Spirals, Collected Poems Volume Three (2014-2023)
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Spirals is the third and final volume of John Kinsella’s collected poems and dates from 2014-2023, seeing Kinsella through his fifties and without an end in sight. Spirals is not a case of a poet growing older, steadier, and more sedate but rather brings an ongoing sense of development that is also recursive and spatial. Politically, institutionally, and attitudinally, Kinsella remains an outsider.
John Kinsella’s poetry is collected in one place for the very first time and includes poems that have appeared in chapbooks, publications outside of Australia, and some that are no longer in print. In this final volume, the spiralling effects of time combined with Kinsella’s probing and connections in space have brought his poetry an authority and a sense of being listened to not only with awe but with respect. And still, Kinsella renounces any inflated self. Instead of basting in a perversely satisfying white guilt, or retreating to a passive melancholy, Kinsella is active, dynamic, and even exuberant. His poetry is replete with astounding energy that is creative and forward-looking while remaining concerned about environmental damage, exploitations of neoliberalism and militarism, and the continuing illegitimacies of unacknowledged settler occupation. Kinsella’s final volume marks the culmination of his Collected Poems and cements itself as a landmark addition to Australian poetry.
Praise for Collected Poems
One of Australia’s most vivid, energetic and stormy poets, a writer who turns to the natural world with a fierce light.
– Edward Hirsch, Washington Post
Kinsella’s work conveys the damage done through capitalism, colonialism, patriarchy and their pervasive discourse. Yet it also illuminates how to see forms of connective beauty and resistant power between the human and more-than-human.
– Ann Vickery, Angelaki
The poem, then, as pantechnicon. The poet as polymath. To help rescue, to help halt the damage – to help undo the crime – one must know, one must inform oneself to inform others.
– David Brooks, The Conversation, on volume one of the collected poems, The Ascension of Sheep
Works of immense range, from extended lyrical meditations to taut experimental sonic poems and everything in between.
– WritingWA, on volume one of the collected poems, The Ascension of Sheep
The invitation of this sweeping collection provides the opportunity to consider the development of Kinsella’s writing from its raw earliest examples to the skilled technique evident in his current writing.
– John Hawke, Australian Book Review, on volume two of the collected poems, Harsh Hakea
One of the greatest senses one gets reading across the breadth of Kinsella is not plenitude but particularity, a granularity revealed through the turning over of the same materials and revealing how subtle shifts in the way they lie against one another alters the sense of the whole.
– Caitlin Maling, Westerly, on volume two of the collected poems, Harsh Hakea
Publication Date: 1 March 2024
Format: 234 x 153 mm, 1kg
Extent: 926 pages
Rights: Australia and New Zealand