'The Argonautica Inlandica is primarily based on the ancient Greek text/translation of Apollonius of Rhodes’s Argonautica, with other ancient texts including Pindar’s Pythian Odes and Valerius Flaccus’s Latin work, Argonautica. In loosely following the journey of Jason and the Argonauts. The Argonautica Inlandica re-envisions a key story of Western literature in terms of environmental poetics and an examination of colonial impacts. Integrally connected with Kinsella's ongoing examination of south-western Australian ‘nature reserves’, The Argonautica Inlandica takes the sea journey inland via rivers and creeks, into spaces of ‘nature’ that have managed to persist despite the ecological destruction of vast areas of southern Western Australia. The journeys are many, however, a set of voyages of de-exploration and de-colonising activism. The Argonautica Inlandica is fundamentally an ecological work that examines the settler impact on country, and industrial impacts on world environments, and laments the rapacity and greed of a consumer world that has left so much of the natural environment in a vulnerable or in fact devastated condition. However, the tone is ultimately affirming insofar as action to halt the damage — including through the writing of poetry — is seen as a partial way of correction, healing and redress. The Argonautica Inlandica is a masterwork from one of contemporary poetry's major voices.
'‘In searching for the Golden Fleece, the Argonauts experienced harrowing trips through the uncharted rivers of central Europe and the desert wastes of North Africa. Now, in his brilliantly conceived and dazzlingly erudite ecological epic, John Kinsella turns Apollonius of Rhodes’s great water journey inland and inside-out, revealing how in Australia “the quest for metals to service the greenwash / of energy, the lap against the balance of power hull, / is the death of a forest and its inhabitants. And that’s real /-politic, sports funding, local investment, and PR.” Indeed, “The clash—rigor/ mortis of empire craving, and the media’s / feeding frenzy” leave both poet and reader to witness “insect and reptile sheltering places / removed, echidna hollows disturbed,/ ground exposed raw as some properties /surrounding the enclave, hemming / it in. And the phantom travellers, / antithetical Argonauts, look on with despair . . .”'(Publication summary)