Blog Archives

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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Tireless affectionate scrutiny, Michael Hulse

Being Here: Selected Poems
Vincent O’Sullivan
Victoria University Press, $40.00
ISBN 9780864739315

Let the Writer Stand
Judith Dell Panny
Steele Roberts, $30.00
ISBN 9781927242803

Vincent O’Sullivan is a writer of such prodigious gifts that the Collected Poems I can’t be alone in longing for simply isn’t feasible. In the time such an edition would take to assemble, O’Sullivan would have written another collection or two. Just as the ironic, intellectual and psychological positions of his writing routinely pre-empt and outdistance critical responses, so too his extraordinary rate of production, not only in poetry, is ceaselessly speeding away from us. So this wonderful selection, Being Here, the first attempt to showcase his whole work in poetry since the 1992 Selected Poems, will have to do for now.

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Obituary — W H (Bill) Oliver

A public intellectual An abridged version of Vincent O’Sullivan’s eulogy for historian and poet W H (Bill) Oliver at Old St Paul’s, Wellington, 18 September 2015 In the 1960s, so much that was important to New Zealand intellectual life happened

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No country for old men, Megan Dunn 

Grahame Sydney Paintings 1974-2014
Grahame Sydney (essay by Vincent O’Sullivan)
Craig Potton, $100.00,
ISBN 9781927213254

Myself, Looking Back is Grahame Sydney’s extensive memoir of his childhood and formative artistic years up until his sell-out solo exhibition in 1975. Early on in this detailed and reflective piece, Sydney’s boyhood self asks: “Weren’t all lives like ours?” This question is rhetorical and it hits the right elegiac note, but ultimately the answer is no.

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Posted in Art, Non-fiction and Review

Time’s wingèd chariot, Mark Houlahan

Us, Then Vincent O’Sullivan Victoria University Press, $28.00, ISBN 9780867438929 The Lifeguard: Poems 2008-20013 Ian Wedde Auckland University Press, $28.00, ISBN 9781869407698 Life and Customs Bernadette Hall Victoria University Press, $25.00, ISBN 9780864739001 “But at my back I always hear

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Life in the bush, by the bay, Dougal McNeill

Speaking Frankly: The Frank Sargeson Memorial Lectures 2003-2010 Sarah Shieff (ed) Cape Catley, $31.99, ISBN 9781877340277   Celebrating Katherine Mansfield: A Centenary Volume of Essays Gerri Kimber and Janet Wilson (eds) Palgrave Macmillan, $162.00, ISBN 9780230277731   It was a

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Posted in Essays, Lecture, Literature, Non-fiction and Review

Not all freckles and nostalgia, Dougal McNeill

The Movie May Be Slightly Different Vincent O’Sullivan Victoria University Press, $30.00, ISBN 97800864736437   Adorno’s term for those last, wild works of Beethoven’s was “late style”, describing a maturity that is for the most part not round, but furrowed

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Poem — Vincent O’Sullivan

Plane people Do I need to tell you it was a good reading? It was a great reading. One hundred and twenty nearly, we’d hoped for eighty at the most! We hadn’t met since the Venice conference, how many years

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Good old immortal artists, Vincent O’Sullivan

  Dear Charles Dear Janet: Frame and Brasch in Correspondence Pamela Gordon and Denis Harold (eds) Holloway Press, $250.00, ISBN 9780986461804   As I’ve thought before about the Holloway Press, it’s a tricky business to bring out works of deliberately

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Posted in Letters, Literature, Non-fiction and Review

Huddle and glut, Michael Hulse

Further Convictions Pending: Poems 1998-2008 Vincent O’Sullivan Victoria University Press, $35.00,  ISBN 9780864736062 In “Being here”, the first of the 44 new poems in this generous book, Vincent O’Sullivan states explicitly for the first time an important position: It has

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Posted in Literature, Poetry and Review
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