Armour – John Kinsella (Picador)
With Armour, the great Australian poet John Kinsella has written his most spiritual work to date – and his most politically engaged. The world in which these poems unfold is strangely poised between the material and the immaterial, and everything which enters it – kestrel and fox, moth and almond – does so illuminated by its own vivid presence: the impression is less a poet honouring his subjects than uncannily inhabiting them. Elsewhere we find a poetry of lyric protest, as Kinsella scrutinizes the equivocal place of the human within this natural landscape, both as tenant and self-appointed steward.
John Kinsella is the author of over twenty books, and is editor of the international literary journal Salt. He is a Fellow of Churchill College, Cambridge University. In 2007 he received the Fellowship of Australian Writers Christopher Brennan Award for lifetime achievement in poetry. His previous collection, Shades of the Sublime & Beautiful, is also published by Picador.
John Kinsella's Armour is a major collection of poems by a poet who has rapidly established himself as someone who can turn any occasion – the glimpse of an animal, the death of a friend – into verse that is memorable, moving and consistently compelling. Kinsella is a poet who creates poems with maximum deliberateness and the rewards of this will to design are remarkable. Armour is a book rich with the evocation of landscape and powerfully organized in terms of theme which is also richly variegated and constantly surprising in its swerves and turns despite the unity of its vision and the authority of John Kinsella's voice.