What writers have inspired you?

So many. Dickinson, Melville, Borges, Pasolini. Christina Stead and Ern Malley. Shakespeare. Blake. Frank O’Hara. This year, Eudora Welty.

What is the best piece of advice you have been given by another writer?

The best advice I’ve come across is this from Isak Dinesen: ‘Write a little every day, without hope, without despair.’ If you can manage that, you have most things solved.

What do you look for in a piece of writing?

There are lots of different pleasures. A singular way of seeing things I suppose, and a kind of electricity to the language. These are two things I admire.

Dr Emma Jones


Emma Jones received her B.A. (Hons) from the University of Sydney and her Ph.D. from Cambridge for a thesis on Christina Rossetti. Her first collection of poems, The Striped World, was published by Faber in 2009 and won the Forward Prize for Best First Collection, the Queensland Premier’s Judith Wright Calanthe Prize for Best Collection, and the Anne Elder Award, and was shortlisted for the John Llewellyn Rhys Prize, among others. In 2013 her libretto for City Songs, with music by Eriks Esenvalds and Imogen Heap, premiered at the Round House. Emma has held fellowships at the Wordsworth Trust in Grasmere, the B.R. Whiting Library in Rome, and was the inaugural Gould Lector in Writing at Trinity College, Cambridge.

Emma is interested in nineteenth and twentieth century poetry, and in broad questions of poetics and poetic meaning, particularly metaphor. She is at work on a novel and a new collection of poems.