‘This is a bold, big-thinking poetry, in which ancient themes (especially the theme of our human relationship with landscape) are re-cast and re-kindled.’
‘In virtuosic syntax and with breathtaking fluency, he makes the landscape flame and sing. And then there is the sheer specific beauty of what’s displayed and contemplated in his work.’
‘One of our great poets of place — not just of geographic place, but of the spiritual and moral landscapes as well.’
‘Tredinnick has a tenderly erotic way of taking things. Every poem is a love poem.’
‘Mark Tredinnick’s much-anticipated first collection of poetry, Fire Diary, is an examination of place and how to respond to it. The title provides a clue to the form of the book; many poems chart the daily exigencies of living within nature. More importantly, the collection explores the moods and aspirations of the self, of a person grappling with meaning in life, and with language itself. In the title poem, Tredinnick argues, ‘Fire is the madness / in us all’, a Heraclitan take on the element; fire becomes the metaphor for creativity, passion, and contradiction. Yet Tredinnick’s motives are not wholly earnest. His intent is often playful and suggestive, as when he says in ‘Song of (Someone Like) My Self’, a riposte to Whitman’s grandiose ‘Song of Myself’: ‘I’m just a small metaphor / for the world hereabouts.’ Informality is a key element in Tredinnick’s use of language; ‘hereabouts’ strikes just the right note in its implication of place that is both personal and general enough to be any place.’
Brendan Ryan, Australian Book Review
VideosMark Tredinnick 'Bluewren Cantos' Mark Tredinnick reads Linda Gregg
Mark Tredinnick is a celebrated poet, essayist, and teacher. His many works of poetry and prose include A Gathered Distance, Almost Everything I Know, Egret in a Ploughed Field, Bluewren Cantos, Fire Diary, The Blue Plateau, and The Little Red Writing Book. For twenty-five years, he’s taught poetry and expressive writing at the University of Sydney, where he was poet in residence in 2018. His many honours include two of the world’s foremost poetry prizes, the Montreal and the Cardiff. In 2020, Tredinnick was awarded the Order of Australia Medal for services to literature and education.