Publication Date: 15-Dec-02 | ISBN: 1876857668 | Trim Size: 216 x 140 mm | Extent: 256pp | Format: Paperback
UK Distribution: | USA Distribution: | Publishing Status: Active
Divinations – four modern morality plays by poet John Kinsella, each quite different but with threads that connect them – an anarchic sensibility, a poet’s voice, and an adventurous hybridity of performance styles and genres. Crop Circles opens the set – where reckless mendacity and the chthonic forces of the salt-blighted landscape lock horns in rural Western Australia. In Smith Street, written with Tracy Ryan, and with additional material by Steve Chinna, the hypocrisies of suburban morality and corrupt officialdom encounter the pragmatic amorality of inner-city street life. The Wasps, where the title alone sets up resonances, has the seeming banality of everyday life in conflict with the “demons within” – where new-agers, diplomats and exterminators dance above the swirling waters of the Thames. Closing the set is Paydirt – a claustrophobic but elegiac exploration of addictions and desires amongst the “lowlife” of an urban bar. This is the earliest written of the four, and prefigures the stylistic heterogeneity of the preceding plays in this collection. Enjoy reading these plays as challenging “rough guides” but remember, it is in performance that these “Divinations” will be realised.
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TABLE OF CONTENTS
Preface; Foreword; Introduction; Crop Circles; Smith street; The Wasps; Paydirt; Notes; Bibliography
John Kinsella is the author of over twenty books, including The Hunt (Bloodaxe, 1998) The Undertow: New & Selected Poems (Arc, UK), Visitants (Bloodaxe, 1999), and Wheatlands (2000). He is editor of the literary journal Salt, consultant editor of Westerly, and international editor of The Kenyon Review. He is a Fellow of Churchill College, Cambridge University, Adjunct Professor to Edith Cowan University, Western Australia, and the 2001 Richard L. Thomas Professor of Writing at Kenyon College.