The Melbourne launch for ‘The End of the Line’ – final poems by Rae Desmond Jones

The End of the Line, the final collection of poems by Rae Desmond Jones.

Rochford Press is proud to invite you to the Melbourne launch for The End of the Line, the final collection of poems by Rae Desmond Jones.

The End of the Line will be launched by John Jenkins at the Dan O’Connell Hotel at 2pm on Saturday 27 April (as part of the regular Poetry@The Dan readings) with readings from the book by John Jenkins, Joseph Chetcuti, Gig Ryan and Robbie Coburn.

If you can’t make it to the launch you can buy a copy online at

Rae Desmond Jones was born in Broken Hill NSW in 1941. The son of a miner, he left Broken Hill when he was 17 and moved to Sydney, where he discovered poetry and worked in a variety of manual occupations. Rae, together with John Edwards, established the legendary poetry journal Your Friendly Fascist in 1970 and his first collection of poetry, Orpheus With A Tuba, was published by Makar Press in 1973. Over the next 44 years he published twelve collections of poetry, two novels and a collection of short stories. Rae was also active in local politics becoming involved in the battle to protect Summer Hill from over development in the 1980s. He was elected to Ashfield Council and was served as Mayor from 2004 to 2006. Rae never stopped writing poetry and was working on the poems in The End of the Line during the last year of his life.

“The End of the Line is an animated collection, bristling with the varied perspectives, moods, and colours of Jones’ consciousness and ‘voice’. Jones was an impressive raconteur and his distinctive physical voice echoes through the pages. The poems shift easily from the social/political agora to the deeply personal, to contemplative, spiritual/cosmic dimensions. He investigates individual and terrestrial mortalities, and concepts of being. He can be playful, cheeky, bawdy, satiric, savage and biting  – as well as reflective, passionate, lyrical and grave. Shadowy images inhabit the book’s atmosphere at times, but in the final poems there is a sense of achievement – of abundance and joy: ‘Harvest the glow’. This is a vivid book. In ‘To prepare a course of poetry’ Rae advises – ‘ Porridge should be avoided'”.
– Joanne Burns

“Rae Jones was one of the great characters of the Inner West. His commitment to safeguarding the built environment led him from being an activist to becoming Mayor of Ashfield Council. Rae’s  poetry reflects the eclectic and progressive nature of the community where he lived, as well as his passion for politics. It canvasses a range of topics including family, friendships, history and the state of the world”.
–  Anthony Albanese

“Like most poets of worth there is an identifiable template to a Rae Jones production, but within its quite necessary bounds, what a variety! And in this book, with much of it concerned with his and our mortality, this variety continues. Heart-on-sleeve when required, sardonic when required, often in the same work, these poems are distilled Jones, from a man with a life and career more multifarious than most of us. Though the physical Rae is gone, in Sydney’s Inner West and in Australian poetry, his legend still grows”.
– Alan Wearne

“Many of Jones’s poems finish with the natural world as aloof, seemingly unaffected by the odd juxtapositions in human life – …… But mostly nature serves as pool of comparison, as site of possible transcendence, with what Jones wishes to see, gracefully, as the insignificance of big-noting humanity: this is the descant strand hovering over his fervent engagement in this gritty world – viewed partly in ministerial solidarity, partly in a parody of disdain, and partly in raging shit-stirring protest”.
– Gig Ryan

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