Letters to Tyranny #24

Dear Prime Minister,

Chances are that Mr XXX XXX, the twenty fourth man on Manus Island, has never heard of John Kinsella the poet. But John Kinsella thinks and writes about Mr XXX and all the other refugees and asylum seekers on Manus Island and Nauru. As David McCooey wrote in his review of Kinsella's book "sack", Kinsella's works 'imagine a relationship between political action and literary speech.' He chose this excerpt from 'Letter to a Younger Poet: for James Quinton' (pp118-123)

"Phosphate burning never passes
and pickles us in its grave. It doesn't
make you grow. Ah, guano, ah, fertile Nauru:
you will echo in this country down the track:
Pacific Solution. Makes phosphated bones
creak. And rock phosphate from the island
where the unwanted are now incarcerated."

and asks "Can poetry change the world?"

What is your response to the writers, thinkers, academics, artists and citizens who demand the end of offshore detention and the safe resettlement of the asylum seekers?

Yours faithfully

Ruth Halbert