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Poetry and politics, Sarah Sharp

Robert Burns: Poet and Revolutionist Harry Holland (Dougal McNeill ed) Steele Roberts, $30.00, ISBN 9780947493172 Writing during the 1920s, Harry Holland describes the celebration of Burns Night as an event which unites Scots around the world: be the Scot where

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A slap in the face with a mohair glove, Anna Jackson

Hera Lindsay Bird Hera Lindsay Bird Victoria University Press, $25.00, ISBN 9781776560714 I have been reading Hera Lindsay Bird like a waitress pouring myself into the coffee … and then drinking it all before I get it as far as

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Poetry and the poem, Michael Hulse

Selected Poems  Jenny Bornholdt Victoria University Press, $40.00, ISBN 9781776560660 If I begin by saying that Jenny Bornholdt gives the impression of being a very modest person, it’s not because this review is to be an assessment of her character,

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A late flowering, Peter Russell

Karl Wolfskehl: Three Worlds / Drei Welten: Selected Poems: German and English Friedrich Voit (ed), Andrew Paul Wood (trans) Cold Hub Press, $45.00, ISBN 9780473358679 This book is a triumph: a triumph of the translator’s art, and a triumph in

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Letters of aroha and respect, Olivia Bennett

The Art of Walking Upright Glenn Colquhoun Steele Roberts, $25.00, ISBN 1877228206 “The art of walking upright here is the art of using both feet”. For many New Zealanders, the very essence of being Kiwi is being part of a

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Mystery, wisdom and complication, Gregory O’Brien

The Lives of Coat Hangers Sudesh Mishra University of Otago Press, $25.00, ISBN 9781927322376 “A thing is a hole in a thing it is not.” I was reminded of American sculptor Carl Andre’s words, as I read Sudesh Mishra’s remarkable

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Forces for good, Damian Love

And So It Is Vincent O’Sullivan Victoria University Press, $25.00, ISBN 97817765650592 Fits and Starts Andrew Johnston Victoria University Press, $25.00, ISBN 97817765650592 “There is”: for the last two decades these words have been the key note of Vincent O’Sullivan’s

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Speaking in a new language, Anahera Gildea

Puna Wai Kōrero: An Anthology of Māori Poetry in English Reina Whaitiri and Robert Sullivan (eds) Auckland University Press, $50.00, ISBN 9781869408176 To my nieces and nephews, Some of you speak English and some of you are bilingual but, either

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Prodding the boundaries, Janet Hughes

Work 
Sarah Jane Barnett,
Hue & Cry Press, $25.00, ISBN 9780473333331

Tender Machines 
Emma Neale
Otago University Press, $25.00, ISBN 9781927322345

Soundings of Hellas 
John Davidson,
Steele Roberts, $20.00, ISBN 9781927242957

Looking out to Sea
Kevin Ireland
Steele Roberts, $20.00, ISBN 9781927242926

I’m looking at another pile of rich, rewarding collections of poetry, looking for commonalities so that I can do them some kind of justice in the allotted space. I see that Emma Neale glosses her title by quoting two poets who likened a poem to a machine. Don Paterson is deprecatory: a poem is “just a little machine for remembering itself”; while William Carlos Williams throws the possibilities wide open with another craftily small claim: “A poem is a small (or large) machine made of words”.

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Poetical philosophies, John Dennison

Song of the Ghost in the Machine  Roger Horrocks Victoria University Press, $25.00, ISBN 9780864739858 Shaggy Magpie Songs Murray Edmond Auckland University Press, $25.00, ISBN 9781869408411 Generation Kitchen Richard Reeve Otago University Press, $25.00, ISBN 9781877578922 Roger Horrocks’s Song of

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