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Collected Poems Volume One (1980-2005): The Ascension of Sheep

Collected Poems Volume One (1980-2005): The Ascension of Sheep

Author: John Kinsella

Publisher: UWA Publishing

Published: February 2022

The first instalment in an intended three-volume collection, John Kinsella’s The Ascension of Sheep: Poems 1980-2005 offers readers of every persuasion cause for reflection. Divided into 40 sections ranging from early unpublished poems through to selections from his published Australian collections and finishing with a company of poems from Kinsella’s American chapbooks previously unpublished in Australia, The Ascension of Sheep is a vast achievement.

Those who choose to read through the nearly 800 pages of chronologically arranged poetry will find works of immense range, from extended lyrical meditations to taut experimental sonic poems and everything in between. One of the most rewarding features of this particular volume is to see how the environmental justice themes evident in Kinsella’s current work have been present since the beginning of his career. It’s an observation shared in the generous introductory material by Tony Hughes-D’aeth and in Kinsella’s own afterword.

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