John Kinsella

X Marks the Parataxis: Louis Armand, John Kinsella and Jessica L Wilkinson

Displacement is apparent both geographically and textually in Letters from Ausland by Louis Armand, The Vision of Error by John Kinsella (subtitled, ‘A Sextet of Activist Poems’) and marionette by jessica l. wilkinson (written here all in lower-case and subtitled, ‘a biography of miss marion davies’). All three poets are or have been editors of literary magazines: Armand edits VLAK, out of Prague; Kinsella, SALT; and Wilkinson, Rabbit (why does this name always remind me of Wittgenstein’s drawing of a rabbit that can also be perceived as a duck?) Armand and Kinsella have also collaborated on a number of books.

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Geoff Page Reviews John Kinsella

John Kinsella’s latest foray into what has become known as ‘ecopoetics’ raises many more aesthetic and political questions than can be resolved in a short review. As in his Divine Comedy: Journeys Through a Regional Geography (2008), Kinsella makes vivid and considerable use of autobiography. He and his family are presented as embattled eco-pioneers in a region already much destroyed by bad farming practices, partly multi-national in origin, and roamed over at will by township hoons ready to shoot up anything that moves.

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The Ethics of Attention in Peter Larkin’s ‘Leaves of Field’

This paper is concerned with ‘making sense’ in Peter Larkin’s ‘Leaves of Field’, a long poem that articulates a post-pastoral poetics based on ethical valency activated by attention. ‘Leaves of Field’ directs questions at us: How do we look at ‘natural’ objects? What is adequate poetic description? Can there be ethics without an apparent subject? How can we avoid instrumentalising nature poetically and ecologically after human intervention? What is the ‘value’ of human-and-non-human relations? Creating a lyricism not based on self-expression or explicitly only-human community, Larkin answers the challenges of writing innovatively with ethical consciousness by attending minutely to poetic texture and to ‘attention’ itself.

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Caitlin Maling Reviews Randolph Stow

In his masterful and extensive introduction to The Land’s Meaning: New Selected Poems John Kinsella, who edited the volume, writes that much of Randolph Stow’s work is metaphoric, weaving things together in a way that promises narrative but actually reveals very little. Reading through this new selected poems, I was struck by the tension of poetry as public utterance of private speech, which characterizes Stow’s work. Whether dealing with myth, landscape, colonialism or love, these are poems that are selective in what they choose to reveal and particular in the techniques they use to reveal.

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1. Play the fluted column. Treasury of the consciousness of Man. Ring the emperors’ bells. The disappearing hat-trick. Replace chipped crockery. One copy among others. Animal furnishings. Will make nature obsolete? And so they cluster. Picture, fresco, miniature and stained-glass. …

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Angela Meyer Reviews Judith Rodriguez and Niall Lucy, John Kinsella

Judith Rodriguez’s The Hanging of Minnie Thwaites and Niall Lucy’s and John Kinsella’s The Ballad of Moondyne Joe are informative poetic explorations of the historical figures Frances Knorr, known as Minnie Thwaites, and Joseph Bolitho Jones, known as Moondyne Joe. The books are explorations and not interpretations, as the authors are aware of the trappings of context, of interpreting fragments of text from the past according to one’s own contemporary values. Of course, this is not completely avoidable and the postmodern notion of avoiding an authoritative account is itself, arguably, a condition of context.

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Review Short: John Kinsella’s The Jaguar’s Dream

The Jaguar’s Dream is a collection of ‘cover’ poems by the celebrated, and prolific, John Kinsella. The poems covered by Kinsella all originate in languages other than English – gestating in mother tongues as diverse as Latin, French, German, Russian, Chinese and others, before fusing with Kinsella’s own ‘Wheatbelt Western Australian, mid-Ohioan, and Cantabrigian English.’ Cover, interestingly, is also a verb meaning to mate, particularly of a stallion to a mare: the poems are similarly interbreedings, by Kinsella (Western Australian English) out of Virgil (Augustan Latin).

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Wandering through the Universal Archive

One of the sequences produced by the collaborative entity, A Constructed World, renders the phrases ‘No need to be great’ and ‘Stay in Groups’ in a range of media – silk-stitch, screen print, photography and painting. One of the painted versions of the image shows a naked woman covered in yellow post-it notes overseen by a hulking, shadowy male. These figures represent the artists Jacqueline Riva and Geoff Lowe. The image appears again in the form of a photograph and the installation was staged in various places around the world – as if the only way to get the message across would be to subject it to constant repetition in as many different formats as possible. Indeed, a number of the collective’s performances and installations attest to the impossibility of communication – even as these take the form of images that can’t fail to deliver. Avant Spectacle A Micro Medicine Show, 2011, features skeleton-costumed performers inexpertly singing and playing instruments while six knee-high wooden letters – S, P, E, E, C and H – burn like small condemned buildings at front of stage.

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Short on shimmy they took to the disco with a resounding whomp of white & solid silver waves of wire; a platform to berate from, a wag the dog diorama; wearing only your shadow & shouting to the stomping throng …

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Ryan Scott reviews Robert Drewe and John Kinsella

Sand is a substance which suggests abundant contradictions. Abundance and scarcity is one; others are leisure and hardship, isolation and revelry, and most starkly the infinitely small and the infinite. Yet, it is rarely held up as something sacred. It is not often treasured for its feel and its ubiquity.

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Glen Phillips and John Kinsella: Mythology and Landscape

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.

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John Kinsella’s Poetics of Distraction

Like Rauschenberg’s Dante drawings, John Kinsella’s Divine Comedy: Journeys through a Regional Geography has firstly had to address the question of its status with regard to “the allegorical requirement of a master text.”

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Siobhan Hodge Reviews Over There: Poems from Singapore and Australia

Over There: Poems from Singapore and Australia is ambitious. This anthology reads as a sample of more to come, rather than a clear achievement of the sizable task that it sets out in its introduction. Over There is not, as the title might initially suggest, a collection of travel poems, nor is it a comparison of different postcolonial reflections arising from Singapore and Australia.

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Ali Alizadeh Interviews John Kinsella

John Kinsella’s most recent book Divine Comedy: Journeys Through a Regional Geography is an incredibly ambitious and meticulous rewriting of that great epic poem of the Middle Ages, Dante's The Divine Comedy. Our guest poetry editor for Epic, Ali Alizadeh, interviewed Kinsella recently, via email. Their discussion ranged from traditional notions of the epic form, and Kinsella's relationship with it, to ecological manifestoes and collaborative projects, and the concept of 'pushing against form'.

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Perri Giovannucci Reviews The Penguin Anthology of Australian Poetry

Since the 1990s, academic discussions about literature have challenged, if not deconstructed, the project of a national canon. These discussions have centered on the notions of representation, inclusion, aesthetics, and importantly, identity. While the debates may at times seem atomising, the effects have invigorated literature, both in how it is conceptualised as a discipline and in how texts are produced.

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Ern Malley Jr.: My sister’s eyes are nothing like the sun…

Ern is of the park, and occasionally further afield. He channels, divines, and is pretty much an open book. He is losing his ambitions.

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Ern Malley Jr. : Gnostic Iron Bird Jism

Ern is of the park, and occasionally further afield. He channels, divines, and is pretty much an open book. He is losing his ambitions.

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Ern Malley Jr. : Crown Soliciting

Ern is of the park, and occasionally further afield. He channels, divines, and is pretty much an open book. He is losing his ambitions.

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Ern Malley Jr. : Graphology 130: The dripping disincontinent

Ern is of the park, and occasionally further afield. He channels, divines, and is pretty much an open book. He is losing his ambitions.

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Ern Malley Jr. : Mercurial, Mirabell… Anopheles: Culture-shift

Ern is of the park, and occasionally further afield. He channels, divines, and is pretty much an open book. He is losing his ambitions.

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Ian MacNeill Reviews John Kinsella

With his appearances on ABC TV's 'Critical Mass' program John Kinsella is becoming something of a public intellectual. His severe demeanour and combative stance suggest an aggressive priest, Savaranola maybe. The poems in this collection do not dispel this impression, there is a savagery in them, of tone, image and spirit.

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Laissez Faire

They were acting crazy around the card table. She was trying to teach the guys how to deal poker hands, the way it ought to be done — she was bluffing, they were too stoned, in this motel room like …

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Drugs and Country Towns

for Paul Muldoon The SS Commodore with tinted windows will make the run to Perth in a few hours, the stereo flat-tack and the driver pumped up, hanging out but intoxicated by the prospect of picking up, the hollowness filled …

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Long-hauled in the hot zone a road train tugs on the rightist strings and precedent is damned like tokenism, an outmoded supply strategy that has them talking of extracting organs from prisoners and sustaining life to promote suffering, suspicion the …

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