Actions & Travels: How Poetry Works

Book Author Anna Jackson
Rights Available World excl. Australia & NZ

Through illuminating readings of one hundred poems – from Catullus to Alice Oswald, Shakespeare to Hera Lindsay Bird – Actions & Travels is an engaging introduction to how poetry works. Ten chapters look at simplicity and resonance, imagery and form, letters and odes, and much more. In this short book, Jackson explains how we can all read (and even write) poetry.

About the Author
Anna Jackson has a DPhil from Oxford and is an associate professor in English literature at Victoria University of Wellington. She is an award-winning New Zealand poet and, as scholar, author of Diary Poetics: Form and Style in Writers’ Diaries 1915–1962 (Routledge, 2010) and, with Charles Ferrall, Juvenile Literature and British Society, 1850–1950: The Age of Adolescence (Routledge, 2009).


Auckland University Press


198mm x 130mm




Publication Date
March 2022

Rights Available:
World excl. Australia & NZ

Rights Agents:


Sam Elworthy

Contact Auckland University Press
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From a thoughtful and zestful poet, Actions & Travels is an open-minded look at one of humanity’s dazzling arts. Every sentence brims over with Anna Jackson’s informed love of poetry, its fun and its gravity, its wildness and its variety. Ranging from the ancient to the tweeted, she helps novices without sounding like a primer, and tosses the experts bones to quarrel over. If you read just one book about poetry this year, this should be the one.

Michael Hulse

In Actions & Travels, Anna Jackson hosts a literary dinner party that takes place both on the page and online. As she seats poets from different times and places next to one another and deftly draws them into conversation about their dress codes, values and behaviour, we find ourselves part of one big family arguing and communing in the eternal now of poetry.

If you’ve ever questioned what poems are up to when they “wax poetical”, or wondered what Keats and Hera Lindsay Bird would say to each other if they actually met, or what would happen if Patricia Lockwood and Tayi Tibble traded jokes on Twitter, this book is for you.

But really, anyone who reads poems or wants to write them will benefit from eavesdropping on the lively and engaging dialogues in Actions & Travels, and trying out the writing prompts that follow.’ under the oppressive yoke of colonisation . . . and lets it burn.

Chris Price