Jean Kent    Travelling with the Wrong Phrasebooks


Pitt Street Poetry is proud to publish Jean Kent’s latest collection of poems, written over the last fifteen years.  It brings together poetry written during two Australia-council funded residencies at the Cité Internationale des Arts in Paris and a family reunion visit to Lithuania.

The themes of home and distance, familiarity and making-strange, family networks and chance encounters are explored with the subtlety of poetic craftsmanship and warmth of geographic and human embrace which characterise this fine poet’s life and work.

Resources and Teaching Notes

Sample Poems

Buy a book on line now!

All you have to do is choose between the elegant $20 paperback and the splendid illustrated limited edition hardback, hand bound in red German cloth, signed and numbered by the author, which sells for $50.

Travelling with the Wrong Phrasebooks (limited edition hardback)
Travelling with the Wrong Phrasebooks (limited edition hardback)

Jean Kent’s new collection launched in August 2012.
276 signed and numbered copies.
Drawings by Sydney artist Oliver Watts
Sewn cloth bound volume with a red/ silk bookmark ribbon
102pp. 230 x 145 mm

Price: A$50.00

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Travelling with the Wrong Phrasebooks (paperback)
Travelling with the Wrong Phrasebooks (paperback)

Jean Kent’s new collection, released in August 2012.
B format paperback. 86 pages.

Price: A$25.00

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About the author

Born in Chinchilla, Australia, in 1951, Jean Kent grew up in rural Queensland, mainly on the Darling Downs and in Toowoomba. She published her first poems in a literary magazine in 1970, while she was a student at the University of Queensland. Since completing an Arts Degree (majoring in psychology) in 1971, she has alternated between a writing life and paid employment in a variety of jobs, ranging from lift-driving and hand-painting clothes to vocational guidance, educational guidance of disabled children, counselling of students and staff in TAFE colleges and, most recently, teaching creative writing.Jean Kent has published four books of poetry: Verandahs (Hale and Iremonger, 1990; republished by Picaro Press, 2009), Practising Breathing (Hale and Iremonger, 1991), The Satin Bowerbird (Hale and Iremonger, 1998) and Travelling with the Wrong Phrasebooks (Pitt Street Poetry, 2012). The Spaghetti Maker, a chapbook of selected poems, was published by Picaro Press in 2002. Her poems and stories have also been widely published in literary journals in Australia and overseas.Major awards she has received for her writing include the 1988 National Library Poetry Prize (joint-winner), the 1999 Josephine Ulrick Poetry Prize, the 2003 Somerset National Poetry Prize and the 2009 Dorothy Porter Prize. She was awarded joint second prize for the 1997 Newcastle Poetry Prize and was a runner-up for the 2001 Josephine Ulrick Prize.Jean’s first book Verandahs won both the Anne Elder Prize and the Dame Mary Gilmore Award, and was short-listed for the 1991 NSW State Literary Awards. The Satin Bowerbird was awarded the 1998 Wesley Michel Wright Prize. The manuscript of her fourth collection Travelling with the Wrong Phrasebooks was highly commended for the 2008 ACT Alec Bolton prize.

Jean Kent has received several fellowships and writer’s grants from the Literature Board of the Australia Council. Most recently, she was awarded a six months residency during 2011 at its Keesing Studio in the Cité Internationale des Arts, Paris. Her more usual home is at Lake Macquarie, near Newcastle in New South Wales.

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