Future Ethnographies: Language and Landscape in the Wheatbelt
Founded by Andrew Taylor, John Kinsella and Glen Phillips in 1998, the International Centre for Landscape and Language has become one of the Australian homes for study of landscape, space and geographic space in contemporary literature. The Centre takes an interdisciplinary approach to learning, integrating not only an admirable academic team, esteemed overseas academic guests (Les Murray, J.H. Prynne, to name but a few), but also geological, biological and etymological experts in an increasingly interwoven approach to providing students with an understanding of the landscape of Western Australia.
Field Reports, such as the recent trip to the Toolibin Lake salvation project, Wave Rock and through the Dryandra Forest provide students and writers alike with an opportunity to actively engage with and discuss the ongoing developments and evolutions in this literary landscape, and gain a closer look at preservation efforts taking place. By engaging with the landscape in this way it gives one the experience of resurrection, restructuring and active engagement with the the land that has so affected the writers that live in this Western Outcrop.
Two writers at the centre of this act of reclamation, and, likewise, whose poetic histories find both a nascent point and consummate envelopment within the Western Australian Landscape, John Kinsella and Glen Phillips have shared with Cordite a transcript that examines and questions what it means to be a writer living within and actively engaging with the land around them. For both Kinsella and Phillips poetics is work: it is a continual and never-ending process, a symbiotic process from which a voice of activism may spring. It is the aim of this voice to put the land and its strength and survival at the heart of the contemporary landscape poetry.