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  • Author:agent John Kinsella http://www.poetrylibrary.edu.au/poets/kinsella-john
Issue Details: First known date: 2013... 2013 Spatial Relations. Volume One: Essays, Reviews, Commentaries, and Chorography
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AbstractHistoryArchive Description

'These volumes present John Kinsella's uncollected critical writings and personal reflections from the early 1990s to the present. Included are extended pieces of memoir written in the Western Australian wheatbelt and the Cambridge fens, as well as acute essays and commentaries on the nature and genesis of personal and public poetics. Pivotal are a sense of place and how we write out of it; pastoral's relevance to contemporary poetry; how we evaluate and critique (post)colonial creativity and intrusion into Indigenous spaces; and engaged analysis of activism and responsibility in poetry and literary discourse. The author is well-known for saying he is preeminently an "anarchist, vegan, pacifist" - not stock epithets, but the raison d'être behind his work. The collection moves from overviews of contemporary Australian poetry to studies of such writers as Randolph Stow, Ouyang Yu, Charmaine Papertalk-Green, Lionel Fogarty, Les Murray, Peter Porter, Dorothy Hewett, Judith Wright, Alamgir Hashmi, Patrick Lane, Robert Sullivan, C.K. Stead, and J.H. Prynne, and on to numerous book reviews of poetry, fiction, and non-fiction, originally published in newspapers and journals from around the world. There are also searching reflections on visual artists (Sidney Nolan, Karl Wiebke, Shaun Atkinson) and wide-ranging opinion pieces and editorials. In counterpoint are conversations with other writers (Rosanna Warren, Rod Mengham, Alvin Pang, and Tracy Ryan) and explorations of schooling, being struck by lightning, 'international regionalism', hybridity, and experimental poetry. This two-volume argosy has been brought together by scholar and editor Gordon Collier, who has allowed the original versions to speak with their unique informal-formal ductus. Kinsella's interest is in the ethics of space and how we use it. His considerations of the wheatbelt through Wagner and Dante (and rewritings of these), and, in Thoreauvian vein, his 'place' at Jam Tree Gully on the edge of Western Australia's Avon Valley form a web of affirmation and anxiety: it is space he feels both part of and outside, em¬braced in its every magnitude but felt to be stolen land, whose restitution needs articulating in literature and in real time. Beneath it all is a celebration of the natural world - every plant, animal, rock, sentinel peak, and grain of sand - and a commitment to an ecological poetics.' (Publication summary)

Publication Details of Only Known VersionEarliest 2 Known Versions of

    • Amsterdam,
      c
      Netherlands,
      c
      Western Europe, Europe,
      :
      Rodopi ,
      2013 .
      image of person or book cover 8414468953174838990.jpg
      Extent: 2vp.
      Note/s:
      • Publication Date: May 23, 2013
      ISBN: 9789042036765 (set), 9042036761 (set), 9789042036772 (v. 1), 904203677X (v. 1), 9789042036789 (v. 2)
      Series: y separately published work icon Cross/Cultures Cross/cultures : Readings in the Post/Colonial Literatures in English Geoffrey V. Davis (editor), Hena Maes-Jelinek (editor), Gordon Collier (editor), Rodopi (publisher), Amsterdam New York (City) : Rodopi , Z1219090 series - publisher Number in series: 161-162

Works about this Work

Death of the Parrot, Anti-Pastoral and the Anthropocene : Towards a Topopoetic Reading of John Kinsella Wang Guanglin , 2022 single work criticism
— Appears in: Journal of Australian Studies , vol. 46 no. 4 2022; (p. 419-433)

'John Kinsella is a prolific writer from Western Australia. This article takes a topopoetic approach to considering his poetry and poetics by connecting studies of Yi-Fu Tuan’s topophilia and the paradoxical views of Zhuangzi and Thoreau in illustrating some tensions between language and place, connection and disconnection, and placement and displacement in Kinsella’s writings. In particular, I discuss Kinsella’s affective ties to the land and his anti-pastoral stance by parodying the European settlement on Country traditionally owned by Indigenous peoples. His poetry presents a dystopian world that challenges the old European sense of a pastoral society. By making connections between a Chinese sense of the earth and Kinsella’s poetics, I argue that as paradoxical as Kinsella's poetics may be, his writings, imbued with influences from different sources, demonstrate an effort to save the worsening earth.' (Publication abstract)

A Western Australian Pastoral of Rust and Dust Caitlin Maling , 2021 single work criticism
— Appears in: ISLE : Interdisciplinary Studies in Literature and Environment , Summer vol. 28 no. 2 2021; (p. 662–685)

'Born in 1935 to a family of early and successful Western Australian squattocracy (squatter aristocracy), the celebrated mid-century novelist Randolph Stow’s early life in rural Geraldton exposed him to the political contexts surrounding Australian pastoralism, particularly the dispossession and racist treatment of the Yamatji and Wajarri people of the central Gascoyne region and associated environmental destruction. This article reads two of Stow’s pastoral poems in light of these tensions, following the work of Stow’s Geraldton countryman John Kinsella’s understanding of settler Australian pastoral as inevitably fraught, for instead of a blank arcadia, even in retreat the landscape is always occupied (“Contrary Rhetoric” 136). The most influential voice in contemporary Australia (if not international) criticism of the pastoral, Kinsella argues that environmental violence is inextricable from violence done to the occupants of the land as functions of colonization, and the pastoral as it primarily operates in an Australian context occludes this violence. Kinsella writes that the “hierarchy of land ownership, a concept imported from Europe in particular, has meant that no nostalgia, no return to an Eden, is possible. These Edens are about dispossession and ownership by the few” (“Is There an Australian Pastoral” 348). Yet, is this necessarily other to the pastoral, which traces one of its many origin points to Virgil’s dispossession from his ancestral property at Mantua following the 42BC battle of Phillipi? How might an understanding of the pastoral as social form—complex, communal, and political—better help unpack the work of Stow and others? In this article, I take this question as my central concern, revisiting the poetry of Stow, which has largely rested in a critical lacunae since his death in Harwich, UK, in 2010. I am interested in teasing out how the pastoral is intrinsically linked to citizenship and community, or as William Empson writes, “the problems of one and the many, especially their social aspects” (21). This is the rusted pastoral of the Western Australian Wheatbelt Stow offers us, one that, through the questioning of human communities, is porous, allowing nature, history, and politics to filter through.' (Introduction)

John Kinsella, International Regionalism, and World Literature Yanli He , 2021 single work criticism
— Appears in: Angelaki , vol. 26 no. 2 2021; (p. 81-91)

'This article focuses on the question of John Kinsella’s invisibility in World Literature from the perspective of his International Regionalism (IR). First, it compares the similarity and difference between Kinsella and Joseph S. Nye’s international regionalism, and pinpoints the development of Kinsella’s IR from Disclosed PoeticsActivist PoeticsSpatial Relations to Polysituatedness. Second, it concentrates on analyzing the background of Kinsella’s IR through three kinds of ideologies: veganism, anarchism, and pacifism, in order to mark the unique identity problem of Kinsella – identity dilemma in-between pre- and post-nation as Australia. Third, it clarifies the reason why Kinsella is invisible in the World Literature canon as Emily Apter mentions in “On Translation in a Global Market,” in line with the question why Kinsella was mainly in the footnotes of Robert Dixon and Brigid Rooney’s Scenes of Reading: Is Australian Literature a World Literature. In conclusion, on the one hand, Kinsella’s IR about the World and Literature does not fit in the Center, or the Periphery, nor the Semi-Center & Periphery; on the other hand, Kinsella’s IR might more aptly be termed International Community-ism, because Kinsella’s World is built up by very small communities.' (Publication abstract)

John Kinsella's Wild Ecology of Thought Bonny Cassidy , 2015 single work review
— Appears in: Australian Poetry Journal , vol. 5 no. 1 2015; (p. 139-145)

— Review of Spatial Relations. Volume One: Essays, Reviews, Commentaries, and Chorography John Kinsella , 2013 selected work criticism
John Kinsella's Wild Ecology of Thought Bonny Cassidy , 2015 single work review
— Appears in: Australian Poetry Journal , vol. 5 no. 1 2015; (p. 139-145)

— Review of Spatial Relations. Volume One: Essays, Reviews, Commentaries, and Chorography John Kinsella , 2013 selected work criticism
John Kinsella, International Regionalism, and World Literature Yanli He , 2021 single work criticism
— Appears in: Angelaki , vol. 26 no. 2 2021; (p. 81-91)

'This article focuses on the question of John Kinsella’s invisibility in World Literature from the perspective of his International Regionalism (IR). First, it compares the similarity and difference between Kinsella and Joseph S. Nye’s international regionalism, and pinpoints the development of Kinsella’s IR from Disclosed PoeticsActivist PoeticsSpatial Relations to Polysituatedness. Second, it concentrates on analyzing the background of Kinsella’s IR through three kinds of ideologies: veganism, anarchism, and pacifism, in order to mark the unique identity problem of Kinsella – identity dilemma in-between pre- and post-nation as Australia. Third, it clarifies the reason why Kinsella is invisible in the World Literature canon as Emily Apter mentions in “On Translation in a Global Market,” in line with the question why Kinsella was mainly in the footnotes of Robert Dixon and Brigid Rooney’s Scenes of Reading: Is Australian Literature a World Literature. In conclusion, on the one hand, Kinsella’s IR about the World and Literature does not fit in the Center, or the Periphery, nor the Semi-Center & Periphery; on the other hand, Kinsella’s IR might more aptly be termed International Community-ism, because Kinsella’s World is built up by very small communities.' (Publication abstract)

A Western Australian Pastoral of Rust and Dust Caitlin Maling , 2021 single work criticism
— Appears in: ISLE : Interdisciplinary Studies in Literature and Environment , Summer vol. 28 no. 2 2021; (p. 662–685)

'Born in 1935 to a family of early and successful Western Australian squattocracy (squatter aristocracy), the celebrated mid-century novelist Randolph Stow’s early life in rural Geraldton exposed him to the political contexts surrounding Australian pastoralism, particularly the dispossession and racist treatment of the Yamatji and Wajarri people of the central Gascoyne region and associated environmental destruction. This article reads two of Stow’s pastoral poems in light of these tensions, following the work of Stow’s Geraldton countryman John Kinsella’s understanding of settler Australian pastoral as inevitably fraught, for instead of a blank arcadia, even in retreat the landscape is always occupied (“Contrary Rhetoric” 136). The most influential voice in contemporary Australia (if not international) criticism of the pastoral, Kinsella argues that environmental violence is inextricable from violence done to the occupants of the land as functions of colonization, and the pastoral as it primarily operates in an Australian context occludes this violence. Kinsella writes that the “hierarchy of land ownership, a concept imported from Europe in particular, has meant that no nostalgia, no return to an Eden, is possible. These Edens are about dispossession and ownership by the few” (“Is There an Australian Pastoral” 348). Yet, is this necessarily other to the pastoral, which traces one of its many origin points to Virgil’s dispossession from his ancestral property at Mantua following the 42BC battle of Phillipi? How might an understanding of the pastoral as social form—complex, communal, and political—better help unpack the work of Stow and others? In this article, I take this question as my central concern, revisiting the poetry of Stow, which has largely rested in a critical lacunae since his death in Harwich, UK, in 2010. I am interested in teasing out how the pastoral is intrinsically linked to citizenship and community, or as William Empson writes, “the problems of one and the many, especially their social aspects” (21). This is the rusted pastoral of the Western Australian Wheatbelt Stow offers us, one that, through the questioning of human communities, is porous, allowing nature, history, and politics to filter through.' (Introduction)

Death of the Parrot, Anti-Pastoral and the Anthropocene : Towards a Topopoetic Reading of John Kinsella Wang Guanglin , 2022 single work criticism
— Appears in: Journal of Australian Studies , vol. 46 no. 4 2022; (p. 419-433)

'John Kinsella is a prolific writer from Western Australia. This article takes a topopoetic approach to considering his poetry and poetics by connecting studies of Yi-Fu Tuan’s topophilia and the paradoxical views of Zhuangzi and Thoreau in illustrating some tensions between language and place, connection and disconnection, and placement and displacement in Kinsella’s writings. In particular, I discuss Kinsella’s affective ties to the land and his anti-pastoral stance by parodying the European settlement on Country traditionally owned by Indigenous peoples. His poetry presents a dystopian world that challenges the old European sense of a pastoral society. By making connections between a Chinese sense of the earth and Kinsella’s poetics, I argue that as paradoxical as Kinsella's poetics may be, his writings, imbued with influences from different sources, demonstrate an effort to save the worsening earth.' (Publication abstract)

Last amended 11 Apr 2014 12:26:52
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