Sunday, December 2, 2012

Poems of War and Peace by Jas H. Duke.

Poems of War and Peace by Jas H. Duke.  Paperback book published by Collective Effort Press (no date), 268 pages.

Ballarat born Jas H. Duke passed away in 1992 after having “a massive heart attack brought on by a broken bone that shattered when he slipped and fell over a concrete step”*.  He is probably the most well known Ballarat born Anarchist poet the world has even known, yet sadly there are no memorials to the man other than a few bits on the interwebs and of course a few books with this particular title being one of those books.  Interestingly Jas doesn’t get mentioned in the Ballarat Wikipedia entry in the section of Notable Persons, whereas some dodgy people do (politicians, clergy, sports people).  Reading through a few of the other “bits” on the interwebs, I particularly like this:

“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.”*

I first encountered Jas’s oeuvre a few years ago at a friends house.  This particular friend is a massive fan and has amassed a comprehensive collection of Jas Duke’s works… which isn’t much… I think he has 2 books.  He often enjoys entertaining guests with readings from these works, which is how I know of Jas H. Duke.  A few weeks ago on the way to a book sale, I commented to this friend/Jas Duke fan/Huc & Gabet book finding assistant, that rather strangely I hadn’t found any Ballarat Anarchist poetry over the last few years.  Half an hour later he walks up to me and hands me this book.  I’m not sure why I thought of Jas as we were driving to this sale, it’s not something I normally think of… or want to think of.  Maybe it’s the beginning of my own “anarchic dynamism”. 

*Jas H. Duke: A Biographical Sketch by thalia


  1. Jas Duke was a SHIT Poet. He'll tell you so himself in the work he left us to ponder and marvel at.

    Brian Snowden.

  2. Man, I'm an argentinian poet working on an translated anthology of Jas's works in spanish. In Argentina, as you may guess, it's really imposible to get any of his books. Do you have this one? Could you send it to me in PDF?
    Every copyright would be respected, if the book gets published, and we will be forever grateful with you for letting us get the work of this superb poet hit the streets of Buenos Aires (Argentina).

  3. Hi there,
    Firstly, apologies for the late reply. I do still have the book which is $15. Postage to Argentina would be an extra $21.45 so the total would be $36.45. The publisher of this volume is still going you may want to contact them re pdfs etc. They have a website at
    All the best

  4. Hello,

    Do you still have this book?

    I would love love love to buy it.

    Please get back to me.



    1. Hi there,

      Yes i do. It's at my shop and is $15. Please contact me at:
      Let me know where you are and i can get some postage rates for you as well.
      All the best