Pushing against the boundaries of what poetry might be, Alison Glenny’s The Farewell Tourist is haunting, many-layered and slightly surreal.
In The Magnetic Process sequence a man and a woman inhabit a polar world, adrift in zones of divergence, where dreams are filled with snow, icebergs, and sinking ships. Their scientific instruments and observations measure a fragmented and uncertain space where conventional perspectives are violated. In a series of histories – of the Atmosphere, of the Honeymoon – footnotes reference vanished texts. By turns mysterious, ominous and evocative, they represent connections to an obscured narrative of disintegration and icy melancholy.
Bill Manhire, judge of the 2017 Kathleen Grattan Award, has written:
There is some beautiful writing, but – though there is sometimes talk of music and musical instruments – the text is not written primarily for the ear. [This work] takes full advantage of the white pages on which the words appear. In particular it plays with ideas of erasure, as if all our words, like any evidence of human presence, can be extinguished by a fresh fall of snow.
Winner of the Kathleen Grattan Poetry Award 2017
ALISON GLENNY was born in Christchurch, and currently lives in Paekākāriki. She has an MA in Creative Writing from Victoria University of Wellington, a postgraduate certificate in Antarctic Studies from the University of Canterbury, and has taught creative writing at Whitireia New Zealand. Her work has appeared in a number of journals and anthologies, and online.
Paperback, 230 x 150 mm, 80 pp, ISBN 978-1-98-853129-8 $27.50