good things come in

Jam Jars.

By my own admission, I would be a terrible reviewer – I’m parochial and partial to friends’ performances. I can be shallow and I have a short attention span sometimes. But – setting those things aside, I have to say I had a cracking good time this afternoon at Jam Jar in West End. Not just because the sun was shining and the weather felt near on gloat-level perfect for those of us relocating north.

Without rehashing unnecessarily for those who were there, I have to say, today’s Jam Jar slam thingo was among the best slam/open gigs I’ve been to in a number of years. Scott/Darkwing Dubs hosted with an infectious blend of energy and sincerity that reminded me of how excited I was the very first time I went to a Wordplay gig. Like, dude, I just freaking love words too.

The slam participants were varied and diverse: page readers, seasoned slammers, hip hoppers, first timers, tender voices and fruit salads all found their place in a gig that ran neither too long or too strong. You all know that, in my biased opinion there were some standouts, but hey, that’s just me. All in all, there was something fresh and purposeful about the energy of the combined voices that – for me – felt distinctly Brisbane. Wrapping around this were two features, Loc Tran and Broken Word rounding out the afternoon admirably with their respective sets that worked well with the sincere and polished feeling of the day.

Well done to the whole crew for bringing it together, and thanks to Jam Jar for holding the damn thing at all. Off you go people, go support the bar that supports poetry. Oh, and their food is pretty amazing too. Apparently, feedback is welcomed, so interact in whatever way feels genuine to you. If you too were in the house enjoying everything from amateur terrorism, to art criticism, to great questions of toothpaste, to the binding of Botany Bay, then let the powers that be know what you want from it.

Speaking of things that come in small packages, do check out the latest issue of Going Down Swinging no 32.

I just picked up my copy and – despite my ongoing and prevailing bias* – I have to say that it is an impressive collection. Tenderly combining CD, poster, flip book and conventional anthology, it’s an amazing trip. I already want to see Spike Jonze do Connor O’Brien’s short tale of classified love. I’ve only had an hour sampler spin through the printed works but I can tell that there will be hungry hours to come exploring the rest of the edition. Kudos to that team as well for the work that must surely have gone into creating the seamless magic. Not many journals are as long lived and as fresh feeling.


*um, yes, so my piece “The Very Best Story That I Know” is on the CD portion. That it hangs out there with the likes of Anthony O’Sullivan, Briohny Doyle, Joelistics, Graham Nunn, Zoe Barron, Ken Arkind, Ezra Bix, Phillip Norton and Maxine Clarke makes it feel like it got invited to the Logies.

By Eleanor Jackson

Eleanor Jackson is a Filipino Australian poet, performer, arts producer, cyclist, writer, gal about town, feminist, freewheeler, and friend.


    1. Thank you so much for your kind comment, it really does mean a lot to me, GDS is an amazing journal. There’s so much in this edition!

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