Shortlist year: 2014
Shortlist category: Poetry
Published by: Pitt Street Poetry
Jakob Zigura’s poetry is born out of that high style of address where intellect and scholarship meet demanding form and produce feeling. He moves through both time and space, from the ancient philosophers through to contemporary observation. He is an elegant and authoritative poet. ‘What will suffice’ begins one poem, quoting Wallace Stevens, ‘will, finally, not suffice; unless a puddle with a petrol spill / suffice to read the gestures of the wind.’ These gestures involve a straight back and firm steps. The halls resound, the petrol spills, and, as Emily Dickinson put it, ‘a formal feeling comes’. Which is, after all, the point.
About the author
Jakob Ziguras was born in Poland in 1977 to Polish and Greek parents and came to Australia in 1984. He studied fine arts before switching to a doctorate in philosophy at the University of Sydney. His poetry has appeared in journals in Australia and internationally. His debut collection Chains of Snow (Sydney: Pitt Street Poetry 2013) was shortlisted for the 2014 Prime Minister’s Literary Award for Poetry. His poetry has appeared in a number of anthologies, including: Contemporary Australian Poetry (Sydney: Puncher & Wattmann 2016), The Best Australian Poems (Melbourne: Black Inc. 2014, 2015) and Incroci di poesia contemporanea 2010-2015 (Mestre: Amos Edizioni 2015). In 2016, he was awarded a place at the Château de Lavigny International Writers Residency. He will spend January 2017 on a writing fellowship at Hawthornden Castle. For the past two years he has lived in his birthplace, Wrocław, where he is at work on his third book Venetian Mirrors and translating various Polish poets.