- Home of the Best in Caribbean & Black British Writing -

Speak from Here to There

During 2015 and 2016, two poets from opposite sides of the world, Kwame Dawes and John Kinsella, exchanged poems in two cycles, Echoes and Refrains and Illuminations, that were in constant dialogue even as they remained defined and shaped by the details of their own private and public lives.

£9.99

Author(s)
Kwame Dawes, John Kinsella
ISBN
9781845233198
Pages
242
Price
£9.99
Classification
Poetry
Setting
Jamaica, United States of America, Australia
Date published
18 Jul 2016

Kwame Dawes’ base was the flat prairieland of Lincoln, Nebraska, a landscape in which he, a black man, originally from Ghana and Jamaica, felt at once alien and deeply committed to the challenges of finding “home”. John Kinsella’s base was in the violently beautiful landscape of Western Australia, his home ground, thick with memory and the challenge of ecological threat and political ineptitude.  In the first cycle, Echoes and Refrains, the poets sought and found a language for this conversation of various modes and moods.  They were linked by the political and social upheavals in their respective spheres – Dawes contemplating the waves of violence consuming the US and the world, and Kinsella confronting the injustice of the theft of indigenous land and the terrible treatment of refugees and immigrants.  These poems chart an unpredictable journey towards friendship. They reflect commonalities – love of family, cricket, art, politics, music, and travel – and in poem after poem one senses how each is hungry to hear from the other and to then treat the revelations that arrive as triggers for his own lyric introspection –  risky, complex, formally considered and beautiful. They stretch one another, and provoke to a poetic honesty that comes with authority and assurance. In the second cycle of poems, Illuminations, locations shift but the concerns remain and are considered in different lights. Speak from Here to There reminds us of how poetry can offer comfort and solace, and how it can ignite the peculiar creative frenzy that enriches us.  

Download sample

Share this book

John Kinsella

John Kinsella's many books of poetry include Armour (Picador, 2010), Jam Tree Gully (WW Norton, 2012) and Drowning in Wheat: Selected Poems (Picador, 2016). He has published work in all genres and across a few of them as well, and collaborated with many artists, composers, writers and poets. He is a Fellow of Churchill College, Cambridge University, and Professor of Literature and Sustainability at Curtin University.

View author profile

Kwame Dawes

Kwame Dawes is the author of twenty-two books of poetry and numerous other books of fiction, criticism, and essays. He is Glenna Luschei Editor-in-Chief of Prairie Schooner and George W. Holmes University Professor at the University of Nebraska. Dawes is a chancellor of the Academy of American Poets and a fellow of the Royal Society of Literature. His awards include an Emmy, the Felix Dennis (Forward) Prize for Poetry, a Guggenheim Fellowship, the PEN/Nora Magid Award for Magazine Editing, and the Windham Campbell Prize for poetry.

View author profile

- Home of the Best in Caribbean & Black British Writing -