"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."
University of Ghent
Author: 'Quills of Fire'
"Truly, dear Stephen, your poems ARE sublime - so moving and rich. I will read these again and again. I am so moved ... but they require time to read and re-read. Incredible to find poetry like this in this way... I am bemused. Thank you, thank you for freely sharing these with me. I feel blessed."
From private correspondence with WA, the leading US novelist and academic.
ABOUT STEPHEN JACKSON
I was trained in Psychology, Logic and Metaphysics at St Andrews - only later as a lecturer and artist. Yet writing has been my passion and my escape since about the age of seven.
At one point or another I've been author or editor of a dozen books as well as a journalist whose features appeared in The Independent, Time Out, Sunday Telegraph and leading national magazines. I also worked in television films, one of which won Crystal Prize at the Prague Festival; and been cited by BBC Music and Arts as "a writer of the Upper-First Division". My biography of Schubert for Classic FM, independently acclaimed and given a 5-Star rating, comes from this period.
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 naive love, 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 belated mistakes - you know?
And so I fell through the cracks in the pavement. But it was only in beating a major bout of the Blues in the mid-1990's 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 graciously described as "fascinating and amazing" by a leading US novelist. Elsewhere these visuals found acclaim as "stunning...hauntingly beautiful": the words as "tight and life-enhancing", with a richness and texture comparable to John Donne's.
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.
MY NEW BOOK: 'DEAD PEOPLE ON HOLIDAY'
"The living", they say, "are dead people on holiday". My book of this title is a ten-year testimony to one man's living death, concluding in acceptance and the chance of a kind of rebirth. The poetry here pulls apart the melancholy of encroaching age and irredeemable failure, with a candour which for most of us has to be kept stifled, silent, perhaps barely even thought. Yet this is a book to surmount despair. If these are life's ashes, from them a phoenix can rise - and one day, it will.
See me in interview and performance on http://www.youtube.com/user/stephenjacks58.
To find out all this book, simply check out http://www.facebook.com/pages/Dead-People-on-Holiday/227255363972811.
Or why not follow my evolving website on http://about.me/stephen_jacks58