The poems in The Future Keepers honour ecosystems and the custodians of future ecologies. They navigate the poet’s own embodied experiences of change and succession – of family, community and place. From the research scientists, gardeners, birds and plants of Kings Park, to the activism and ecosystems of the Beeliar Wetlands, to the poet’s own inherited landscapes, these poems evoke mutuality and exchange in speaking of the gifts we receive from being open to encounters with other species, and the reciprocity that these gifts imply.
“The Future Keepers is sustained by a fierce hope that our future can be protected from Flannery’s gloomy prediction. But Chinna’s optimism is grounded by an acute sense of what threatens it: as much as the poet can rejoice in the plenitude of the more-than-human world, she is also able to take us into the most intimate spaces of her body, where lie different kinds of pain, and different kinds of beauty. Unashamedly regional but loving and open, too, The Future Eaters shows just how complex place can be, and what’s needed to protect it. Chinna’s accomplishment is a major one: the lyric revised with a different kind of intimacy, where the individual is absolutely committed to a multispecies polis, where humanity is meaningless without healthy country to nourish it. This is exactly the kind of poetry we need in the 21st century.”
Dr Stuart Cooke, Griffith University