Jas H. DukeJas Heriot Duke (1939–1992) was a cult figure in the Australian performance poetry scene. He worked much of his life in Melbourne Board of Works and began writing poetry in 1966. He was influenced by Dada, Expressionism and experimental movements. He writes "I started performing poems as a timid person with a stutter but the spirit of the times soon converted me into a bellowing bull."
During the 1960s he travelled in to the UK and Europe and participated in the underground publishing and filmmaking scenes in Brighton and London. Returning to Australia in 1972 he worked as a draughtsman and continued publishing and performing, writing a novel about his travels entitled Destiny Wood.
Duke's writings included translations of French and Eastern European Modernist poets but he is best remembered for his sound poems. Nicholas Zurbrugg describes his work as "the voice played like a human saxophone". His collected poems are published by Collective Effort press in Melbourne as Poems of War and Peace. He died 19 June 1992.
- Poems of War and Peace (Collective Effort, 1989)
- Dada kampfen um leben und tod: A prose poem [Dada fight for life and death] (Wayzgoose, 1996)
- Alekhine und Junge in Prag German translation by Gabi Malotras (Gangway, 1996)
- Destiny Wood (circa 1976)
- The Best of Jas H Duke (audio cassette, NMA Publications 1989)
Jas Heriot Duke (1939-1992) è stato una figura di culto della scena prestazioni di poesia australiana. Ha lavorato gran parte della sua vita a Melbourne Board of Works e ha iniziato a scrivere poesie nel 1966. Fu influenzato da Dada, Espressionismo e movimenti sperimentali. Egli scrive: "Ho iniziato l'esecuzione di poesie come una persona timida con una balbuzie ma lo spirito dei tempi ben presto mi convertito in un toro muggito."Nel corso del 1960 ha viaggiato per il Regno Unito e in Europa e ha partecipato alla pubblicazione e produzione cinematografica scene sotterranee a Brighton e Londra. Tornando in Australia nel 1972, ha lavorato come disegnatore e ha continuato la pubblicazione e l'esecuzione, scrivendo un romanzo sui suoi viaggi dal titolo Destiny Wood. Gli scritti di Duke inclusi traduzioni di poeti modernisti europei francesi e orientale ma è ricordato soprattutto per le sue poesie sonore. Nicholas Zurbrugg descrive il suo lavoro come "la voce giocata come un sassofono umano". Le sue poesie raccolti sono pubblicati dalla stampa sforzo collettivo a Melbourne come PPoems of War and Peace . Morì 19 giugno 1992.
Jas H Duke (1939–1992) : An Anarchist PoetFrom the editorial to Going Down Swinging, No.13, March 1993:
“Welcome to the thirteenth Going Down Swinging. With this issue comes a compact disc of Jas H Duke reading his poems and talking about poetry. Jas Duke died tragically on June 13, 1992 in St Vincent’s Hospital in Melbourne at the age of 52.
Jas was born during the Second World War and began writing during the Vietnam War. In his youth he was an actor, appearing in many underground movies. He travelled overseas and wrote his long, surreal novel, Destiny Wood, in the early seventies in England (although it wasn’t published until 1978). Eventually, he gave up writing prose, saying: “I’m over 40 now; broken sentences are best for one at my time of life.”
He was an active member of Collective Effort Press [GPO Box 2430, Melbourne, Victoria, 3001] where he was involved in many small press publications including the ground-breaking 925 (a litmag about work and workers and written by workers) and a book of visual poetry, Missing Forms.
Jas Duke’s public readings were a constant delight — with his inimitable sound poems, lyric poems, narrative poems, the satirical, the absurd, the political. His range was immense. His readings were memorable, not only because of his appearance — a big man with a shaved head and a beard that out-bearded Ned Kelly’s — nor simply because of his theatrics — sometimes he would tear out a page of poetry by Yeats and eat it while reading a poem — but mainly for his energy and commitment to a poetry that shocked and re-awakened his audiences. He suspected authorities and often re-wrote historical episodes, pointing to the real-life heroes, those underdogs history overlooks.
In 1987 Jas H Duke produced one of the great poetry books of our time — Poems of War and Peace. It was remarkable for its variety and breadth: 268 pages of his poems, instructions for sound poems, translations of German poets and a selection from Destiny Wood. Jas Duke was an influential poet whose output has yet to be fully realised. He wrote thousands of poems, enough for a book a year for a long time. Jas will be sadly missed, but luckily his poetry remains.”
Track 4: Interview with Bill Marshall for 3PBS-FM radio (197?). Answering the Telephone. The Morning of a Bullshit Artist. Shit Poem (all from 3PBS-FM recording 197?). Bruno’s Injury. My Brother at the Dole Office. Noisy Incident. The Future of Richmond (Collective Effort recordings).
“Jas H. Duke was born in Ballarat, Australia. He was the son of two school teachers. In 1966 he travelled to England and Europe. While in London he became an anarchist and worked on Freedom Press publications. He mixed with the mid to late 60s underground bohemian scene there meeting people such as Cohn Bendit, Yoko Ono and Raol Hausmann. Jas moved to Brighton (England) and worked as a sound poet. He was involved in the experimental multi-media films of Jeff Keen. In 1972 Jas moved back to Australia where he became involved in … performance poetry. He worked both as a sound and visual poet and was [an] actor in some of the Cantrill’s short films. He was also a chess historian/aficionado. Jas H. Duke worked as a Draughtsman and later a Technical Officer for the Melbourne Metropolitan Board of Works and wrote about his experiences there in 925 magazine. He was involved in numerous visual poetry and photographic exhibitions.”
See also : Sounds, sound poetry, and sound/text compositions, Jas. H. Duke. “This article first appeared in NMA10 magazine. In it, the author takes a fresh look at sound poetry in the Twentieth Century, and offers some practical advice to the Sound Poet/Sound Text Compositionist of today. Included is a previously-unpublished performance poem.” | Duke, James Herriott, 1939-1992, Nick Heath, libcom.org | Introductions to Jas H. Duke (Karl Young).
17 giu 2009 - Caricato da Andy FlemingFrom the Australian poetry zine 'Going Down Swinging', No.13, March 1993. Track 4: Interview with Bill ...
Jas Duke (1939-1992)
Jas Duke (1939-1992)
Hot Dragon Day (from NMA Publications, 1989) (1:02)[hide/show playlist]
- Dada (from I/V Surrealist Festival 4, Bill Marshall PBS-FM, 1980) (2:03)
- 4 & 20 Blackbirds / Tribute to Yeats (In a Sewer Dark & Dreary) / Psalm 23 / Nikola Tasla / Positive Poem / Another Bite of Yeats (Breath Poem) / Lack Lustre (from I/V Surrealist Festival 4, Bill Marshall PBS-FM, 1980) (8:26)
- Personality Cult Poem / In Lost Atlantis / The Pope (I/V Born to Concrete, Jeff Herbert, 3CR No Limits, 1981) (9:26)
- No, no you can't do that (rec. Warren Burt, 1982) (1:25)
- Atlantis / Australia (I/V Montsalvat, Terry Bennett, 3CR, 1977) (4:25)
- Mirror Man (I/V Niagara Galleries, Jeff Herbert, 3CR No Limits, 1981) (0:39)
- A Dream (from I/V Surrealist Festival 4, Bill Marshall PBS-FM, 1980) (3:59)
- New Imperial 1,2,3,4 (from I/V Surrealist Festival 4, Bill Marshall PBS-FM, 1980)
- A letter from my brother in the country / Presentations / Dad's Dead (from 925 Poets, rec. Kev-in, collective effort press, 1980) (4:36)
- Democracy (from Poets against the Bicentenary, collective effort press, 1987) (1:10)
- Bloodshot Eyes, from NMA Publications, 1989 (1:15)
- Looking out the window, (from 925 Poets, rec. Kev-in, collective effort press, 1980) (4:50)
- Grace O'Malley, NMA Publications, 1989 (6:48)
- Shit Poem / 1987 Federal Elections or: The Johns Party / Beijing Town / American President Poem / Hangman Brown (from reading at Baker's Café, collective effort press, 1990) (8:31)
- I remember the War in Vietnam / Stalin / Tribute to Malevich (Black Squares) / A letter to Queen Victoria (from Soundworks, rec. Ric Rue, Sydney 1986) (10:44)
Poems Of Life And Death By Jas H. Duke
1. Hot Dragon Day (from NMA Publications, 1989) (1:02)
2. Dada (from I/V Surrealist Festival 4, Bill Marshall PBS-FM, 1980) (2:03)
3. 4 & 20 Blackbirds / Tribute to Yeats (In a Sewer Dark & Dreary) / Psalm 23 / Nikola Tasla / Positive Poem / Another Bite of Yeats (Breath Poem) / Lack Lustre (from I/V Surrealist Festival 4, Bill Marshall PBS-FM, 1980) (8:26)
4. Personality Cult Poem / In Lost Atlantis / The Pope (I/V Born to Concrete, Jeff Herbert, 3CR No Limits, 1981) (9:26)
5. No, no you can't do that (rec. Warren Burt, 1982) (1:25)
6. Atlantis / Australia (I/V Montsalvat, Terry Bennett, 3CR, 1977) (4:25)
7. Mirror Man (I/V Niagara Galleries, Jeff Herbert, 3CR No Limits, 1981) (0:39)
8. A Dream (from I/V Surrealist Festival 4, Bill Marshall PBS-FM, 1980) (3:59)
9. New Imperial 1,2,3,4 (from I/V Surrealist Festival 4, Bill Marshall PBS-FM, 1980)
10. A letter from my brother in the country / Presentations / Dad's Dead (from 925 Poets, rec. Kev-in, collective effort press, 1980) (4:36)
11. Democracy (from Poets against the Bicentenary, collective effort press, 1987) (1:10)
12. Bloodshot Eyes, from NMA Publications, 1989 (1:15)
13. Looking out the window, (from 925 Poets, rec. Kev-in, collective effort press, 1980) (4:50)
14. Grace O'Malley, NMA Publications, 1989 (6:48)
15. Shit Poem / 1987 Federal Elections or: The Johns Party / Beijing Town / American President Poem / Hangman Brown (from reading at Baker's Café, collective effort press, 1990) (8:31)
16. I remember the War in Vietnam / Stalin / Tribute to Malevich (Black Squares) / A letter to Queen Victoria (from Soundworks, rec. Ric Rue, Sydney 1986) (10:44)
Poems Of Life And Death By Jas H.Duke
Selected & produced by jeltje
Collective effort press, Melbourne, 2003
These sound recordings are being made available for noncommercial and educational use only. All rights to this recorded material belong to the author's estate. (C) 2007 Estate of Jas Duke. Used with permission of Elizabeth Snashall, Literary Executor of the Estate of Jas DUke. Distributed by PENNSound & UbuWeb.
During his lifetime, Jas H. Duke was scarcely noticed during sojourns outside Australia, and not many poets outside his circle of friends in Australia recognized him, despite the energy he generated around himself wherever he went. Richard Kostelanetz includes an extreemly sketchy and not altogether accurte entry for him in his Dictionary of the Avant-Gardes, the only U.S. mention I can recall. Duke himself may not have required more than this - his Anarchism, was decentralist, and more oriented to the active scene in which he took part than in literary conquest, but it's a shame for the rest of us that he remains such a well kept secret. As an introduction to Duke, thalia's brief biography below does very well.
- Karl Young
Jas H. Duke was born in Ballarat, Australia in 1939. Son of two schoolteachers, Irish-Scottish ancestors. His family moved to Melbourne in the 1950s. He worked as a draftsman/ a laboratory assistant/ a technical writer and dreamed of becoming a chess champion (didnt quite make it). As a substitute he read every book that he could find.
In the 60's he became an Anarchist. Wrote short stories, and was desperately looking for a way to break-out! Went to England via the U S of A, where he circulated in the politico-psychedelic underground. In England he sought the commraderie of Freedom Press; met Ted Kavanagh, Cohn Bendit, Yoko Ono, and Raoul Hausmann. Jas became a political activist, and an actor who appeared in many underground movies by filmmaker Jeff Keen.
Jas came back to Australia in the early 70's. He published a surreal novel Destiny Wood printed in 1978, which includes poetry translated from the German, and a section of Concrete poems. He became an active member of Collective Effort Press, where he was involved in many small press publications, including the groundbreaking 925 a poetry magazine, for the workers, by the workers, about the workers work.
Jas was also involved in the first Visual Poetry Anthology of Australia Missing Forms published in 1981 by Collective Effort Press.
His poetry reading performances were memorable. They included: sound poems, lyric poems, narrative poems, the satirical, the absurd the political . . . his range was immense. Sometimes he would tear out a page of poetry and eat it while reciting a poem, or, sometimes he would scream out D A D A! in various intensities. His energy and commitment to poetry would shock and re-awaken his audience.
Jas discovered visual and sound poetry, along with the Dada movement in the 60's. He was initially influenced by R. Hausmann and K Schwitters, but found Letraset (and similar products) to be a liberating force, one of anarchic dynamism.
Jas's last book, Poems of War and Peace was published in 1989 by Collective Effort Press.
On 19 June 1992, Jas died of a massive heart attack brought on by a broken bone that shattered when he slipped and fell over a concrete step.
-- P. O.
P. O., friend and confidant of long standing, and a Collective Effort Press member, is preparing a posthumous collection of the Melbourne Anarchist poet Jas H. Duke entitled Poems of Life & Death.
For copies of Poems of War and Peace or Poems of Life & Death
Collective Effort Press
P.O. Box 2430V
G.P.O. Melbourne 3001
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