A Sextet of Activist Poems
In this visceral and assured sextet of poems, John Kinsella lays down his vision of an urgent and uncompromising poetics and politics of land. By turns searing and subdued, the poems in this collection grow, like the recurring image of harsh Hakea within it, out of the back country and small towns of the West Australian wheat belt, where ‘behind every veneer of trees’ there is ‘a suburb, a road widening’.
This is land as endangered ecosystem – each word planted ‘against the light’ in retaliation, in rage, against the impact of industry and indifference on the environment.
Yet these words are also planted ‘hopefully restoratively’, within poems that are as much a tribute to nature as they are a protest against its degradation.
Kris Hemensley’s speech on the Collected Works Bookshop blog
John Kinsella’s speech below