Immune Systems


ISBN: 978-1-921924-82-8 Format: B-format with flaps 64pp Rights: All rights: Transit Lounge Release / Publication Date: 01 /04 /2015

This project has been assisted by the Australian government through the Australia Council for the Arts, its arts funding and advisory body.


In Immune Systems Andy Jackson captures and interrogates the complexity of contemporary India with lyric beauty and an unflinching, yet tender, gaze. In the title suite of poems he explores ‘medical tourism’ , a booming industry in India , from the perspective of a Westerner undergoing surgery and recovery. Through various medical and social interactions, he experiences confusion, insight, anger, small epiphanies and the sheer humanity of other bodies. Political and economic problems inherent in the medical tourism inform the poetry, but the focus is always the human encounter.

Similarly in a series of ghazals, Jackson reveals how the metaphysical is embodied in the everyday. The larger questions of love, death, body and spirit live in the seemingly ordinary, while the beautifully cadenced verse is grounded by an assured conversational tone.
‘Andy Jackson writes exceptionally well about India. But, as though unsatisfied with merely writing about one of the world’s most wonderfully complex social scenes, Jackson is drawn to the country’s medical system. This focus perfectly suits Jackson’s terrific poetic gift for fusing the clinical with the affective. The poems in Immune Systems are succinct and absolutely engaging expressions of a humanity caught between the demands of the body and the vagrancy of the mind.’ Ali Alizadeh, author of Ashes in the Air and Transactions

Immune Systems is a thought-provoking and poignant expansion of his poetic craft and themes.

‘Andy Jackson has made a most delicately probing poetry out of the detritus of urban India. This is a humane and moving book.’ Anjum Hasan, author of Street on the Hill and Difficult Pleasures

Andy Jackson’s collection, Among the regulars (papertiger media 2010) was shortlisted for the Kenneth Slessor Prize and highly commended in the Anne Elder Award. He won the 2013 Whitmore Press Manuscript Prize with the thin bridge (Whitmore Press 2014).

His poems have appeared in Best Australian Poems 2012 and 2013, Medical Journal of Australia, Meanjin, Southerly, Unusual Work, Australian Love Poems, Wordgatheringand Mascara Literary Review, and have been featured on Radio Australia, 3CR, 3RRR-FM, Radio National’s Poetica, and at the Melbourne Immigration Museum. In 2010, he was an Asialink Resident at the University of Madras, Chennai, India, where he wrote the poems exploring medical tourism. Andy has performed at literary events and arts festivals in Australia, India, USA and Ireland, and has run a creative writing workshop at Brunswick Neighbourhood House in Melbourne since 2011. He writes about identity, embodiment and poetry at This project has been assisted by the Australian government through the Australia Council for the Arts, its arts funding and advisory body.