Sunday Morning, Here by Jill McKeowen

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Sunday Morning, Here is Jill McKeowen’s first collection of poetry, articulating an acceptance of impermanence and loss, and consequent arrival at a sense of identity and place.  Moving from teenage years beside the “lapis-lazuli ocean” of the Central Coast of NSW to a last home in a post-industrial suburb of Newcastle, the poems record the details of very Australian lives, troublingly settled on “deeply storied ground” but blessed by childhood memories of a family with love behind its purpose (always).  Beside an awareness of war and damage elsewhere, they celebrate the transfiguring possibilities of the everyday: the layers of the past in an old Swan teapot; the bits and pieces left in a dead father’s shed; the “pilgrimage of woodsmoke to the stars”.


Sunday Morning, Here is a deeply moving, beautifully crafted and perfected collection of poems. I first read it in one sitting, and was swept away by its clarity and directness, its vivid descriptions and generous celebrations of people and places.  This is meticulous, careful writing, which is also effortlessly welcoming. Keenly intelligent, but also tender and intimate, Jill McKeowen’s posthumously published book is a gift from a poet with both a deep love and acceptance for life with all its chaos and beauty, and a desire to record that, clear-eyed, in words that would keep it real and unforgotten.

Jean Kent

This is one of the best Pocket books I’ve read! Accomplished, poignant, and brilliant at establishing a sense of place.  This book will give everyone who reads it a sense of solace and joy.

Brian Purcell

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Jill McKeowen (1959 – 2022) spent her formative years under the wide skies of the Central West in NSW before the family moved to Umina Beach on the Central Coast. In her adult life, Jill lived in London, Sydney and Townsville, and arrived in Newcastle just as the closure of BHP heralded a new identity for the city. For 20 years, she was a teacher of academic language and literacies at the University of Newcastle. She had one daughter, one dog and a garden that needed more consistent attention.

Jill’s poems appeared in several anthologies, including Grieve 2015, Poetry & Place 2015, The Olley Poems, ear to earth, To End All Wars, Women of Words 2016-2018, and annual anthologies from Newcastle Poetry at the Pub, where she was a regular reader. Sunday Morning, Here is her first collection of poetry.


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