Poetry (38)

Letters Of Denis Glover

ISBN: 9781988592541

Author: Sarah Shieff    Publisher: Otago University Press

Oh Christ, a bloody ½ witted student, for purposes of an essay, has just come in to ask me what I and Baxter write verse for, and if we mean what we say, or is...


Oh Christ, a bloody ½ witted student, for purposes of an essay, has just come in to ask me what I and Baxter write verse for, and if we mean what we say, or is there something deeper; could we write better verse in England, or here; or do the critics and professors just read a lot into what’s said that isn’t there? So much. And I have been very rude indeed. – Letter to John Reece Cole, 16 August 1949 Nothing about this excerpt from a letter by Denis Glover will surprise anyone who knows him by reputation. He – and his letters – could be witty, intelligent, alarmingly frank and frequently highly entertaining. A widely admired poet, honoured naval commander, gifted printer and typographer, Denis Glover was founder of the Caxton Press in Christchurch. For 15 years from 1935 he directed a publishing programme that did much to define New Zealand literature for its day, and for much of the rest of the century. His literary work was suspended for war service in the New Zealand Division of the Royal Navy, during which he earned a DSC for his activities in the Normandy landings. But he was also a serial philanderer and prodigious drinker, and his private life increasingly disintegrated around him, more and more publicly. And yet his energy as a correspondent appeared never to wane, and almost to the end he confided openly, prolifically and entertainingly to hundreds of acquaintances and confidants. In this magnificent volume Sarah Shieff presents around 500 of 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.


Bind: hardback


Pages: 800


Dimensions: 230 x 150 mm


$79.95
DUE > 6th Nov 2020
As the Verb Tenses

ISBN: 9781927322253

Author: Lynley Edmeades    Publisher: Otago University Press

In the afternoon, peasant women set up shop beside their street-side fish smokers. Look, she said, from here you can see where the mountain range begins... And ...


In the afternoon, peasant women set up shop beside their street-side fish smokers. Look, she said, from here you can see where the mountain range begins... And I wondered: what's the use being a tourist in a place like this? It's like bathing in clothes, kissing a lover through a handkerchief. - from "Lake Baikal" 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.


Bind: paperback


Pages: 64


Dimensions: 150 x 230 mm


Publication Date: 21-03-2016


$25.00
Born to a Red-Headed Woman

ISBN: 9781877578878

Author: Kay McKenzie Cooke    Publisher: Otago University Press

Using the extraordinary capacity of music to revive the places and people from our pasts, this poetic memoir springs from over 50 song titles of song lines and ...


Using the extraordinary capacity of music to revive the places and people from our pasts, this poetic memoir springs from over 50 song titles of song lines and spans more than four decades.
Laconic, wry, subtly philosophical, Kay McKenzie Cooke's new collection carries us from her rural Southland girlhood in the 1950s and 60s to the bitter pressures of adopting out her baby as a teenager in the 1970s, and to her present as grandmother, mother, wife and author.
A plain-spoken honesty, a sensitivity tot he natural world, a gentle humour, a deep sense of how the richness of our relationships lodges in ordinary rituals and routines: all combine in a quietly moving autobiography.
"Born to a Red-Headed Woman" is documentary, vivid, ever grounded in the workaday detail of farming, the changing decades, family, city life and job. Yet at times the language peels right back to the tender nerve of major, formative losses.
If Cooke's observations of the daily are the simple melodic lines that seem to coast on the surface, beneath that runs a rich bass line of meditation on time, on meaning, how to live a life true to oneself, and to familial love.


Bind: paperback


Pages: 72


Dimensions: 148 x 210 mm


Publication Date: 28-04-2014


$25.00
Cloudboy

ISBN: 9781877578809

Author: Siobhan Harvey    Publisher: Otago University Press

"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 grow...


"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.
Any empathetic parent knows the fears and anxieties of sending a young child into the world of other children, their casual cruelties and dreamy naivety. Each concern in exponentially increased when a child's educational and emotional needs set them apart.
Cloudboy writes his own version of Genesis, he invents a new language; he sketces intricate maps; he reads Aristotle and develops an obsession with Dr Who; he interrupts; he sways; his 'fists come clenched and swinging'. To onlookers, Cloudboy seems troubled, trouble.
Cirrus, cumulus, arcus, stratus: cloud forms speak to Harvey of the phrases of the mother-child bond; the mood-swings and leaps of her child's mind; the mutability of personality; the attraction and evaporation of human kindness; presence and absence; reverie and forgetfulness; the intensity and yet bittersweet transience of early childhood.
With a limber, gorgeously metamorphic sense of sculptural and sonic aspects of poetic form, this book is a tender and detailed atlas of a child's imaginative potential. Yet one of the most remarkable gifts it reveals for us readers is Cloudmother's own finely calibrated perceptions.


Bind: paperback


Pages: 80


Dimensions: 148 x 210 mm


Publication Date: 28-04-2014


$25.00
The Farewell Tourist

ISBN: 9781988531298

Author: Alison Glenny    Publisher: Otago University Press

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 P...


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.


Bind: paperback


Pages: 80


Dimensions: 150 x 230 x 6 mm


Publication Date: 20-08-2018


$27.50
Generation Kitchen

ISBN: 9781877578922

Author: Richard Reeve    Publisher: Otago University Press

Much sought after by oil companies, ‘generation kitchens’ are sites where geological forces have combined to create conditions for oil production. By turns ...


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 …


Bind: paperback


Pages: 64


Dimensions: 150 x 220 mm


Publication Date: 03-07-2015


$25.00
Getting It Right

ISBN: 9781927322659

Author: Alan Roddick    Publisher: Otago University Press

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 ...


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!


Bind: paperback


Pages: 100


Dimensions: 150 x 230 mm


Publication Date: 20-09-2016


$25.00
Alzheimer's and a Spoon

ISBN: 9780947522988

Author: Liz Breslin    Publisher: Otago University Press

when life gives you spoons, demand a refund, an inquiry when life gives you spoons, scoop the innards, carve a heart when life gives you spoons, collect a set A...


when life gives you spoons, demand a refund, an inquiry when life gives you spoons, scoop the innards, carve a heart when life gives you spoons, collect a set Alzheimer’s and a Spoon takes its readers on a tangled trip. Public stories – a conversation at the Castle of the Insane, online quizzes to determine if you’re mostly meercat or Hufflepuff. #stainlessteelkudos. Personal tales, of Liz’s babcia, a devout Catholic and a soldier in the Warsaw Uprising, who spent her last years with Alzheimer’s disease. There is much to remember that she so badly wanted to forget. What do you do when life gives you spoons?


Bind: paperback


Pages: 100


Dimensions: 155 x 235 mm


Publication Date: 28-06-2017


$25.00
More of Us

ISBN: 9780473463496

Author: Adrienne Jansen    Publisher: Landing Press

Families, language, fear, loss, food and the victories that can come slowly. These are at the heart of this collection of poems by people who have come to New Z...


Families, language, fear, loss, food and the victories that can come slowly. These are at the heart of this collection of poems by people who have come to New Zealand as migrants or refugees. "More Of Us" provides a glimpse into the experiences of this diverse group of people, which includes those who made New Zealand their home decades ago, and newcomers still finding their feet. And here they all are, speaking in their own distinctive voices. The companion book to "All Of Us", a collection of poems published by Landing Press in 2018.


Bind: paperback


Pages: 92


Dimensions: 150 x 210 mm


Publication Date: 17-01-2019


$22.00
Nouns, Verbs, Etc. - Fiona Farrell (Selected Poems)

ISBN: 9781988592534

Author: Fiona Farrell    Publisher: Otago University Press

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 ...


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). Noun, verbs, etc. collects the best work from these books, and intersperses them with other poems thus far ‘uncollected’. The themes are wide ranging: political and personal, regional and global, including love and birth and death, war and emigration, history and landscape. The poems mix lyricism with the flat and plainspoken mode of Kiwi vernacular; they channel voices infrequently heard in poetry in traditional song and ballad forms. They are well crafted but unpretentious, jokey yet illuminating, self-deprecating but wise, sad and funny and deeply human. Fiona Farrell’s poems look light and lyrical and tidy on the page, which is the way they manage the storms of feeling that race along their lines. These are poems that know how much we yearn for terra firma yet how often we must deal with broken things. They care about family. They speak against injustice. They also know how to rescue the heart and let it sing. – Bill Manhire


Bind: hardback


Pages: 212


Dimensions: 130 x 198 mm


Publication Date: 29-10-2020


$35.00
DUE > 29th Oct 2020
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