John Kinsella



To Outlive a Home: Poetics of a Crumbling Domestic 

While these pre-federation tropes of settler colonial Australia’s multifaceted and at times contradictory pastoral modes seem to recognise something of their incompatibility with Aboriginal land, they seek their resolution from burial, rather than reciprocal encounter with Aboriginal presence.

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Review Short: Charmaine Papertalk-Green’s and John Kinsella’s False Claims of Colonial Thieves

False Claims of Colonial Thieves weaves together two disparate voices, Charmaine Papertalk-Green and John Kinsella, in a demanding collection that reaffirms the troubling environmental era we are living through. Structurally, the book shifts between traditionally oppositional views – an Aboriginal woman and a white man.

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We Ask More

‘Give we the hills our equal prayer, Earth’s breezy hills and heaven’s blue sea; I ask for nothing further here But my own heart and liberty.’ Emily Brontë Ask everything more of layout under pressure. Ask for depths outside and …

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A Poetics of a Politics

When delivering a thesis presentation based on rethinking the methodologies for reading Aboriginal Australian poetics, a fellow postgraduate student asked me, ‘Do you consider your thesis political?’

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Introduction to Matthew Hall’s False Fruits

Fruit is the apogee of the pastoral. It’s what the work, the waiting, the ritual and the thanks are for. But the making of fruit is costly and even the ‘natural’ cycle of things will be managed so some factors are privileged over others. In this cycle of post-lyrical poems, Hall questions the form and circumstances of these factors. What are they?

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Activist Journal: Ireland and Germany Extraction, 2015-16

18/9/2015 Rosewood, Schull, Co. Cork, Ireland. Difficult and full fortnight of work coming up before I have to travel solo to London on bus, ferry and train.

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Unbidden: Settler Poetry in the Presence of Indigenous Sovereignty

Influenced and shaped by some fifty years of Indigenous poetry in English, the last couple of decades of Australian settler poetry have advanced prolific attempts to ‘write (oneself) into the country’ (Van Teeseling 209): producing varied and sometimes radical poetries of regionality, topography, climate, and the histories, narratives and landmarks running through and over them.

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Chris Brown Reviews John Kinsella

The poetry of John Kinsella will need little introduction in a forum such as this, though with the recent publication of his Drowning in Wheat: Selected Poems, aspects of Kinsella’s biography move more meaningfully into focus. Author of over forty books, Kinsella’s writing career spans three decades. What with the wealth of material available to him, Kinsella and his editors might have been spoilt for choice; though how to bring this wealth into a general coherence?

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Bonny Cassidy Reviews Contemporary Australian Literature: A World Not Yet Dead

As Feature Reviews Editor and sometime reviewer for Cordite Poetry Review it is an unusual (and therefore fun) privilege to consider a title in which poetry is critically addressed in the company of other forms. Too often it is it either quarantined within poetry-only criticism, or mentioned as an embarrassing aside to discussions of prose.

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Natural Selection: Ecological Postcolonialism as Bearing on Place

Australian poetry reminds us that we cannot encounter the natural world except by cultural means.

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The Collapse of Space: On Lisa Gorton’s The Life of Houses

I think making comparisons between Lisa Gorton’s The Life of Houses and other writers is somewhat distracting of the novel’s achievement.

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Simon Eales Reviews John Kinsella

In the first rabbit poems by the late J S Harry, her rabbit-character, Peter Henry Lepus, is thrown into a number of desolate or alien environments. Peter is ‘dumped … on the Desert of Sense’, ‘comes to … FORTY-THREE BLENDS / OF DUSTED-OFF & SUNDRIED RATIONALISM’, and ‘gets lost in “Calcutta” / on his way to visit Farmer McGruber’s vegetable patch.’ He is displaced most comprehensively in the middle of Iraq, 2003, a warzone that amplifies his naïve and interlopic perspective. Such meaning-deprived contexts let Harry explore belonging, identity, and the stability of concepts themselves. In the poem, ‘Small & Rural’, for example:

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