Below, from Small Press Network’s Fiona Wallace’s interview with Eleanor earlier in the month:
Q. Your poems have a powerful sense of immersion in the present-day world. The COVID-19 pandemic, Black Lives Matter movement, Trump’s presidency and the incorporation of technology are brought naturally to the fore, rather than operating as impartial and immaterial backdrops. Can you talk about the importance of reflecting moments of time in your writing practice?
I definitely wanted these poems to have a very particular timestamp. For better or worse. At the time I worried the issues would date. Sadly, some of them haven’t.
I have long been interested in the idea of poetry as a documentary practice. I don’t think that knowledge or form is neutral, and I’ve been curious what we learn when trying to represent ‘reality’ as it happens. And this feels like a ‘momentous time’, for our community, for our cultures, for our society as a whole, and I was conscious of wanting to record that in real time. But even momentous times can feel simultaneously deeply prosaic and even boring. So I wanted to try and capture a time with a telescoping quality, sometimes looking at the minute and sometimes looking at the enormous.
Eleanor Jackson at the 2013 Tasmanian Poetry Festival, Launceston