This book explores the author's contemporary poetics and pedagogy as it emerges from his reflections on his own writing and teaching, and on the work of other poets, particularly contemporary writers with whom he feels some affinity. At its heart is the author's attempt to elaborate his vision of a species of pastoral that is adequate to a globalised world (the author himself writes and teaches in the United States, the UK and his native Australia), and an environmentally and politically just poetry. The book has an autobiographical element, as the author explores the pulse of his poetic imagination through significant moments and passages of his life.
The essential purpose of my work is to challenge familiar topoi and normatives of poetic activity as they pertain to environmental, humanitarian and textual activism in ‘the world-at-large’: to show how ambiguity can be a generative force when it works from a basis of non-ambiguity of purpose. The ‘disambiguation’ is a major difference with all other critical works on generative ambiguities: I state there is a clear unambiguous position to have regarding issues of justice, but that from confirmed points, ambiguity can be an intense and useful activist tool. There is an undoing of an apparent paradox of text in terms of ‘in the real world’ activism. It becomes an issue of consequences arising from creative work and positioning. Whether in discussing a particular literary text or ‘event in the world’, I make use of creative texts at specific sites of a broader, intertextual and interconnected activism.