Saturday, 30 November 2019
List #7: NEW ZEALAND POETRY
Have a look through this selection of books we are recommending for summer reading and as seasonal gifts. Click through to read our reviews. Use the 'click and collect' function on our website to reserve your copies.
If you don't find what you're looking for here, come and talk to us: we have many other interesting books on our shelves.
Collected Poems by Fleur Adcock $50
A handsome edition collecting poems from 1960 to the present.
"Fleur Adcock has written some of the best poems in world literature." - The Spinoff
Craven by Jane Arthur $25
Winner of the 2018 Sarah Broom Poetry Prize.
"She seems to me a poet of scale and embodiment. Her moments are informed by awe and intelligence – quick and seamless. They don’t have to try so hard. I felt novels and films in these poems. I thought: this is a poet of capacity." — Eileen Myles
James K. Baxter: Letters of a Poet $100
James K. Baxter was not a man of few words, and his private correspondence was no exception. Letters of a Poet, edited by his friend and frequent correspondent John Weir, contains almost 900 of Baxter's letters from 1939 to 1972, covering his teenage years and entire adult life. Frank, funny, generous, sometimes filthy, packed with poems and musings on love, the Catholic faith, and how to live well and write well, they provide remarkable new insights into his life and work. The two slip-cased volumes include letters to his parents, Archibald and Millicent Baxter, the conscientious objector Noel Ginn, and many of the leading literary figures of the time, including Charles Brasch, Allen Curnow, Frank Sargeson, Fleur Adcock, Lawrence Baigent, Barry Crump, Maurice Shadbolt, W. H. Oliver, Robin Dudding and many more.
Lost and Somewhere Else by Jenny Bornholdt $28
Jenny Bornholdt has the remarkable capacity to draw the subtlest insights out of the most everyday details. Her poetry is marked by the fine-grained quality of her noticing, by her sprightly wit, and by the generous access she provides to very precise states of feeling. How does she achieve all this?
Neon Daze by Amy Brown $25
Neon Daze is a verse journal of the first four months of motherhood. As these poems trace the dramatic reconfiguring of one's world, they also upend genre and notions of linear time. Amy Brown's third poetry collection searches restlessly for a way to map a self that is now "part large and old, part new and small".
Listening In by Lynley Edmeades $28
Edmeades's poems show, often sardonically, how language can be undermined: linguistic registers are rife with uncertainties, ambiguities and accidental comedy. She shuffles and reshuffles statements and texts, and assumes multiple perspectives with the skill of a ventriloquist. These poems probe political rhetoric and linguistic slippages with a sceptical eye, and highlight the role of listening or the errors of listening in everyday communication.
Wild Honey: Reading New Zealand women's poetry by Paula Green $45
Green explores New Zealand poetry as if it were a house, moving from room to room and through time, releasing historical female poets from definition or exclusion by traditional male gatekeepers, bringing literary pioneers such as Jessie Mackay, Blanche Baughan Lola Ridge and Eileen Duggan out of the shadows to stand with contemporary literary provocateurs such as Hera Lindsay Bird and Tayi Tibble. Includes biographies of 195 poets. Illustrated by Sarah Laing.
>>Have a look inside.
Under Glass by Gregory Kan $25
"The things that are really big and really close are too big and too close to be seen. If the mind were a place, what might it look like?"
A superb new collection from the immensely talented Kan in the form of a dialogue between a series of prose poems tracking a progression through mysteriously affecting landscapes, and a series of verse poems compulsively trying to make sense of this experience, the whole forming a kind of zone where inner and outer worlds contest for definition.
>>Read Thomas's review.
Moth Hour by Anne Kennedy $25
Kennedy's brother Philip 'Moth' dies when he was 22. In this book Kennedy takes a poem he wrote and makes multiple versions of her own: a gripping, emotional arm-wrestle with tragedy.
How to Live by Helen Rickerby $25
Where are the female philosophers? Why are women silenced? Who can tell us how to live? In her fourth collection of poetry, Helen Rickerby takes readers on a journey into women’s writing, a quest for philosophical answers, and an investigation of poetic form. The poems in How to Live engage in a conversation with ‘the unsilent women’ — Hipparchia and George Eliot, Ban Zhao and Mary Shelley. They do so in order to explore philosophical and practical questions: how one could or should live a good life, how to be happy, how to not die, how to live. Rickerby thinks through the ways that poetry can build up and deconstruct a life, how the subtext and layers inherent in poetry can add to the telling of a life story, and how different perspectives can be incorporated into one work the place where poetry meets essay, where fiction meets non-fiction, where biography meets autobiography, where plain-speaking meets lyricism, where form pushes against digression.
La belle dame avec les mains vertes by Evangeline Riddiford Graham $15
The future’s a disaster. Everyone knows it’s time to get proofing. But you, you’re out of energy to bolt down the bookshelf. You can’t afford a carbon-neutral kitchen. Balance the math & trash the books: you won’t ever have a house. You little worm. Do you really think you deserve your own bedroom? Fear not! If you can’t afford to be part of the problem, you can still buy into the compromise. La Belle Dame avec les mains vertes offers a solution for your every civic grievance. Set down in writing, made in New Zealand, one last blast of arts & crafts. La Belle Dame sees your plaint, & raises it. Would you like to register a charge, or a lamentation?
A green and grumpy, very funny ode to life in contemporary Tāmaki-makau-rau, in the form of a double sestina.
Sport 47 edited by Tayi Tibble, with Fergus Barrowman, Kirsten McDougall and Ashleigh Young $30
A Wānanga with Patricia Grace and Anahera Gildea; new fiction, poetry and essays by Aimee-Jane Anderson-O’Connor, Hana Pera Aoake, Tusiata Avia, Airini Beautrais, Zarah Butcher-McGunnigle, Vanessa Crofskey, Alayne Dick, Sam Duckor Jones, Anahera Gildea, Eliana Gray, Isabel Haarhaus, Jordan Hamel, Rebecca Hawkes, Nicole Titihuia Hawkins, Emma Hislop, Joy Holley, Patrick Hunn, Nadine Anne Hura, Ash Davida Jane, Claudia Jardine, Erik Kennedy, Catarina de Peters Leitão, Talia Marshall, Anna McAllister, Eleanor Rose King Merton, Fardowsa Mohamed, Mikaela Nyman, Rebecca Tobo Olul, Rachel O’Neill, Sinead Overbye, Aiwa Pooamorn, Meg Prasad, Michelle Rahurahu Scott, essa may ranapiri, Amanda Jane Robinson, Freya Daly Sadgrove, Charlotte Simmonds, Carin Smeaton, Ruby Solly, Michelle Tayler, Anne Marie Te Whiu, Chris Tse, Oscar Upperton, Faith Wilson, Eefa Yasir Jauhary; cover by Miriama Grace-Smith.
Postcard Stories by Richard von Sturmer $35
Postcard Stories uses the arrangement of a collection of 100 remarkable postcards (all reproduced in slightly more than full colour) as a way of constructing stories in the form of brief sequential texts, often reaching a haiku-like intensity. Lots of slightly sad fun. "Putting a hand-tinted postcard of the Shanghai Gas Co. next to one of the Pool of Bethesda in Jerusalem creates a certain frisson. Places far removed in space and time suddenly form an unexpected relationship and a story begins."
"At once sweeping and intricate, gorgeous and austere." - Gregory O'Brien
"Original, readable and charming." - Murray Edmond.
>>Read Stella's review.
Because a Woman's Heart is Like a Needle at the Bottom of the Ocean by Sugar Magnolia Wilson $25
"A reading treasure trove that shifts form and musical key; there are letters, confessions, flights of fancy, time shifts, bright images, surprising arrivals and compelling gaps. Lines stand out, other lines lure you in to hunt for the missing pieces. There is grief, resolve, reflection and terrific movement." - Paula Green
How I Get Ready by Ashleigh Young $25
In her new poetry collection, Ashleigh Young (author of the Wyndham-Campbell prize-winning Can You Tolerate This?) fails to learn to drive, vanishes from the fossil record, and finally finishes writing a book.
>>Read Thomas's review.
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