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.
Mashing together the lyrical and the slangy, celebrating local vernaculars while simultaneously plugged in to a global zeitgeist of technobabble and fake news, Eggleton recycles and 'repurposes' high visual culture and demotic aural culture.
Edgeland offers a tragicomic and surreal skewering of the cons, swindles, posturings and flaws of damaged people on the make, dislocating the reader with high speed jinks and swerves. A satirical eye interrogates 'data', media bilge, opinion, social change, extreme experience, and worst-case-scenario extrapolations.
A menagerie of vivid characters burst off the page – including the man who mistook the moon for a candy bar, instigators, prestidigitators, procurators, promulgators, Zorro and Governor Grey – alongside a survey of 35 types of beard, an ode to ooze, metadada, Gordon Ramsay's pan-sizzled bull's pizzle, a Baxterian moa, and various other waka jumpers hailing from Jafaville to Jack's Blowhole.
Edgeland is a dazzling display of polychromatic virtuosity, teeming with irrepressible wordplay, startling imagery and anarchic wit, from one of New Zealand's best-loved poets.
Illustrations and cover art by New Zealand artist James Robinson.
David Eggleton lives in Dunedin. He has previously published seven poetry collections, poetry pamphlets, a poetry chapbook, and a book of short fiction, as well as a number of works of non-fiction. His last book The Conch Trumpet (Otago University Press, 2015), won the 2016 Ockham New Zealand Book Award for poetry. Well known as a performance poet, David has also collaborated with musicians and practitioners of a variety of other art forms, from sculpture to fashion design. He was awarded the Prime Minister's Award for Literary Achievement in 2016 and the Fulbright-Creative New Zealand Pacific Writers' Residency in 2017.
'Part of what makes Eggleton's work outstanding is his ability to assume different voices – a kind of literary ventriloquism.'
– Nicholas Reid, New Zealand Listener, 24 September 2018
Paperback, 230 x 150 mm, 110 pp, ISBN 978-1-98-853127-4, $27.50