Since his late teens, Kinsella has been rubbing shoulders and working with a host of acclaimed poets. The book opens with Kinsella on a bender in search of Dorothy Hewett, and goes on to tell the story of his friendships and massive fallings-out through the highs and lows of addiction. In this contentious account, Kinsella weaves his impressions of these figures personally, with a lively and incisive commentary on their place within the broader literary culture. Here, in good company, are intimate portraits of Dorothy Hewett, Les Murray, American literary critic Harold Bloom and French philosopher Jacques Derrida, as they have never been seen before. As a highly respected poet and critic, Kinsella brings clarity and biting irreverence to the writer's life, making this encounter with literature vividly alive.
John Kinsella grew up in urban and rural areas of Western Australia. He is the author of thirty books of poetry, his volume Peripheral Light (2004) is edited by Harold Bloom for WW Norton. Kinsella is a Fellow of Churchill College, Cambridge University, and was formerly Professor of English at Kenyon College in the United States. He is a well-known poetry critic, having written for the Observer newspaper (UK) and Scotland on Sunday.