June 15, 2010

John Kinsella

John Kinsella [Australia]

John Kinsella was born in Western Australia in 1963. He is the author of a dozen works of poetry including Full Fathom Five, Syzygy, The Silo, Erratum/Frame(d), The Radnoti Poems, The Undertow: New & Selected Poems, and Lightning Tree. 1997 saw the publication of his experimental novel Genre (international release), and the publication of the English edition of his inter-nationally successful The Silo: A Pastoral Symphony by Arc.

He is at present working on an anthology of contemporary Australian poetry, and has recently co-edited (with Joseph Parisi) a double issue of Australian poetry for the American journal Poetry. His verse play Crop Circles is being prepared for production. He was a writer in residence at Churchill College, Cambridge, in 1997. Kinsella was appointed the Richard L Thomas Professor of Creative Writing at Kenyon College in the United States for 2001, where he is now Professor of English. He is also Adjunct Professor to Edith Cowan University, Western Australia, where he is a Principal of the Landscape and Language Centre He will also be involved in the teaching of Australian literature in the Commonwealth Literature course run by the English Department of Cambridge University.

He is the editor of Salt magazine and Folio (Salt) publishing. He is the recipient of numerous awards, grants, and Fellowships, including: The Western Australian Premier's Award for Poetry, The Harri Jones Memorial Prize for Poetry, The John Bray Poetry Award from the Adelaide Festival, Senior Fellowships from the Literature Board of The Australia Council, and a Young Australian Creative Fellowship. His work has been or is being translated into many languages, including French, German, Chinese, and Dutch.
He was commissioned to create a textual adaptation of Wagner's Götterdämmerung for the 2003 Perth Festival, and is the author of four verse plays (collected as Divinations).


The Frozen Sea (Zeppelin Press, 1983); Night Parrots (Fremantle, Australia: Fremantle Arts Centre Press, 1989); The Book of Two Faces (Perth: PICA, 1989); Poems (Australia: Folio, 1991); Ultramarine (Australia: Folio, 1992); Eschatologies (Fremantle, Australia: Fremantle Arts Centre Press, 1991); Full Fathom Five (Fremantle, Australia: Fremantle Arts Centre Press, 1993); Syzygy (Fremantle, Australia: Fremantle Arts Centre Press, 1993); Erratum/Frame(d) (Fremantle, Australia: Folio/Fremantle Arts Centre Press, 1995); Intensities of Blue (Cambridge, England: Folio, 1995); The Silo: A Pastoral Symphony (Fremantle, Australia: Fremantle Arts Centre Press, 1995 /Arc, 1997) The Radnoti Poems (Cambridge, England: Equipage, 1996); The Undertow: New and Selected Poems (England: Arc, 1996); Lightning Tree (Fremantle, Australia: Fremantle Arts Centre Press, 1996); Graphology (Cambridge, England: Equipage, 1997); Poems 1980-1994 (Fremantle, Australia: Fremantle Arts Centre Press, 1997) / Highgreen, Tarset, England: Bloodaxe, 1998); voice-overs [with Susan Schultz] (Kāne’ohe, Hawaii: Tinfish, 1997); The Hunt (Highgreen, Tarset, England: Bloodaxe, 1998); Kangaroo Virus [with Ron Sims] (Fremantle, Australia: Fremantle Arts Centre Press/Folio, 1998); Sheep Dip (Wicklow, Ireland: Wild Honey Press, 1998); Pine [poems by John Kinsella and Keston Sutherland] (Cambridge, England: Folio (Salt), 1998); alterity: poems without tom raworth (New York/Prague: x-poezie, 1998);The Benefaction (Cambridge, England: Equipage, 1999); Fenland Pastorals (Warwickshire, England: Prest Roots Press, 1999); Visitants (Highgreen, Tarset: Bloodaxe, 1999); Counter-Pastoral (Sydney: Vagabond Press, 1999); Wheatlands [with Dorothy Hewett] (Fremantle, Australia: Fremantle Arts Center Press, 2000); Zone (Fremantle, Australia: e-matters and Freemantle Arts Center Press, 2000); Zoo [with Coral Hull](Australia: Paperbark Press, 2000); The Hierarchy of Sheep (Highgreen, Tarset, England: Bloodaxe 2000 / Femantle, Australia: Freemantle Arts Centre Press, 2001); Speed Factory (Fremantle, Australia: Fremantle Arts Center, 2002); Lightning Tree (Todmorden, England: Arc, 2003); Peripheral Light: New and Selected Poems (New York: W.W. Norton, 2003); Doppler Effect: Collected Experimental Poems (Cambridge, England: Salt, 2004); The New Arcadia (New York: W. W. Norton, 2005)

╬Winner of the PIP Gertrude Stein Awards for Innovative Poetry in English


We look for that point of contact
that crops up in conversation or letters
or in surveys of vocation;
slow blood
pushing its way round, as if the tunnels before
its limp walls are hollow, expectant.
The purple-veined
spider orchid is a nerve centre, powerboard
we’ll plug into from wherever; steel-capped boots
trample underfoot: wood collectors, shooters,
kids tracking enemies. Where enemies
come from varies with technology;
who writes,
who apportions part of their attention span,
cries just because the music is in a minor key.
Have you seen
the red leschenaultia flowering in islands, focal
cascades amongst the kwongan?
The pupils fire
and the site pale as further away.
Perfidy, ripple
of muscles and component parts urging
a gushing out, a bleeding heart. This is every
one of you built up to a head, to my lungs
so tight I barely breathe, my hands and feet
all maps overlaid, cratered, furrowed, riven, creased;
shadow linked to shadow linked to shadow,
an anthology
of creed and intentionality. Signals, cages, beacons,
the chrysalis of an unopened pink sunray,
or fields in which poisons weren’t understood,
but that’s childhood.
Forty years doles out inlays
and extractions, the draining rock
above cave systems that even now harbour
species of animals unknown to anybody—anybody
at all. Out here, sight shuts down;
inside, scant light amplifies.

Reprinted from Boston Review, November-December 2005. Copyright ©2005 by John Kinsella.

No comments: