ISBN: 978 1 927322 01 7
Dunedin poet Iain Lonie (1932–1988), a Cambridge scholar who enjoyed an international reputation as a medical historian, died before his poetry was fully appreciated. He published five slim volumes but his style was not the one that dominated New Zealand poetry at the time. And yet, argues Damian Love in an essay in this volume, ‘To read him now is, for most of us, practically to discover a new resource.’ This collection, assembled from sources public and private, is the result of poet David Howard’s determination to rescue a memorable body of work from oblivion. As well as the poems from Lonie’s published volumes, it includes over a hundred unpublished works, two essays and an extensive commentary. While his keen interest in mortality was focused by the premature death of his wife Judith (aged 46), Lonie’s poetry is also an attempt to recover the loved in us all. As he eavesdrops on desire and grief he reports back, often wittily, leaving the most poised body of elegiac poetry New Zealand has. For younger poets, Iain Lonie’s poetry has become ‘a place to go on from’.