Eleanor Jackson

Each year, Going Down Swinging commissions up to three new performance works from poets we judge to be among the best in Australia. There are no submissions; our selections are entirely discretionary. In 2011, Eleanor Jackson was the first of our selected poets. Eleanor has that rare gift in poetry – the ability to capture even the rowdiest slam crowd without the aid of histrionics, relying instead on understatement, clarity, and the power of her words. Both in her writing and the way it is performed, this is work of the highest possible calibre.

- Geoff Lemon

Eleanor Jackson is a Filipino Australian poet, performer, arts producer and radio broadcaster.

As a poet and performer,  Eleanor has been described as capable of creating, “powerful quiet”.

Two-time winner of the Midsumma Poetry Out Loud slam and National Poetry Slam finalist, Eleanor has featured at the Overload Poetry, Queensland Poetry, Sydney Writers, Melbourne Writers, Brisbane Writers, Anywhere Theatre and Woodford Folk festivals.

Her audio poems have been published in Overland Journal,  Going Down Swinging and the Cordite Poetry Review, while recordings of her work have been featured on RRR’s “Aural Text”, 3CR’s “Spoken Word”, ABC Radio National’s “Night Air” and the online poetry channel, “IndieFeed: Performance Poetry”. Her video poetry collaboration with Doubting Thomas “Just before you died” was the winner of the Queensland Poetry Festival Filmmakers Challenge in 2012 and has been featured on Wunce Magazine, the Sydney Writers Festival App and Slam TV.

She is the co-creator of several extended poetry works, having collaborated with fellow poet Betsy Turcot as The Belles of Hell and with multi-disciplinary artist, Doubting Thomas. These works include the two-woman poetry dialogue, She Stole My Every Rock and Roll; an audio visual remix and tribute to Ted Hughes and Sylvia Plath, DJ Thought Fox vs MC Lady Lazarus; and Chosen Family. 

Eleanor is curious about and committed to developing and hosting events and experiences that showcase poetic language.

She curates the spoken word component of the Brisbane Emerging Arts Festival, coordinates the Brisbane Fringe Festival poetry/performance program and is a member of the Queensland Poetry Festival program committee. She is the producer of the Melbourne Poetry Map, a series of audio poetry walks supported by the City of Melbourne. She blogs from time to time for the Blue Corner, Going Down Swinging’s online magazine. Currently she is the Poetry Editor for the online magazine, Peril Magazine, which considers and promotes Asian-Australia creative culture.

Eleanor is also interested in creating and sharing stories of community, identity and place.

Together with co-host, Domenico Natoli, she hosts At the Local on 102.1 4ZZZ fm, profiling local arts, events and community organisations that often pass under the radar of mainstream broadcasting.  She has contributed in the past  to All the Best, which works with FBi Radio in Sydney and 4ZZZ to generate a weekly program of Australian radio stories.

Feel free to get in touch at eleanor j jackson at gmail dot com.

Eleanor Jackson brings class to the microphone.  To even call her a ‘polished’ performer seems misleading because she makes it look effortless.  She is as comfortable on stage as an Ella Fitzgerald, her spoken word delivered with the poise and elegance of a true natural.  A poet who has something to say and who knows exactly how to say it.   In one word… ‘style’!

- Nathan Curnow