John Kinsella is the founding editor of the international poetry magazine Salt. He is international editor of The Kenyon Review (USA). He is also a consultant editor to Westerly (CSAL, University of Western Australia) and the Cambridge correspondent for Overland (Melbourne, Australia).
Kinsella has been a fellow of Churchill College, Cambridge since 1998. He is also an Adjunct Professor at Edith Cowan University, Western Australia. In 2001, he was appointed Richard L. Thomas Professor of Creative Writing at Kenyon College (Ohio, USA) for the spring semester. In 2005 Kinsella proposed a School of Environmental Poetics and Creativity.
John Kinsella grew up in the city but also spent much of his youth, including three years of schooling, in country towns and on farms around Mullewa, Geraldton and in the south-west of Western Australia. Following studies at the University of Western Australia, he travelled internationally for a number of years. Kinsella is a vegan, a pacifist, an anti-nationalist and a supporter of animal rights. As a cultural commentator, he has made statements in support of Indigenous rights, including land rights, and gender respect.
'A follow-up to the critically acclaimed Jam Tree Gully, Firebreaks records life and ecology in Western Australia.
'Known for a poetry both experimental, “activist,” and lyrical that reinvents the pastoral, John Kinsella considers his and his family’s life at Jam Tree Gully, in the Western Australian wheatbelt, and his deeply felt ecological concerns in this new cycle of poems about place, landscape, home, and absence. Part One, “Internal Exile,” explores issues of departure and return as well as alienation in Jam Tree Gully. Part Two, “Inside Out,” reevaluates how Kinsella and his family deal with ideas of “space” and proximity while also looking out into the wider world. How do we read an ecology as refuge? What lines of communication with the outside world need to be kept open? As Paul Kane observed in World Literature Today, “In Kinsella’s poetry . . . are lands marked by isolation and mundane violence and by a terrible transcendent beauty.”' (Publication summary)
'A man who never sleeps takes a cross-continent train journey into landscape and memory. A gregarious woman and a reclusive man move to an Irish village where history and tradition (the famine pit nearby, the festival of Halloween) enact their dark forces. In an Australian town dying from the encroachment of salinity, a young girl attempts to bring life to a dead dog.' (Publication summary)