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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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Touch of darkness, Sarah Jane Barnett

Shadow Play
James Norcliffe
Proverse Hong Kong
ISBN 9789881993588

Great South Road and South Side
Tony Beyer
Puriri Press
ISBN 9780908943395

Remnants
Leonard Lambert
Steele Roberts
ISBN 9781927242285

Curriculum Vitae
Harold Jones
Xlibris
ISBN 9781493137527 (e-book also available)

James Norcliffe is an award-winning writer, editor, and teacher who has published six collections of poetry. Published five years after his last collection, Shadow Play was a finalist for the annual international Proverse Prize in 2011. The collection is one of curiosity in action. In a generous preface, Bernadette Hall sums up the appeal of Norcliffe’s poetry: his “quick, clever, jinky words” and “gift for being seriously funny”. While Norcliffe excels at whimsy, the poems are also wry and accomplished, especially the exceptional “Lost in Nineveh”, “Ichthyosaurus” and “Towards the Mountain” (a poem for Pat Hammond).

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Memory and oxo cubes, Murray Bramwell

The Little Enemy Nicholas Reid Steele Roberts, $29.95, ISBN 9781877577512 A Man Runs into a Woman Sarah Jane Barnett Hue and Cry Press, $25.00, ISBN 9780473213992 The Same as Yes Joan Fleming Victoria University Press, $28.00, ISBN 9780864736987 These three

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Time-capsule poems, Sarah Jane Barnett

Steal Away Boy: Selected Poems of David Mitchell Martin Edmond and Nigel Roberts (eds) Auckland University Press, $34.99, ISBN 9781869404598   In the 1970s David Mitchell was the poet everyone wanted to be. A self-possessed and talented hipster, Mitchell’s best-selling

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