Dead People on Holiday


By Stephen Jackson

Publisher : XLibris, Indiana

ABOUT Stephen Jackson

Stephen Jackson
Stephen Jackson was trained in Psychology, Logic and Metaphysics at St Andrews - only later as a lecturer and artist. Yet writing has been his passion and his escape since about the age of seven.     Imagine being lucky enough to find yourself landed in a near-fantasy career, and the More...



‘Dead People on Holiday’

“The living”, it has been said, “are dead people on holiday”.  This book is a ten-year testimony to one man’s living death, concluding in acceptance and at least the chance of a return to hope, love and a new life.   The poetry here pulls apart the inner sadness of encroaching age and irredeemable failure, with a candour which for most of us has to be kept stifled, silent, perhaps barely even thought. 

But this is a book which surmounts despair; and for the narrator here as much as for anyone else: if these are the ashes of a failed life, they are the ashes from which a phoenix can rise.  And yes, someday it will.    

Stephen Jackson’s fusion of his own poetry with digital imagery has been acclaimed as “hauntingly beautiful...tight, life-affirming”.  His account has been called “fascinating and amazing”: with a texture of writing comparable to John Donne’s.

This book is available to order through Amazon, Waterstones, Barnes & Noble from early September 2010. The ISBN is (for softcover) 078-1-4500-3968-0 or (for the hardback) 978-1-4500-3969-7. 

See our promo site at

Stephen Jackson was trained in Psychology, Logic & Metaphysics at St Andrews - only later as an artist. But from about the age of seven, writing seemed to come to him as naturally as breathing. It was also the refuge and enchantment for a child who, from the outset, perhaps perceived himself as one of life's outsiders. Later, through hard slog and a very great deal of luck, he found himself in a media career that for him was a fantasy come true. A shattering fall through the cracks of a seemingly ordered existence caused him to lose it all. Secret writing again emerged as his salvation and his way of making sense of the murmurings to an inner darkness that all of us, at some time in our lives, must come to face. This book represents the trophy and perhaps the conquest of a lost decade. Yet it was also in beating this bout of despair that he discovered the magical potential of digital imaging to transform our preconceptions of what we imagine the world to be like. The resulting juxtapositions of his art and poetry have been described as "fascinating and amazing" by a leading US novelist. Elsewhere these visuals found acclaim as "hauntingly beautiful": the words as "tight and life-enhancing", with a richness and texture comparable to John Donne's. As he says: "A lot of what I explore now has to do with peeking up the wrong end of the telescope, to see in a clearer light all those walking wounded in the universal and (some might say) necessary battlefields that litter human aspirations and language. There are few outright winners here, except of the most ephemeral kind. The tiny obsessions of middle age: the games all of us sometimes have to play - these are my canvas - and my occasions for humour and optimism. The memories of my own dark period, the fresh revelations of a subsequent sort of rebirth, offer endless avenues of inquiry as well as new and welcome pleasures. "Amongst the artists who intrigue me are Odilon Redon, Bill Brandt: Rousseau, Rothko, Blake, Chagall, Kandinsky, Edward Burra, Bonnard, Munch, Bacon, Frida Kahlo and Tamara de Lempicka; H R Giger, Ernst Haas, Georg Grosz, Francis Bowyer and Henri Cartier Bresson. Amongst poets? Sylvia Plath, perhaps almost above all: Larkin, Auden, Stephen Spender, Amy Lowell, Judith Wright, so many more...but above all, of course, The Boss (and there is only one)."

Most good poetry is short and to the point. Only a few poets succeed in delivering first class prosaic poetry and Stephen Jackson is one of them. Allow your mind to enter his world of contradictions. Let the borders of his soul enchant you in this spiritual voyage. Go where no one went before and let his introspective poetry ravish your mind. Just sail on, sail on... upon the words and waves of a turbulent sea that is the mind of Stephen Jackson.

    Lena Vanelslander - Author: Quills of Fire   
    University of Ghent