A B Jackson Readings
A.B. Jackson was born in Glasgow in 1965 and raised in the village of Bramhall, Cheshire. After moving to Cupar in Fife he studied English Literature at the University of Edinburgh. His first book, Fire Stations (Anvil), won the Forward Prize for Best First Collection in 2003, and a limited edition pamphlet, Apocrypha (Donut Press), was published in 2011. In 2010 he won first prize in the Edwin Morgan International Poetry Competition. His second collection, The Wilderness Party (Bloodaxe Books, 2015), was a Poetry Book Society Recommendation. The Voyage of St Brendan was published by Bloodaxe Books in 2021. After a number of years in Yorkshire he now lives in Pitlochry.
In The Voyage of St Brendan, A.B. Jackson tells the tale of the legendary seafaring Irish abbot. After burning a book of fantastical stories, Brendan is compelled to sail the ocean with a crew of six monks in a leather-skinned currach; his task, to prove the existence of wonders in the world and create a new book of marvels. Although the roots of this legend lie in early Irish tales and the Latin Voyage of Brendan the Abbot of the ninth century, Jackson has taken the 14th-century Middle Dutch version of Brendan’s voyage as the template for this engaging, witty and spirited interpretation, notable for its humour, inventiveness and appeal to a wide readership. The book is illustrated with a series of linocuts by the American artist Kathleen Neeley.
Martina Evans chose The Voyage of St Brendan as one of her books of the year in The Irish Times of 20 November 2021.
'In The Voyage of St Brendan AB Jackson’s witty four-line stanzas are as miraculous, inventive and swift-moving as the sea-faring saint himself and beautifully matched by Kathleen Neeley’s linocuts.' – Martina Evans, The Irish Times (Best poetry of 2021)
Available online by subscription here.
Livestreamed joint launch event, 22 June 2021
This wonderful joint launch reading by Penelope Shuttle, A.B. Jackson and John Challis celebrating the publication of their new poetry collections was live streamed on 22 June 2021.
The event was hosted by editor Neil Astley from his home in Northumberland. Penelope joined from her home in Falmouth, John from Whitley Bay, and Scottish poet A B Jackson from his home in Leeds. Their collections were all published on 24 June 2021 by Bloodaxe Books - all three are 'making something new out of things that have been lost', as Penelope put it.
John Challis read first in each set, followed by Penelope, then A B Jackson. The readings were followed by discussion and Q&A with the online audience. All three books explore the past in one form or another - it was an evening of 'archaeology by verse', according to one audience member. We travelled under the sea to the submerged land of Lyonesse with Penelope Shuttle, over the ocean with A B Jackson's The Voyage of St Brendan, and underground in London with John Challis in his debut The Resurrectionists.
[05 April 2022]