Dinah Hawken (drawings by John Edgar)
The Holloway Press
Ruby Duby Du
Elizabeth Smither (Kathryn Madill illus)
The Cold Hub Press
Victoria University Press
On opening Dinah Hawken’s latest volume of poetry, one is struck by its materiality: for a volume of such spare poems, it is a heavy book, a beautiful thing. This sense of the material is evident also in the impressions made by the letterpress-printed words in the pulp of the cut pages. Nostalgia materialises, one might say, in the page’s imperfect absorption of the ink, suggestive of a saturated past all but lost except for its tracing in these spectral letter-figures that, ruin-like (or like the runes of John Edgar’s accompanying stone rubbings), evoke the fullness of the world and all its constituting otherness through their very imperfection.