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y separately published work icon UnHistory selected work   poetry  
Issue Details: First known date: 2022... 2022 UnHistory
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AbstractHistoryArchive Description

'There were to be four collections of the dialogue in poems between Kwame Dawes in Nebraska (via Ghana and Jamaica) and John Kinsella in Western Australia, but both the demands of the times and the sense of there being much more to say resulted in a fifth: unHistory. And what work of contemporary history would be complete without a Codicil, a CodaFootnotes and a poetic IndexunHistory takes on the world-wide rise in authoritarian governments; the Trumpite attempt to overthrow democracy in the USA; the battle between alarm and the cynicism of fossil fuel interests in confronting climate change; the light that Covid-19 threw on the fissures between poverty and wealth within countries and across the world order; the resurgence of Black demands for social justice after the murder of George Floyd (and many others) ; and conservative white nationalist attempts to close down the re-examination of colonial and imperial history’s shaping of racism and inequality in the present. But if unHistory is an essential record of our times by two world-leading poets, it is much more than that. It is an exploration of history’s undertones, its personal, familial and institutional resonances and of the relationship between public events and the literary imagination. How do you respond to the white man who politely asks Dawes why his poems seem so angry? How, as a poet, do you respond to the English literary tradition, rooted as it is in empire and colonialism? Index ends these four volumes in one with a sequence of poems in Spenserian stanzas, written with a sharp awareness of the divergence between the beauty of language and form in Spenser’s work, and Spenser’s English advocacy of the most brutal forms of genocide and ethnic cleansing in Ireland? For Kinsella, looking back at his forebears’ escape from famine in colonial Ireland, how is one to discuss and address white Australia’s brutal history of settler colonialism in its treatment of indigenous peoples?' (Publication summary)

Publication Details of Only Known VersionEarliest 2 Known Versions of

    • Leeds, Yorkshire,
      c
      England,
      c
      c
      United Kingdom (UK),
      c
      Western Europe, Europe,
      :
      Peepal Tree Press ,
      2022 .
      image of person or book cover 3262149031322467720.jpg
      Image courtesy of publisher's website.
      Extent: 508p.
      Note/s:
      • Published 16 June 2022
      ISBN: 9781845235321

Works about this Work

Truths Unsettled Two Poets’ Dialogue about History and Decolonisation Jaya Savige , 2022 single work review
— Appears in: The Times Literary Supplement , 23 September 2022;

— Review of UnHistory John Kinsella , Kwame Dawes , 2022 selected work poetry

'UnHistory: A poem cycle is the fifth and final volume of the dialogue in poetry between Kwame Dawes and John Kinsella, which began with Speak from Here to There (2016). At 508 pages it is also by far the largest instalment, bringing the project to 1,300 pages (or 725 poems) in total. Spanning two years from mid-2019, this is a de facto “chronicle of this season: / the pestilence, the riots, lies and great / truths unsettled”. Purnell’s History of the Second World War anthology, Netflix, Elizabeth Barrett Browning, Lee “Scratch” Perry, the musical Hamilton, Derek Walcott and the teeth of the murdered Congolese prime minister Patrice Lumumba are just some of the grist for their maximalist poetic mill.'  (Introduction)

Truths Unsettled Two Poets’ Dialogue about History and Decolonisation Jaya Savige , 2022 single work review
— Appears in: The Times Literary Supplement , 23 September 2022;

— Review of UnHistory John Kinsella , Kwame Dawes , 2022 selected work poetry

'UnHistory: A poem cycle is the fifth and final volume of the dialogue in poetry between Kwame Dawes and John Kinsella, which began with Speak from Here to There (2016). At 508 pages it is also by far the largest instalment, bringing the project to 1,300 pages (or 725 poems) in total. Spanning two years from mid-2019, this is a de facto “chronicle of this season: / the pestilence, the riots, lies and great / truths unsettled”. Purnell’s History of the Second World War anthology, Netflix, Elizabeth Barrett Browning, Lee “Scratch” Perry, the musical Hamilton, Derek Walcott and the teeth of the murdered Congolese prime minister Patrice Lumumba are just some of the grist for their maximalist poetic mill.'  (Introduction)

Last amended 28 Oct 2022 07:31:12
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