"Soaring" with Jack Oats: DON'T MISS IT. Poetry; reading, writing and the joy of words
Jack is an everyday bloke with a great sense of humour and wit who loves words - amongst many other things. This will be a fun filled evening - very much worth making the effort to attend.
Entrance by donation per person. BYO. Jack's book 'Soaring' will be available for purchase.
Jack Oats (aka Baker) is a man of all trades. Under various pseudonyms, he has been a teacher, ornithologist, conservation biologist, bureaucrat, father, grandfather and husband. He has published lots of science and years ago, he managed Biodiversity Conservation Science for the NSW Department of Environment and Conservation. Nowadays, Jack Oats makes short fictional and factual word creations as part of the Recovery Plan for the Semi-colon. In this, his first published collection of poetry, he pokes fun, casts doubts, celebrates Australia’s natural heritage, shares hope and gives love.
This is Jack's first visit to King Island although he has been threatening to come for sometime. He is delighted to be a part of the FACE festival and, being a highly skilled bird observer, to assist with the Wings on King bird surveys over the weekend.
More about Soaring (2017, Ginninderra Press, 145pp, $25)
The book’s cover is a stunning photo of Jack’s totem, the White-bellied Sea Eagle. The book has 87 poems with groupings that hint at the breath of his life experiences and poetic subjects: Being, Birding, Birds; Dreams; On lost children; On trains and the occasional bus and ferry; On love; Random stuff; and For seniors. Poems such as Desert totem, Secrets, A short history of animals and Air are strongly eco-centric but the work is predominantly a commentary on the human condition. Dearest MakMak people, Daughter and Pre-op are personal – about identity, grief, disease. Helicopter, Love again, Janet and Mettle detector are about other people – their losses, loves, legacies. Many of the poems touch on the passions, woes and joys familiar to us all. With his first collection, Jack is the kid at xmas: wanting to play with all of the toys at once! Hence, Soaring contains many styles and forms: there’s number play: a spider poem with eight lines each with eight syllables; It’s not Cricket has two stanzas each with eleven lines with eleven syllables. And there’s word play: Mettle D
etector, starts “The first time I went through one of those airport contraptions / that really set me off. It was only / my boots but I was thinking shrapnel;” and the Shadow racerwins by “going east up the garden path” at sunrise. Jack is a logophile. “Reconfobulates,” “diablerie,” “crepuscular” and “demented unconformities of geomorphology,” are just a few of the tantalising words you’ll find in Soaring. You’ll also find words of prayer: “thanksgiving at Vespers / knowing always the Earth / held close as answered prayer / and sometimes asking for / another day