Fremantle Press, $24.99 pb, 126 pp
The eponymous poem in John Kinsella’s latest book recounts a group of teenagers witnessing a sack being flung from a speeding car. The sack, they discover, is filled with tortured kittens. This shocking poem of human cruelty begins a collection concerned with Kinsella’s great themes: the degradation of the environment, human violence (particularly towards animals), and the potential for language – especially poetry – to represent, and intervene in, those things. Despite the extraordinary variety and output of Kinsella’s career so far, his works (poetry, novels, translations, plays, short stories, autobiographies, works of criticism) share a single, ambitious project: to imagine a relationship between political action and literary speech.