A vivid and urgent collection that addresses the contemporary crises—environmental, philosophical, and artistic—that keep us up at night.
In this forceful call to action, acclaimed poet John Kinsella explores deeply felt and ever more insistent ecological concerns in his signature lyrical and experimental activist poetry. Here Kinsella turns his restless, unblinking gaze to a world where art, music, and philosophy—the highest creations of the human imagination and empathy—suddenly find themselves in a time and place that not only deny their importance, but can seem to have no use for them at all. In answer, Insomnia offers poems of self-accusation and angry protest, meditations on the nature of loss and trauma, and full-throated celebrations of the natural world.
Kinsella attempts to find a still point from which we might reconfigure our perspective and examine the paradoxes of our contemporary experience. Ranging sleeplessly from Jam Tree Gully, Western Australia, to the coast of West Cork, Ireland, and haunted by historical and literary figures from Dante to Emily Brontë, Insomnia may be Kinsella’s most varied, concentrated, and powerful collection to date.
About the Author
John Kinsella is the author of over thirty books, including the critically acclaimed Jam Tree Gully and Firebreaks. He is a Fellow of Churchill College, University of Cambridge, and professor of literature and environment at Curtin University. In 2007 he received the Fellowship of Australian Writers Christopher Brennan Award for lifetime achievement in poetry. He lives at Jam Tree Gully in the Western Australian Wheatbelt.
A work of eco-activism…What gives this important book its edge is that Kinsella worries at—and about—the relationship between art and an endangered world…Kinsella is a celebrator of the natural world, a poet of wide horizons.
— Katie Kellaway - Guardian