Went to a pretty good session at the Melbourne Writers Festival this morning listening to Luke Davies, Craig Sherborne and John Kinsella reading from their work and from some other poets that inspired them.
Craig Sherborne read a moving poem about the death of his father and emphasised the poetics of the personal, the gritty politics of lives and lovers. He also read a poem by Welsh poet R.S. Thomas.
Luke Davies read from Totem and it was great to hear this poem aloud for the first time, as he intended it to be heard. It’s a great poem, though I still think of Dylan Thomas and that love of the love of language that I hear there. Davies read a poem from John Berryman and Vivienne Smith.
Finally, John Kinsella read some of his ‘wheat’ poems; they’re the poems of his I like the most. He talked a lot about the degradation of the land in WA and the issues to be faced on the large scale of dispossession and the smaller local salinity questions. He read a couple of poems from an indigenous poet from WA, who has a book coming out next year; I didn’t get the name. I’ll try and find it and add it here.