of us, at some time in our lives, must come to face. This book represents the trophy and perhaps the conquest of a lost decade.
Yet it was also in beating this bout of despair that he discovered the magical potential of digital imaging to transform our preconceptions of what we imagine the world to be like. The resulting juxtapositions of his art and poetry have been described as “fascinating and amazing” by a leading US novelist. Elsewhere these visuals found acclaim as “hauntingly beautiful”: the words as “tight and life-enhancing”, with a richness and texture comparable to John Donne’s.
As he says: “A lot of what I explore now has to do with peeking up the wrong end of the telescope, to see in a clearer light all those walking wounded in the universal and (some might say) necessary battlefields that litter human aspirations and language. There are few outright winners here, except of the most ephemeral kind. The tiny obsessions of middle age: the games all of us sometimes have to play - these are my canvas – and my occasions for humour and optimism. The memories of my own dark period, the fresh revelations of a subsequent sort of rebirth, offer endless avenues of inquiry as well as new and welcome pleasures.
“Amongst the artists who intrigue me are Odilon Redon, Bill Brandt: Rousseau, Rothko, Blake, Chagall, Kandinsky, Edward Burra, Bonnard, Munch, Bacon, Frida Kahlo and Tamara de Lempicka; H R Giger, Ernst Haas, Georg Grosz, Francis Bowyer and Henri Cartier Bresson. Amongst poets? Sylvia Plath, perhaps almost above all: Larkin, Auden, Stephen Spender, Amy Lowell, Judith Wright, so many more...but above all, of course, The Boss (and there is only one) .”
Stephen Jackson Poems
Dog Eat Dog
Out there, beyond the abyss of night Beyond the lightlessness that lies behind my own Eye – worse, my inner eye – A dog is howling.
As I contemplate the waste that is a living mind The moon, thin as a sabre, darkens in the sky. More slender than my fingernail Or so I want to think –
Day And Night
It’s night, when one needs love like blood, And a city is an iceberg of lights, The air throbs, roars like a distant bear. The finger of one’s mind, in indolence,
Persistence Of Vision
he span of his gaze was so great He could not see the generations come and go before him: Flickering, quicker than motes on a sunbeam. Growing, rotting, burning at a supersonic pace;
FORGIVE ARCADIA Y
One Last Time
I thought, before they cut her phone off, I might leave a last message. One for the ether: one that not a soul Would ever hear. “Goodbye, old girl.
The Roof Of The World (For James)
There you are, as I was at your age, A solitary child in your teeming realm Far from the shimmering torpor that I see - this Province of flowers, in radiant mourning.
The Poet Speaks
You treat world history as a mathematician does mathematics, in which nothing but laws and formulae exist, no reality, no good and evil, no time, no yesterday, no tomorrow, nothing but an eternal shallow, mathematical present. Otto Hess, on current economic theory
Love should be like a hatchling butterfly: Tearing free from worn-out skin, Bursting with new blood its once-crushed wings, and Ready to surpass the sky.
My Mother's Death
My mother, as usual, judged it best. The day before her funeral, in a gibberish of legs, A fly refused to die on her bathroom sill. Out of its time, come February, but still
Beneath the feverish chintz of Someone else’s living room I contemplate my own mortality, And the thought of it wearies me.
It is the big black before an execution, Dark enough for him to feel the texture of a sound. Fresh from an alcoholic stupor (giving a strange, Recluse’s keenness to the senses) : the tart aroma of
A Brief Bestiary
To carry the child into adult life Is good? I say it is not, To carry the child into adult life Is to be handicapped.
A Brief Bestiary
To carry the child into adult life
Is good? I say it is not,
To carry the child into adult life
Is to be handicapped.
- Stevie Smith