Yesterday, 11 August, was Rae Desmond Jones’ birthday. He would have turned 80. Rae was a friend, supporter and contributor to Rochford Press and Rochford Street Review and he is sadly missed. Below are some of the links to articles and reviews he wrote for the Review over the years:
“There is history, but it won’t tell”: Rae Desmond Jones Launches Sea of Heartbeak (Unexpected Resilience) by Les Wicks
Something Astonishing: Rae Desmond Jones reviews ‘Dark Night Walking with McCahon’, by Martin Edmond
“Lots of energy here, not much control”: Your Friendly Fascist – 1970 – 1984. Rae Desmond Jones remembers…..
Poetry of the Great Australian Nightmare: Rae Desmond Jones reviews The Welfare Of My Enemy by Anthony Lawrence
There have also been a number of articles and reviews about Rae in the Review over the years:
A Hammer With Which to Shape Reality: Kit Kelen Launches ‘It Comes from All Directions: New and Selected Poems’ by Rae Desmond Jones.
Rae’s final collection of poetry, The End of the Line, and a selection from the journal, Your Friendly Fascist, are available from the Rochford Cottage Bookshop
The End of the Line is Rae Desmond Jones’ final collection of poetry. Rae worked on this manuscript during the last year of his life and it’s publication is a fitting tribute to a great poet. It is currently on sale at the Rochford Cottage on-line bookshop for $15 plus postage
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
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
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
“Your Friendly Fascist was a poetry magazine so deep underground that it caused tremors among persons of a pious literary persuasion on the dread occasions of its appearance. The magazine served as an outlet for views and feelings which are not expressed in polite company. Your Friendly Fascist was not the only outrageous small literary publication of its time, but it took pleasure in divergent views. Poetry can tend to sombre pomposity, or the self –consciously polite. If there is a secret to the Fascist’s modest success, it is in the energy with which it rode on the un-ironed coat tails of unruly expression. Rae Desmond Jones and John Edwards remained at the helm of the magazine despite frequent inebriation, from the magazine’s beginnings in 1971 to its final burial with absolutely no honours at all in 1986. Rae Desmond Jones has made a selection of material that appeared in YFF and pulled together an creation that sits well with the ratbaggery tradition that was Your Friendly Fascist.”
The Selected Your Friendly Fascist contains work by John Jenkins, Mike Lenihan, Rob Andrew, Denis Gallagher, Adrian Flavell, Peter Brown, Debbie Westbury, Carol White, Billy Ah Lun, Peter Brown, Lis Aroney, Patrick Alexander, Steve Sneyd, Ken Bolton, Nigel Saad, John Edwards, Robert C. Boyce, Rae Desmond Jones, Trevor Corliss, Kit Kelen, Rob Andrew, Jean Rhodes, Larry Buttrose, Joseph Chetcuti, Alamgir Hashmi, Anne Wilkinson, Jenny Boult (aka MML Bliss), George Cairncross (UK), John Peter Horsam, Steven K. Kelen, Irene Wettenhall, Chris Mansell, Robert Carter, Anne Davies, Nicholas Pounder, Cornelis Vleeskens, Andrew Rose, Joanne Burns, Les Wicks, Eric Beach, Ian, Gig Ryan, П. O., Barry Edgar Pilcher, Andrew Darlington, Dorothy Porter, Gary Oliver, Richard Tipping, Micah, Carol Novack, Peter Finch, Evan Rainer, Graham Rowlands, Christopher Pollnitz, Robert Carter, Philip Neilsen, Andrew Chadwick, Stephan Williams, Rollin Schlicht, Philip Hammial, John Peter Horsam, Peter Murphy, Karen Ellis, Richard James Allen, Rudi Krausmann, Paul “Shakey” Brown, Michael Sharkey, Karen Hughes, Susan Hampton, Rory Harris, Pie Corbett and Billy Marshall Stoneking.
Melbourne launch of The End of the Line by Rae Desmond Jones
John Jenkins launching The End of the Line by Rae Desmond Jones in at Poetry @ The Dan O’Connell Hotel 27 April 2019 Filmed by Joseph Chetcuti