The Way Into Stone is a book-length collection of poems, many of which have been published in books, anthologies and journals. The poems continue themes explored in my earlier work - ideas of movement and travel, exile and belonging, self and relationship - and add to this poems concerned with presence and meditation. A number of poems are written in form - free verse, as well as the sonnet, the villanelle, and haiku - as part of my larger commitment to the structures of sound patterning in verse, chiefly metre, rhyme, and stanza. The collection divides into three sections: i) "The Way Into Stone," which delves into otherness and voice through the means of art monologues; ii) "The Gift," containing poems devoted to daily life; and iii) "The Strong Wish," which contains love poems, diatribes, and prayers.
The accompanying exegesis, To Dwell in Possibility: Social Roles of the Poet, asks the question: "What is the social role of poets?" In doing so, it seeks to provide a frame for writers, like myself, to formulate an underlying conception of the poetic art and our place within it. The exegesis begins with an assertion that the poet's role in contemporary, Western culture has become increasingly diffuse -- especially in comparison to earlier societies, such as Indian, Icelandic and Irish societies in which the historical roles for poets were clearly defined and functioned to direct their actions and provide poets with social identities. The core of the exegesis consists of a three-part case study that looks at ways that Les Murray has taken up the roles of the poet as mystic, individual, and public figure. The exegesis concludes with some thoughts on my own poetic practice.