Just a little out of date (ok, a couple of weeks) is the news that my disturbingly talented compatriot, Emma Jones, has won the Forward Prize for Best First Book 2009 for her book, The Striped World (Faber and Faber, 2008). Apparently not only is she the first Australian to win the award, but also the first Australian to be published by Faber.
I came across Emma’s work when I was living in the UK. She won the prestigious Academi Cardiff International Poetry Prize in 2003 (you can read her winning poem here and the judge’s report here), and then took out the Newcastle Poetry Prize in 2005. (She’d shared the prize with three other poets in 2002.) Her name and her poems kept cropping up. I can remember at the time noting her as someone to watch. So it was especially pleasing to find myself published beside her in New Poetries IV.
An intriguing title, The Striped World. Brings to my mind images of prisoners, thylacines, shadows, cracked earth and breaking points. My copy is on order. Can’t wait to read it.
7 Replies to “The disturbingly talented Emma Jones”
Where do you order your poetry books from?
Terestrially, from the Madras Cafe Bookshop. Online, I tend to use Fishpond, or if the exchange rate is bad, direct from Amazon (USA or UK). I used to order a lot of books from The Book Depository, but they’ve stuffed up my account and I haven’t been able to access it for six months. (And they no longer answer my emails either, which really sucks. Customer service? What customer service?)
I prefer Scorpio to MCB, I find the range at MCB a bit limited although they are fairly good for New Zealand poets. Fishpond is excellent, though I’m a bit frustrated at the moment, as just as they offered a $10 off voucher, the books I wanted suddenly became unavailable (even though they are available from Amazon). I think I might have to order some overseas ones from Amazon and bear the wait. I notice they have some good prices on near-new condition second hand poetry books (shipping is about twice the price of the book!).
What is particularly frustrating me at the moment is having a bunch of book tokens which I can’t use at any of the online stores – as far as I know, I can’t use Booksellers tokens at Fishpond. I’ve got most of the New Zealand poetry books I want, and can’t find any US/UK ones that appeal much at either Borders or Scorpio at the moment.
If you haven’t tried betterworld.com, they’re well worth a go. Also, bookfinder.com is a search engine geared to find the best prices (incl up-tp-date shipping and currency conversion – I often used to have the rude shock of finding a scarce title for a steal only to discover when postage was added it was such a great deal; bookfinder.com prevents that unpleasant aftershock) for an available item across multiple sellers, including the obvious ones.
I’ve used BetterWorld, with mixed results. And yes, like you I’ve had the joy of discovering that the postage costs double or even triple the cost of the book. The best book search engine on the web (especially if you’re looking at second hand books) is Abebooks.com. They’re linked to virtually every bookdealer with an internet connection, and hold the online catalogue for most.
If I’m being absolutely honest, the source for most of the books I get is BookMooch. Just straight mooching is fantastic (and free), but you can end up waiting for ages for a book you want. But being a community of book addicts, there’s a way to improve matters. It’s not part of the normal process, but you can use the BookMooch Angel Network to do what’s referred to as Amazon Angeling. Find an Angel in the appropriate country; buy the book(s) and have them shipped to your Angel. That way you only pay local postage (often free if you’re buying over a certain value). They then list them for you, and you mooch as usual.
As a matter of fact, I’ve just received a lovely parcel of books obtained in just that manner … bliss!
bookfinder.com includes Abe in its searches, but prices items incl shipping in NZ dollars, then links to the seller, all the biggies and independants, too.
I know; betterworld are pretty random in their descriptions re condition of books. Mina Loy arrived annotated by a Flarf accolyte, but my copy of Thom Gunn’s last arrived signed by the man himself – online opshopping.
Thanks Robert – I shall definitely add them to my list.
3.11.09 Update: have been, have seen, and they are every bit as good as Robert said. And have been added to my bookmarks!