Award-winning poet John Kinsella offers a unique take on the asylum seeker situation befuddling politicians and the public. Crikey publishes his new poem Turning.
We don’t normally feature poetry in Crikey. But we don’t normally get pitched poetry by such a celebrated poet.
John Kinsella has published more than 30 books and is the winner of numerous prizes, including the 2013 Prime Minister’s Literary Awards poetry category for his collection Jam Tree Gully. Judges noted at the time his work had:
“… great technical virtuosity and variation, exploring traditional verse forms and freer, experimental modes of language. They capture the continual unexpectedness of the world, its violent weather, the proximate lives of animals, the depredations of settlement, the demands of the seasons. This is a poetic voice finely tuned to the shocks and delight of country life.”
Kinsella’s work has long been concerned about the environment, humanity and an “international regionalism”. In that spirit, he has turned his attention to the people who seek political asylum in Australia.
“I think we’ve reached a low with the ‘turn back boats’ stuff,” he said. “The situation is deplorable, and poets should be speaking out on the issue.”