Speak from Here to There
Authors: Kwame Dawes and John Kinsella
Publisher: Peepal Tree Press (2016)
For six months during 2015, two poets known for their capacity to create lyric responses to the complex realities around them, yet poets fully inscribed in both a western literary tradition and other longer traditions that have been marginalized, exchanged poems that were in constant dialogue even as they remained wholly defined and shaped by the details of their own private and public lives. Kwame Dawes' base was flat prairieland of Lincoln, Nebraska, a mid-American landscape in which he, a black man, felt at once alien and curiously committed to the challenges of finding "home"; and John Kinsella's base was in the wide open violently beautiful landscape of western Australia, his home ground, thick with memory and heavy with the language of ecological change, political ineptitude and artistic defiance. Email was the bridge. These two poets found themselves in the middle of the swirl of political and social upheavals in their spheres.