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2022 - Shortlisted
This volume enlarges the possibilities for poetics in Australia and the world, demonstrating John Kinsella’s ethically attuned approach to the local spaces in which he lives and works. If pastoral poetry is one of the earliest, most influential, and most enduring forms of western literary expression, Kinsella’s book interrogates and undoes the form’s historic claims, destabilising the pastoral mode in a time of ecological crisis.
Supervivid Depastoralism reveals a multifaceted and restless mind at work, ranging through nightscapes, landscapes, and the cratered zones that colonisation leaves in its wake. The infinity of sheep grazing on a hillside, the misrecognised call of the boobook owl, the rock dragon, the yellow-plumed honeyeater: all demand new and self-reflexive poetic interaction. Kinsella pursues this through syntactical brilliance and deft imagery, allowing his richly observational mode to wholly refigure previously ‘settled’ relationships and subjectivities.