Poetry (33)

The Moon in a Bowl of Water

ISBN: 9781988531540

Author: Michael Harlow    Publisher: Otago University Press

Bound together by myth and music, Michael Harlow's The Moon in a Bowl of Water is a stunning new collection from a poet in complete control of his craft. Harlow...


Bound together by myth and music, Michael Harlow's The Moon in a Bowl of Water is a stunning new collection from a poet in complete control of his craft. Harlow is the maestro of the prose poem. Here he presents a collection of small human journeys, with a strong emphasis on narrative. The work is consciously rooted in Greek mythology and in the idea of storytelling as a continuous river, flowing from the ancients to the present, telling one story on the surface, but carrying in its depths the glints of ancient archetypes, symbols and myths. Each poem is studded with associations that hark back millennia. Harlow delights in the airiness of the imagination and the magic of transformation, especially through the power of language. Words become `thought-birds' that can be caged, coaxed to sing, or allowed to fly, and the poems' sonic after-effects echo and re-echo in the reader's mind and ear.


Bind: paperback


Pages: 80


Dimensions: 165 x 235 mm


Tag: Poetry
$27.50
Manifesto Aotearoa : 101 Political Poems

ISBN: 9780947522469

Authors: Philip Temple, Emma Neale    Publisher: Otago University Press

Explosive new poems for election year from David Eggleton, Cilla McQueen, Vincent O’Sullivan, Tusiata Avia, Frankie McMillan, Brian Turner, Paula Green, Ian ...


Explosive new poems for election year from David Eggleton, Cilla McQueen, Vincent O’Sullivan, Tusiata Avia, Frankie McMillan, Brian Turner, Paula Green, Ian Wedde, Vaughan Rapatahana, Ria Masae, Peter Bland, Louise Wallace, Bernadette Hall, Airini Beautrais and 84 others… A poem is a vote. It chooses freedom of imagination, freedom of critical thought, freedom of speech. A collection of political poems in its very essence argues for the power of the democratic voice. Here New Zealand poets from diverse cultures, young and old, new and seasoned, from the Bay of Islands to Bluff, rally for justice on everything from a degraded environment to systemically embedded poverty; from the long, painful legacy of colonialism to explosive issues of sexual consent. Communally these writers show that political poems can be the most vivid and eloquent calls for empathy, for action and revolution, even for a simple calling to account. American poet Mark Leidner tweeted in mid-2016 that ‘A vote is a prayer with no poetry’. Here, then, are 101 secular prayers to take to the ballot box in an election year. But we think this book will continue to express the nation’s hopes every political cycle: the hope for equality and justice. Two small but potent words. 101 potent poems. Stand up, write back!


Bind: hardback


Pages: 184


Dimensions: 150 x 230 mm


Publication Date: 17-04-2017


$35.00
The Lives of Coat Hangers

ISBN: 9781927322376

Author: Sudesh Mishra    Publisher: Otago University Press

In Sudesh Mishra’s new collection the opening poem, ‘The Capacious Muse’, acts as a manifesto or declaration of intent. It’s a sequence of aphoristic se...


In Sudesh Mishra’s new collection the opening poem, ‘The Capacious Muse’, acts as a manifesto or declaration of intent. It’s a sequence of aphoristic sentences that begins: ‘The muse will not proscribe.’ In other words, this poet will not rule anything out as the fit subject for a poem. Sudesh Mishra is a philosophical poet, one preoccupied not only with how meaning is made, but with how meaning is manifested in the modern world. His poetry is rich in the truths revealed by humble, humdrum objects, as in the title poem, ‘The Lives of Coat Hangers’: They wait for a latch to raise an eyebrow, For a shadow to step in from the light. They long to be held in the arms of a coat … Subtle, witty, linguistically adept and internationally well travelled, Sudesh Mishra is a poet whose range of reference traverses global culture. An ambitious and accomplished writer, one able to brilliantly reinvent language, myth and metaphor, his fifth collection confirms him as a major poetic voice in the South Pacific. … a poet with imagination to burn – Murray Bramwell, Adelaide Review Mishra’s development as a poet shows in the restrained, formal, technical brilliance of the poems –Briar Wood, The Contemporary Pacific


Bind: paperback


Pages: 144


Dimensions: 150 x 235 mm


Publication Date: 29-01-2016


$25.00
In A Slant Light

ISBN: 9781877578717

Author: Cilla McQueen    Publisher: Otago University Press

In this absorbing poetic memoir of her early life, Cilla McQueen, one of New Zealand’s major women poets, leads us over the stepping stones of childhood memor...


In this absorbing poetic memoir of her early life, Cilla McQueen, one of New Zealand’s major women poets, leads us over the stepping stones of childhood memory, some half submerged, some strong and glinting in the light of her wit: In the large lead shoe X-ray machine at the back of the shoe shop, our skeletal feet appeared at the press of a button. We irradiated ourselves further when the shop assistant wasn’t looking. … I tried the magic trick of pulling the tablecloth out from under our plates of tomato soup. This didn’t work. With humour and openness, clarity and grace, the memoir continues through her teenage years and the excitement and turbulence, the expansion and vulnerability, of university days and early motherhood in the 1960s and 1970s … raising a young child alone, falling in love with Ralph Hotere and witnessing his deeply immersive artistic practice … This account of the life of an extraordinary verbal artist is immensely warm and welcoming: time falls away as we read. The lightness of Cilla’s touch coupled with the grit of her endurance through challenging personal circumstances makes the reader feel privileged to be invited in to the quiet wisdom worn here with both integrity and modesty. From the sweet shocks of her imagery to the joy of recognition of many shared experiences of a New Zealand childhood, this memoir brings a honeyed, sensitive yet utterly resilient voice in our local literature as close as the voice of a good friend. This is a book not only for those who love Cilla McQueen’s poetry, but for anyone fascinated by the social, artistic and literary history of New Zealand.


Bind: hardback


Pages: 134


Dimensions: 165 x 235 mm


Publication Date: 13-05-2016


$35.00
Getting It Right

ISBN: 9781927322659

Author: Alan Roddick    Publisher: Otago University Press

After establishing a poetic presence on the literary scene in the early 1960s, Dunedin’s Alan Roddick published his first collection, The Eye Corrects: Poems ...


After establishing a poetic presence on the literary scene in the early 1960s, Dunedin’s Alan Roddick published his first collection, The Eye Corrects: Poems 1955–1965, in 1967. A mere 49 years later comes the sequel, Getting it Right. Poet C.K. Stead writes in Shelf Life (AUP, 2016) that he has always been a great admirer of the economy and the quiet, sharp wit of [Roddick’s] writing … Alan Roddick is a ‘cool’ poet, a temperament that seems reserved, controlled, decent, funny and intelligent; a craftsman not a showman, with a fine musical ear, whose work is dependable and of the highest order. And as well as witty and clever work, there are poems that catch moments of deep feeling; and equally of exhilaration, such as the ten-year-old Alan standing up on the seat, his head through the sunroof of his father’s car that is cruising downhill, ‘pushing 40’ with the engine off to save petrol, ‘drunk with the scent of heather and whin / that airy silence …’ Alan Roddick is writing as well as any New Zealand poet currently at work on the scene. It is wonderful to have him back – something to celebrate!


Bind: paperback


Pages: 100


Dimensions: 150 x 230 mm


Publication Date: 20-09-2016


$25.00
Generation Kitchen

ISBN: 9781877578922

Author: Richard Reeve    Publisher: Otago University Press

Much sought after by oil companies, ‘generation kitchens’ are sites where geological forces have combined to create conditions for oil production. By turns ...


Much sought after by oil companies, ‘generation kitchens’ are sites where geological forces have combined to create conditions for oil production. By turns brooding and wittily observant, Richard Reeve’s fifth book of poetry meditates on the intrigues of fossil fuel companies and ecological despoliation, but also on personal rites of passage – on relationships, deaths, the turn of the seasons. Comic monologues, spiritual invocations, flung swearwords, elegies, eulogies, wind tunnel diatribes and fanciful phantasmagorias co-exist in this collection. Oracular and bardic, Reeve’s work is also paradoxically down to earth and gritty. He knows that, beyond the geopolitical framework, beyond the anthropocene moment, the landscape endures, as in the poem ‘Warrington Dives’: the bright swell bending around the coast, prodding the dark, clouds of sediment thrown up by a wave …


Bind: paperback


Pages: 64


Dimensions: 150 x 220 mm


Publication Date: 03-07-2015


$25.00
The Farewell Tourist

ISBN: 9781988531298

Author: Alison Glenny    Publisher: Otago University Press

Pushing against the boundaries of what poetry might be, Alison Glenny’s The Farewell Tourist is haunting, many-layered and slightly surreal. In The Magnetic P...


Pushing against the boundaries of what poetry might be, Alison Glenny’s The Farewell Tourist is haunting, many-layered and slightly surreal. In The Magnetic Process sequence a man and a woman inhabit a polar world, adrift in zones of divergence, where dreams are filled with snow, icebergs, and sinking ships. Their scientific instruments and observations measure a fragmented and uncertain space where conventional perspectives are violated. In a series of histories – of the Atmosphere, of the Honeymoon – footnotes reference vanished texts. By turns mysterious, ominous and evocative, they represent connections to an obscured narrative of disintegration and icy melancholy.


Bind: paperback


Pages: 80


Dimensions: 150 x 230 x 6 mm


Publication Date: 20-08-2018


$27.50
The Conch Trumpet

ISBN: 9781877578939

Author: David Eggleton    Publisher: Otago University Press

The Conch Trumpet calls to the scattered tribes of contemporary New Zealand. It sounds the signal to listen close, critically and ‘in alert reverie’. David ...


The Conch Trumpet calls to the scattered tribes of contemporary New Zealand. It sounds the signal to listen close, critically and ‘in alert reverie’. David Eggleton’s reach of references, the marriage of high and low, the grasp of popular and classical allusion, his eye both for cultural trash and epiphanic beauty, make it seem as if here Shakespeare shakes down in the Pacific. There are dazzling compressions of history; astonishing paens to harbours, mountains, lakes and rivers; wrenchingly dark, satirical critiques of contemporary politics, of solipsism, narcissism, the apolitical, the corporate, with a teeming vocabulary to match. And often too a sense of the imperative, grounding reality of the phenomenal world – the thisness of things: Cloud whispers brush daylight’s ear; fern question-marks form a bush encore; forlorn heat swings cobbed in webs. – from ‘Nor-wester Flying’ In this latest collection David Eggleton is court jester/philosopher/lyricist, and a kind of male Cassandra, roving warningly from primeval swampland to gritty cityscape to the information and disinformation cybercloud


Bind: paperback


Pages: 124


Dimensions: 170 x 225 mm


Publication Date: 20-02-2015


$25.00
Cloudboy

ISBN: 9781877578809

Author: Siobhan Harvey    Publisher: Otago University Press

"Cloudboy" is a deep-mulling, richly sensitive account of a mother's adjustments to the needs of an autistic child.
This prize-winning suite of poems grow...


"Cloudboy" is a deep-mulling, richly sensitive account of a mother's adjustments to the needs of an autistic child.
This prize-winning suite of poems grows out of extremes of love and frustration, as the poet introduces a bright, unpredictable, markedly individual boy to the rigid, often airless routines of the school system.
Any empathetic parent knows the fears and anxieties of sending a young child into the world of other children, their casual cruelties and dreamy naivety. Each concern in exponentially increased when a child's educational and emotional needs set them apart.
Cloudboy writes his own version of Genesis, he invents a new language; he sketces intricate maps; he reads Aristotle and develops an obsession with Dr Who; he interrupts; he sways; his 'fists come clenched and swinging'. To onlookers, Cloudboy seems troubled, trouble.
Cirrus, cumulus, arcus, stratus: cloud forms speak to Harvey of the phrases of the mother-child bond; the mood-swings and leaps of her child's mind; the mutability of personality; the attraction and evaporation of human kindness; presence and absence; reverie and forgetfulness; the intensity and yet bittersweet transience of early childhood.
With a limber, gorgeously metamorphic sense of sculptural and sonic aspects of poetic form, this book is a tender and detailed atlas of a child's imaginative potential. Yet one of the most remarkable gifts it reveals for us readers is Cloudmother's own finely calibrated perceptions.


Bind: paperback


Pages: 80


Dimensions: 148 x 210 mm


Publication Date: 28-04-2014


$25.00
Born to a Red-Headed Woman

ISBN: 9781877578878

Author: Kay McKenzie Cooke    Publisher: Otago University Press

Using the extraordinary capacity of music to revive the places and people from our pasts, this poetic memoir springs from over 50 song titles of song lines and ...


Using the extraordinary capacity of music to revive the places and people from our pasts, this poetic memoir springs from over 50 song titles of song lines and spans more than four decades.
Laconic, wry, subtly philosophical, Kay McKenzie Cooke's new collection carries us from her rural Southland girlhood in the 1950s and 60s to the bitter pressures of adopting out her baby as a teenager in the 1970s, and to her present as grandmother, mother, wife and author.
A plain-spoken honesty, a sensitivity tot he natural world, a gentle humour, a deep sense of how the richness of our relationships lodges in ordinary rituals and routines: all combine in a quietly moving autobiography.
"Born to a Red-Headed Woman" is documentary, vivid, ever grounded in the workaday detail of farming, the changing decades, family, city life and job. Yet at times the language peels right back to the tender nerve of major, formative losses.
If Cooke's observations of the daily are the simple melodic lines that seem to coast on the surface, beneath that runs a rich bass line of meditation on time, on meaning, how to live a life true to oneself, and to familial love.


Bind: paperback


Pages: 72


Dimensions: 148 x 210 mm


Publication Date: 28-04-2014


$25.00
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