John Kinsella is known internationally as the acclaimed author of more than thirty books of poetry and prose, but in tandem with - and often directly through - his creative and critical work, Kinsella is also a prominent activist. In this important collection of essays the vegan anarchist pacifist poet claims that poetry can act as a vital form of resistance to a variety of social and ethical ills, in particular ecological damage and abuse. Kinsella builds on his earlier notion of 'linguistic disobedience' evolving out of civil disobedience, and critiques the figurative qualities of his poems in a context of resistance. The book includes explorations of anarchism, veganism, pacifism, and ecological poetics. For Kinsella all poetry is political and can be a call to action.
A lively manifesto for contemporary poetry to escape an aesthetic vacuum
Places an emphasis on poetry’s ability to elucidate and provoke responses to ethical issues, notably the environment
A timely critical intervention from an acclaimed and widely taught poet
John Kinsella delights in disturbance. (He) writes like an Australian storm at full blow.
John Kinsella's Activist Poetics argues that poetry can act as a form of resistance to social and ethical ills, especially ecological damage and abuse, by provoking responses. In these personal essays, memoirs, polemics, poems and critical readings of Australian poems, written over the past twenty years, Kinsella shows the ways in which he has attempted to engage with the world as he sees it in the Avon Valley, Western Australia. The book is not so much of a manifesto as an apologia, an attempt to show the ways in which he has seen and written about the injustices and disturbances in that area. His approach to issues such as immigration, refugees, animal rights, zoos, forest preservation, land erosion, telecommunication masts, and so on, is applicable elsewhere and that is what makes his 'linguistic disobedience', energetic involvement and ability to look, bear witness and become involved, so striking.
Tears in the Fence, Number 52