The fissured future: John Kinsella's Jam Tree Gully

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


© 2014 The English Academy of Southern Africa. Much of the substantial output of the celebrated contemporary Australian poet John Kinsella has explored the wheatbelt of Western Australia. In his recent, prize-winning volume, Jam Tree Gully: Poems (2012. New York: Norton.), Kinsella explicitly situates the poems in a dialogue with Henry David Thoreau's Walden (1854). Like so much of Kinsella's poetry, the concern is with the devastation of the natural environment, and Jam Tree Gully shares similar post-Romantic coordinates to contemporary eco-poetry. But Kinsella's work is, I contend in this essay, engaged in a more radical process of deconstruction and reconstruction, one which changes the terms by which we are to understand the natural. Jam Tree Gully is also, paradoxically, Kinsella's most personal work.This is because it is anatomizing with rare precision and candour the attempt to live in a de-naturalized nature.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)138-155
JournalEnglish Academy Review
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 2014


Dive into the research topics of 'The fissured future: John Kinsella's Jam Tree Gully'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this