Blog Archives

Listening for the voice, Janet Hughes

Coming to it: Selected Poems
Sam Hunt
Potton and Burton, $30.00,
ISBN 9780947503802

Poeta: Selected and New Poems
Cilla McQueen
Otago University Press, $40.00,
ISBN 9781988531281

Watching for the Wingbeat: New and Selected Poems
Pat White
Cold Hub Press, $40.00,
ISBN 97804734444204

A “Selected Poems” doesn’t confer quite the accolade of a collected, with its connotations of canonisation. But the poet is more likely to have a hand in shaping it, and to be around to enjoy it; it is more likely to privilege reading pleasure; and it’s simply more likely to happen. Back when publishers were powerful arbiters and gatekeepers, a selected poems affirmed a career and a reputation. Now that there are more gates and fewer keepers, the fact of a selected probably carries less freight.

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Posted in Literature, Poetry, Review

“Loneliness was his condition”, Owen Marshall

Notes From the Margins: The West Coast’s Peter Hooper
Pat White
Frontiers Press, $35.00,
ISBN 9780473380663

A journey is a kind of endless forgetting. The boys lived only in the present, seeking a river crossing, probing a thorny thicket for the easiest passage, cooking a meal, hearing the night bird in the silence of the hills.

A Song in the Forest

The South Island’s West Coast features prominently in New Zealand literature, its swashbuckling history and impressive natural environment providing many advantages of setting. Charlotte Randall, Eleanor Catton, Jenny Pattrick and Amy Head are among those who have produced quality fiction associated with the region. Its perceived society and culture, however, are not those that would seem to foster a literary disposition among people who live there, yet Keri Hulme, Mervyn Thompson, Bill Pearson, Toss Woollaston and Philip May represent those with such ties. None has been more closely associated with the Coast than Peter Hooper (1919–1991), the subject of this biography.

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Posted in Biography, Non-fiction, Review

Putting yourself on the line, Christine Johnson

The Commonplace Book: A Writer’s Journey Through Quotations Elizabeth Smither Auckland University Press, $34.99, ISBN 9781869404765 How the Land Lies: Of Longing and Belonging Pat White Victoria University Press, $35.00, ISBN 9780864736383 “[A] memoir is how one remembers one’s own

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Posted in Memoir, Non-fiction, Review

Delicate flowers of the wasteland, Les Cleveland

Love in Time of War: Letter Writing in the Second World War Deborah Montgomerie Auckland University Press, $35.00, ISBN 1869403363 Freyberg’s War: The Man, the Legend, the Reality Matthew Wright Penguin Books, $35.00, ISBN 0143019856 Western Front: The New Zealand

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Posted in History, Non-fiction, Review, War

Niche poets, Pat White

Islands of Intimacy, Love Poems 1970-2000 Denys Trussell Addenda, $22.95, ISBN 0958218617 The Albatross is Dead: Sixty Sonnets Peter Dane Hudson Cresset, $22.95, ISBN 0959789456 Dark Out of Darkness  Guyon Neutze Steele Roberts, $24.95, ISBN 1877228109 b.1943 G J Melling

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Posted in Literature, Poetry, Review
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