To sing, to say

A lyric ethics for coming into country

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  • Published 20230502
  • ISBN: 978-1-922212-83-2
  • Extent: 264pp
  • Paperback (234 x 153mm), eBook

I AM A poet and an essayist, a teacher of writing and a father of five children, who visit like rare birds these days, and I live with my partner and two spaniels and a cat along the Wingecarribee River (one of its many much debated spellings) on Gundungurra land, country never ceded, 125 kilometres south-west of what is now mostly called Sydney, which sits on the stolen ground of the Gadigal. I am, as far as I know, a non-­Indigenous Australian man, a fifth-­generation descendant of Cornish and German immigrants. They settled land that was not theirs to settle, though that’s not what they were told; I live on land to which nothing but love gives me any kind of title, and I own none of it. Who can afford to own it anyway these days, even if one felt one had the right?

I write and talk constantly about place and places. My doctoral work considered the nature of nature writing; my book The Blue Plateau, which my publishers have recently let fall out of print in Australia (though it is still in print in the US),is an instance of that genre, a landscape memoir of the dissected sandstone plateau country around Katoomba. Across the five collections of poetry I’ve published to date – Fire Diary, Bluewren Cantos, A Gathered Distance, Walking Underwater, A Beginner’s Guide – there is barely a poem in which a fire has not wanted to start, a bird to fly, or a river to run. Land is an article of my lyric faith. 

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About the author

Mark Tredinnick

Mark Tredinnick OAM is an award-­winning poet, essayist and teacher of writing. He is the author of eighteen books of poetry and prose, and...

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