A Place to Go On From
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. 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 As well as the poems from Lonie’s published volumes, it includes over a hundred unpublished works, two essays and an extensive commentary.
A Wind Harp
A Wind Harp features the voice and lyrics of Cilla McQueen, supported by original music from Dunedin musicians, The Blue Neutrinos.
Alzheimer's and a Spoon
Alzheimer's and a Spoon is the highly original first collection of poetry from Liz Breslin, whose writing is described by former New Zealand poet laureate Vincent O'Sullivan as displaying 'sheer brio and linguistic flair.'
As the Verb Tenses
'As the Verb Tenses' is the work of a reflective and sensitive poetic talent: one run with gleaming wires of joy. In poems that gather together the vivid details of childhood memory, the surreal juxtapositions of life in the contemporary West, the wry observations of a temporary expatriate, the deeply lodged pain of historical and personal loss, Lynley Edmeades speaks to us in delicately spun lines that press out ironies, dissonances and profound formative experience. From playful, rhythmical poems about the art of dinner conversation, to warm glimpses of intimacy, she lays poetry’s table with the knife of light satire, the bright salt of wit, the heady wine of love, the bread of knowledge. This quietly poised, confident first collection has a musical, emotional and thematic range of a substantial new talent.
Cilla McQueen is one of New Zealand's major poets (New Zealand Book Award for Poetry three times). Axis is a selection of her poems from the past twenty years, drawn from five volumes of her published work: Homing In (1982), Anti Gravity (1984), Wild Sweets (1986), Benzina (1988), and Crik'ey (1993). The poems are interspersed with drawings she produced on the same themes or subjects. Also included are Cilla's musical scores: of 'singing landscapes' and 'conversations in crowded rooms', for example.
Born to a Red-Headed Woman
Using the extraordinary capacity of music to revive the places and people from our pasts, this poetic memoir springs from over 50 song titles or song lines and spans more than four decades.
Charles Brasch: Selected Poems
Charles Brasch (1909–1973) was the founder and first editor of Landfall, New Zealand’s premier journal of literature and ideas. Born in Dunedin, he grew up to be at home in the literature, art and architecture of Europe, but returned to devote his life to the arts in his own country – as editor, critic, collector and patron. Brasch’s vocation, however, was to be a poet. As he said in his memoir Indirections, in writing poems he ‘discovered New Zealand … because New Zealand lived in me as no other country could live, part of myself as I was part of it, the world I breathed and wore from birth, my seeing and my language.’ This selection shows his journey of discovery, as Charles Brasch learned by reading poets such as Rilke, W.B. Yeats and Robert Graves to find his own voice as ‘a citizen of the English language’. It is presented as a beautifully bound cased edition.
Cloudboy is a deep-mulling, richly sensitive account of a mother’s adjustments to the needs of an autistic child. This prize-winning suite of poems grows out of extremes of love and frustration, as the poet introduces a bright, unpredictable, markedly individual boy to the rigid, often airless routines of the school system.
To Ruth Dallas, words are as much a part of the natural world as are beech trees, seashells and mountains. It is no accident, therefore, that much of her work should be rooted in the New Zealand landscape, reflecting its rhythms, seasons, its benevolence and its harshness, and its effect on men and women.
Deadpan by James Norcliffe is a new collection of poetry from one of New Zealand’s authors, the work of a mature and technically astute poet.
The title of Norcliffe’s tenth poetry collection points deftly to the way it conveys big emotions without cracking a smile or shedding a tear. In Deadpan, Norcliffe writes in an alert, compassionate yet sceptical voice.
Diaspora and the
Difficult Art of Dying
Every poem in this collection offers a stepping stone or resting place on what is essentially a diasporic odyssey. Mishra's is a poetry of discontinuities, of sojourning, of not staying put; it traces the lines of an eccentric cartography, moving restlessly from Fiji to Scotland, to Australia, to New Zealand, to Malta, to Italy and back. It is similarly unsettled in its approach to motifs and forms: a sequence of sonnets jostles with a terza rima; free verse stands alongside a sufi parable. There are poems about poetry, colonialism, photography, food, Palestine, the Pacific, and most of all about people.
Edgeland and other poems
The poetry in David Eggleton’s new collection possesses an intensity and driven energy, using the poet’s recognisable signature oratory voice, strong in beat and measure, rooted in rich traditions of chant, lament and ode.
and other poetic novellas
Cilla McQueen was New Zealand Poet Laureate 2009–11. One of her writing projects during her time as laureate was Serial, which she described as ‘exploring a space between prose and poetry’. It was published in chapters on the Poet Laureate website. Retitled Edwin’s Egg and other poetic novellas, this work is now published for the first time in hard-copy format, combining McQueen’s evocative text with wonderful images from the collection of the Alexander Turnbull Library.
Every Now and Then I Have Another Child
A mysterious doppelgänger sister, a newborn baby, a boy in a mural, a detective, a former lover, a student stalker ... are they real or imagined? Building on Diane Brown’s tradition of extended poetic narratives, Every Now and Then I Have Another Child is an inventive and heartfelt meditation on motherhood, the creative impulse and the blurred line between imagination and reality. This delightful, evocative poetic narrative wafts between the truly surreal and the ‘everyday’ absurd.
Feeding the Dogs
This bumper collection of 60 poems is autobiographical and in it Cooke writes about town, landscape, family and everyday life. 'Feeding the Dogs' is one of the poems in this book. There are other rural poems, such as 'I love this farm so much I could pat it', but Kay Cooke is equally at home writing a well-made poem about lawn bowlers in Queenstown, a family reunion, global warming or biotechnology. Cooke's work is strong and confident. On top of that, she has a particular southern sensibility that is very appealing and recognizable. Cooke writes that her poems come from the 'sense of isolation that I felt living on a farm in Otama Valley, with tussock-covered hills and no shops and bus trips to school.'
Snapshot reconstructions of life on Scotland's remote St Kilda island – ancestral home of the McQueens – open this tenth collection of poetry from Cilla McQueen. The spare life in this place of birds and sea and weather leads into a new set of poems from the poet's Bluff home, quiet observations on friends and animals, memories and dreams, and weather. Many of the reflective poems are conversational in style; one poem is written in the form of a play, and another appears at first to be a dictionary definition. Even the simplest of topics, such as eating cake or meeting a newborn baby, are taken by McQueen and transformed into thoughtful works.
Much sought after by oil companies, ‘generation kitchens’ are sites where geological forces have combined to create conditions for oil production. By turns brooding and wittily observant, Richard Reeve’s fifth book of poetry meditates on the intrigues of fossil fuel companies and ecological despoliation, but also on personal rites of passage – on relationships, deaths, the turn of the seasons. Comic monologues, spiritual invocations, flung swearwords, elegies, eulogies, wind tunnel diatribes and fanciful phantasmagorias co-exist in this collection. Oracular and bardic, Reeve’s work is also paradoxically down to earth and gritty. He knows that, beyond the geopolitical framework, beyond the anthropocene moment, the landscape endures, as in the poem ‘Warrington Dives’: 'the bright / swell bending around the coast, prodding the dark, / clouds of sediment thrown up by a wave …'
Getting It Right
After establishing a poetic presence on the literary scene in the early 1960s, Dunedin’s Alan Roddick published his first collection, 'The Eye Corrects: Poems 1955–1965', in 1967. A mere 49 years later comes the sequel, 'Getting it Right'. Poet C.K. Stead writes in 'Shelf Life' (AUP, 2016) that he has always been 'a great admirer of the economy and the quiet, sharp wit of [Roddick’s] writing ... Alan Roddick is a "cool" poet, a temperament that seems reserved, controlled, decent, funny and intelligent; a craftsman not a showman, with a fine musical ear, whose work is dependable and of the highest order. And as well as witty and clever work, there are poems that catch moments of deep feeling; and equally of exhilaration, such as the ten-year-old Alan standing up on the seat, his head through the sunroof of his father’s car that is cruising downhill, ‘pushing 40’ with the engine off to save petrol, "drunk with the scent of heather and whin / that airy silence ..." Alan Roddick is writing as well as any New Zealand poet currently at work on the scene. It is wonderful to have him back – something to celebrate!'
Poet Siobhan Harvey’s latest collection is about migration, outcasts, the search for home, and the ghosts we live with, including the ones who occupy our memories, ancestries and stories.
In a Slant Light
In this absorbing poetic memoir of her early life, Cilla McQueen, one of New Zealand’s major women poets, leads us over the stepping stones of childhood memory, some half submerged, some strong and glinting in the light of her wit. With humour and openness, clarity and grace, the memoir continues through her teenage years and the excitement and turbulence, the expansion and vulnerability, of university days and early motherhood in the 1960s and 1970s ... raising a young child alone, falling in love with Ralph Hotere and witnessing his deeply immersive artistic practice ... This account of the life of an extraordinary verbal artist is immensely warm and welcoming: time falls away as we read. The lightness of Cilla’s touch coupled with the grit of her endurance through challenging personal circumstances makes the reader feel privileged to be invited in to the quiet wisdom worn here with both integrity and modesty. From the sweet shocks of her imagery to the joy of recognition of many shared experiences of a New Zealand childhood, this memoir brings a honeyed, sensitive yet utterly resilient voice in our local literature as close as the voice of a good friend. This is a book not only for those who love Cilla McQueen’s poetry, but for anyone fascinated by the social, artistic and literary history of New Zealand.
In the aftermath of the Christchurch terrorist attacks of 15 March 2019, Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern declared: ‘We are all New Zealanders.’ These words resonated, an instant meme that asserted our national diversity and inclusiveness and, at the same time, issued a rebuke to hatred and divisiveness. Ko Aotearoa Tātou | We Are New Zealand is bursting with new works of fiction, nonfiction, poetry and visual art created in response to the editors’ questions: What is New Zealand now, in all its rich variety and contradiction, darkness and light? Who are New Zealanders?
Landfall 240: Spring 2020
Featuring the winners of the Landfall Essay Competition 2020, Caselberg Trust International Poetry Prize 2020 and the Frank Sargeson Prize 2020.
Letters of Denis Glover
In this magnificent volume Sarah Shieff presents around 500 of Denis Glover’s letters to around 110 people, drawn from an archive of nearly 3000 letters to over 430 recipients. Many now recall Glover as little more than a misogynistic old fart, a court jester. These letters should give readers the opportunity to revise – or at least complicate – those dismissive categorisations.
Listening In by Lynley Edmeades is the second collection of poetry from a significant new writer.Listening In is full of the verbal play and linguistic experimentation that characterised her first collection, but it also shows the poet pushing the form into new territories.
Made for Weather
Cooke's theme, like Robin Hyde's, is one of finding 'a home in this world': hers is an authentic poetry of place, with a fidelity to experience comparable to that of other more established poets such as Bernadette Hall or Brian Turner. Poems contain an array of striking images, developed from Cooke's exposure as a child and adolescent to the wind-whipped coastline of Orepuki, now a ghost town on the eastern fringe of Te WaewaeBay, near Fiordland.
Manifesto Aotearoa: 101 political poems
Explosive new poems for election year from David Eggleton, Cilla McQueen, Vincent O’Sullivan, Tusiata Avia, Frankie McMillan, Brian Turner, Paula Green, Ian Wedde, Vaughan Rapatahana, Ria Masae, Peter Bland, Louise Wallace, Bernadette Hall, Airini Beautrais and 84 others, featuring original artwork by Nigel Brown.
In this fine collection of poems and drawings Cilla McQueen traces the lives and voyages of her ancestors, and the living history of her husband’s people. She herself travels through the fire that destroys her home at Otakou, the autoclave of the central poem, tying together the separate threads of her journey and moving from one harbour to another. The sea is a constant element and balancing this are the poet’s precisely observed images of domestic life and her fascination with the forms and inhabitants of the land.
Millionaire's Shortbread is both book and cake. Meeting at a cafe table in downtown Wellington, sustained by their favourite treat and gathering in an illustrator along the way, the poets put together this selection of their work over three years. It seemed inevitable that the book should be named after the cake, and the distinctive voices of the poets become its flavoursome ingredients.
Nothing for it but to Sing
Michael Harlow’s poems are small detonations that release deeply complex stories of psychological separations and attractions, of memory and desire. Frequently they slip into the alluring spaces just at the edges of language, dream and gesture, as they carefully lower, like measuring gauges, into the ineffable: intimations of mortality, the slippery nature of identity, longing, fear ... Harlow is a poet with such a command of music, the dart and turn of movement in language, that he can get away with words that make us squirm in apprentice workshops or bad pop songs – heart, soul – and make them seem newly shone and psychically right. The work is sequined by sound, rather than running its meaning along the rigid rails of metre and end rhyme. The sway and surge of various meanings in the phrasing, and the way sense trails and winds over line breaks: this movement itself often evokes the alternating dark and electric energy of feelings like love, loss and the pain of absence. This is a beautifully honed new collection.
Nouns, verbs, etc.
One of New Zealand’s most versatile writers, Fiona Farrell has published four collections of poetry over 25 years, from Cutting Out (1987) to The Broken Book (2011). Nouns, verbs, etc. collects the best work from these books, and intersperses them with other poems thus far ‘uncollected’.
Born in 1949, Bluff-based Cilla McQueen is one of New Zealand’s best-loved poets. Poeta: Selected and New Poems brings together a definitive selection of her poetry spanning five decades, arranged by the poet in a thematic narrative that elucidates abiding themes while maintaining a loose chronology of her creative life to date.
The poems in Sinking Lessons portray the vitality of a world full of things and beings we too often disregard, using language that vibrates in harmony with the lively tales it tells – from small, everyday events to stories of shipwrecks and strandings, resurrections and reanimations, arctic adventures and descents into the underworld.
Taking My Mother to the Opera
Piquant, frank, open, wistful, tender, funny ... this personal memoir by Diane Brown is deftly ‘marbled’ throughout with social history. From carefully chosen anecdotes it slowly unfolds a vivid and compelling sense of character and the psychological dynamics within the family. Many readers will recognise the New Zealand so vividly portrayed here, as Brown marshals deeply personal events and childhood memories in a delightfully astute, understated poetic form.
In this follow-up collection to the award-winning The Truth Garden, Emma Neale asks where exactly do the personal and the political drop hands? In poems that are engaged, compelling, witty and moving, she looks at how we navigate a true line through the psychological, environmental, social and economic anxieties of our times. The book examines love in its many guises, and also energetically responds to the distractions and delights of the digital age.
The Collected Poems of Katherine Mansfield
This is the first complete edition of Katherine Mansfield’s poetry, including 26 poems, dating from 1909–10, discovered by Gerri Kimber in the Newberry Library in Chicago in 2015. This edition is made up of 217 poems, ordered chronologically, so that the reader can follow Mansfield’s development as a poet and her experiments with different forms, as well as tracing the themes – love and death, the natural world and the seasons, childhood and friendship, music and song – that preoccupied her throughout her writing life. The comprehensive annotations provide illuminating biographical information as well as explaining the rich contexts of the European poetic tradition, including fin-de-siècle decadence within which Mansfield’s artistry is steeped. The inclusion of a collection of newly discovered poems highlights Mansfield’s desire to be taken seriously as a poet from her earliest beginnings as a writer. The poems as a whole point to a poet who varied her craft as she perfected it, often witty and ironic yet always enchanted by the sound of words.
The Conch Trumpet
The Conch Trumpet calls to the scattered tribes of contemporary New Zealand. It sounds the signal to listen close, critically and ‘in alert reverie’. David Eggleton’s reach of references, the marriage of high and low, the grasp of popular and classical allusion, his eye both for cultural trash and epiphanic beauty, make it seem as if here Shakespeare shakes down in the Pacific. In this latest collection David Eggleton is court jester/philosopher/lyricist, and a kind of male Cassandra, roving warningly from primeval swampland to gritty cityscape to the information and disinformation cybercloud.
The Farewell Tourist
Pushing against the boundaries of what poetry might be, Alison Glenny’s The Farewell Tourist is haunting, many-layered and slightly surreal.
The Joy of a Ming Vase
As American critic Tom Disch quipped of many vintage poets: 'friends and pets die, the garden takes on a new significance.' There are poems in this collection about Dutch Masters, the remembered voice of a deceased soprano, a waterfall, ancient Chinese artefacts, victims of the World Wars, kites and flowers; but each piece is sensitively imbued not only with the poet's awareness of impending death but also with the incorrigible fragility of life. While Dallas is at home in a number of different modes, her high regard for literary tradition as a form of spiritual realism makes her eminently readable as a disciplined watcher of the seasons.
From Sean Macgregor’s lounge occupied by stoned youths, to three bank robbers en route to the Penrose ANZ, Michael Steven’s second collection presents his clear, clean vision of ‘the lifers’ who inhabit these islands and beyond. A generation’s subterranean memories of post-Rogernomics New Zealand are a linking thread, in the decades straddling the millennium, while other poems echo with the ghostly voices of the dead, disappeared and forgotten.
The Lives of Coat Hangers
Subtle, witty, linguistically adept and internationally well travelled, Sudesh Mishra is a poet whose range of reference traverses global culture. An ambitious and accomplished writer, one able to brilliantly reinvent language, myth and metaphor, his fifth collection 'The Lives of Coat Hangers' confirms him as a major poetic voice in the South Pacific.
The Moon in a Bowl of Water
Bound together by myth and music, Michael Harlow’s The Moon in a Bowl of Water is a stunning new collection from a poet in complete control of his craft.
Harlow is the maestro of the prose poem. Here he presents a collection of small human journeys, with a strong emphasis on narrative. The work is consciously rooted in Greek mythology and in the idea of storytelling as a continuous river, flowing from the ancients to the present, telling one story on the surface, but carrying in its depths the glints of ancient archetypes, symbols and myths. Each poem is studded with associations that hark back millennia.
The Ones Who Keep Quiet
A new poetry collection from David Howard. This is an exciting new work from a runner-up in the Kathleen Grattan Poetry Award, with a stunning ballpoint pen cover image by Stephen Ellis.
The Sets returns again and again to the ever-present sea – as a metaphor, a mirror, a companion and an otherworld that contains our dreams and nightmares. Dunedin poet Victor Billot finds in the South Pacific Ocean an oracle of the future and a keeper of our histories.
The Summer King
The Summer King tells stories, exploring the world we inhabit and our relationships with the other. Myth, catastrophe, family, strangers, sex, sport – all feature in this ‘fine and fierce first collection’ (Gillian Clark). The book contains two sequences: ‘Cowarral’, about Preston’s family farm in the Forbes Valley of NSW, and ‘Venery’, which was inspired by the collective nouns that first appeared in the Book of St Albans.
The Truth Garden
This is the fourth book in the series arising from the Kathleen Grattan Award for Poetry. Each book is produced with attention to the traditional qualities of fine book production, in typography, illustration, design, paper and binding. The Truth Garden is illustrated by Kathryn Madill and designed by Fiona Moffat.
The White Clock
Delving both into ‘the worlds of the mind’ and ‘where he happens to be’, Owen Marshall brings us poetry that is steeped in the Classics, History and Literature, and yet is alive with the vivid particulars of damp duffle-coats and hot-air balloons, beer and bicycles, willows and skylarks, kauri gum and limestone tunnels.
David Eggleton, Poet Laureate of Aotearoa 2019–21, has published nine poetry collections, and now, finally, comes a ‘Best Of ’. The Wilder Years: Selected Poems is a hardback compendium of the poet’s own selection from 35 years of published work, together with a handful of new poems.
The Word Went Round
Powerful historical poems about nineteenth-century Irish emigration to New Zealand, the colonial wars, Von Tempsky and Te Kooti, moving elegies for poet/painter Joanna Margaret Paul, the artist Reiko Kunimatsu and the poet's late father, love poems, and meditations on the nature of spiritual existence in the intellectual pressure-cooker of the twenty-first century. Howard's poems are accompanied by a selection of haunting images by the painter Garry Currin, produced to accompany the long title-poem which is the central feature of the book.
The Yield is the vivid and lyrical new collection from award-winning poet Sue Wootton. These poems are sensorially alive, deeply attentive to language, the body, and the world around us.
This City circles the globe from Florence to Palmerston North but the resulting volume is far more than so-called armchair travel. Topography and public space are a preoccupation (buses and trains, roads and houses, even Google Earth’s Street View all get a mention), but it is her evocation of the transient grounded in these spaces – snippets overheard on an Italian strada, scenes on a bus on Moxham Ave, imaginings of lives from long ago (Jane Austen, Emily Dickenson) – that leaves a taut and exciting impression of lives lived here, in this place, in This City.
This is your real name
Elizabeth Morton’s poems look unflinchingly at a raw and unstable world – the crash, the aftermath, the comeback, ‘the black heat at the centre of things’.
Time of the Icebergs
Much of Time of the Icebergs was written while David Eggleton was a Writer-in-Residence at the Michael King Writers Centre in Auckland in 2009. These are poems about the world we live in, tracing a dystopian present 'hurtling globalisation's highway' where 'Google tells Google that Google saves'. As he says 'I think of it as a collection for browsing and discovering things: soundscapes, seascapes, landscapes, contemporary politics and contemporary people, histories, traditions, and other things besides.'
To the Occupant
To the Occupant by Emma Neale is an innovative and astounding collection from one of New Zealand’s leading poets of her generation.
Two or More Islands
Two or More Islands is the seventh collection of poetry by award-winning New Zealand poet Diana Bridge. Her subjects are reflected through a range of cultural lenses. To engagement with Western and New Zealand literature should be added her immersion in the great Asian cultures of China and India. Her poetry is an intricate meshing of realities and possesses a remarkable depth and richness of perspective. These are poised, elegantly wrought poems, full of lively intelligence and verbal deftness.
Cradled between bush-covered hills and sea, the city of Dunedin inspires a strong sense of heritage and place - and fabulous poetry. Under Flagstaff: An Anthology of Dunedin Poetry brings together for the first time a selection from the extraordinarily rich resource of poems, published and unpublished, written about the city and its environs.
Walking to Jutland Street
Walking to Jutland Street is the debut poetry collection of Michael Steven, an Auckland poet with strong connections to Dunedin, published by Otago University Press.
From car workshops to tinnie houses, from school playgrounds to the hidden lives on the margins of society, Steven's poetry captures the transitory with an intense clarity, distilling everyday experiences of New Zealand life into an encompassing poetic vision.
Whisper of a Crow's Wing
Published simultaneously in Ireland by Salmon Poetry, Majella Cullinane’s remarkable second collection, Whisper of a Crow’s Wing, is the work of a poet with a distinct and powerful voice. These poems weigh and examine oppositions – the distance of time and place, the balance of life and death, the poet’s New Zealand home and her Irish heritage.
As one of eight writers, poet Janet Charman was invited in 2009 to take part in a hectic, immersive literary residency in Hong Kong. Written out of this time of stimulating buzz, 仁 surrender chronicles the tensions, translations and literary crushes that ensue, with ever-present comedy.