Poetry as the Conservation of the Wild

Voices of Nature 2020 Public Lecture and Workshop Series

Thursday 1 October 2020 from 6pm to 7.30pm AEST

Poetry, among all the human arts, may be the most powerful in marrying the inner to the outer. Nothing but the lyric apprehension poetry practices—the seeing, the being, and the saying of Self and world—outs one’s inner life and, at the same time, invites the wider world in. The way of poetry wakes us deeply to our selves and all selves; rewording daily life it reworlds us; recasting our relationship with the natural order, it rewilds us and makes the rest of creation matter as if it were what we truly belonged to.

“In wildness,” wrote Thoreau, “is the preservation of the world;” in poetry is the conservation—within oneself and in the natural world—of the wildness all life depends on.

Celebrated Australian poet Mark Tredinnick, along with fellow poet Brian Walters, will talk about the poetry of landscape – inner as well as outer – and read poems about the environment, paying tribute to the poets and nature writers who inspire them.


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Dr Mark Tredinnick

Dr Mark Tredinnick is an internationally-acclaimed Australian poet. Mark’s qualifications include a law degree and an MBA, and his doctoral work concerned the role of literature, of lyric poetry and nature writing in particular, in remaking the human relationship with the land.

He won the Montreal Poetry Prize (the world’s richest prize for an individual poem) in 2011 and the Cardiff Poetry Prize in 2012. He has also taken out or shortlisted in all the major Australian poetry awards. Mark’s seventeen books of poetry and prose include The Blue Plateau, The Land’s Wild Music, Fire Diary, Bluewren Cantos, and The Little Red Writing Book. His latest book of poems is A Gathered Distance (BirdFish, 2020); Walking Underwater appears later this year; A Beginner’s Guide in 2021.

Mark lives in Bowral NSW, where he part-time parents his three younger children and writes. He teaches poetry, creative writing, literature and journalism at the University of Sydney, where he was the poet in residence in 2018.

Mark has responded to the COVID lockdown by launching a successful online poetry masterclass, What the Light Tells. The next series begins on 24 August 2020.

Mark’s poetry is becoming increasingly well-known and translated in China, where he was a guest of the Lu Xun Academy’s International Writers Program in 2019. Recent essays on ecology, identity, and belonging include “I am Nobody; Who are You?”, “Nourishing Terrains,” and “The Inhumanities” (the last on the assault on humanity and the arts in Australia). His essay, “The Temple of the World,” on reclaiming meaning and doing justice in the world through a lyric engagement with country, appears in Hearth (Milkweed, 2018), edited by Susan O’Connor and Annick Smith, with an introduction by Barry Lopez.

In 2020, Mark was awarded the Medal of the Order of Australia (OAM) for services to literature and education. For more on Mark and his work: www.marktredinnick.com

Brian Walters

Brian Walters is a Melbourne barrister and writer.  Brian is the author of two poetry books: Angels, like laundry (2019) and his latest book, Brink (2020) themed around climate change. Both are published by Make Books Australia.

Brian has written for a range of newspapers, magazines and journals.  A keen bushwalker, Brian co-founded Wild – Australia’s wilderness adventure magazine. He has campaigned to protect many of Australia’s wild places.

Brian also authored Treason: Claus von Stauffenberg and the Plot to Kill Hitler, an interactive digital book available through Apple Books.

The world is always more than we imagine.


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