Otago University Press (154)

Every Morning, So Far, I’m Alive

ISBN: 9781988531618

Author: Wendy Parkins    Publisher: Otago University Press

Every morning, so far, I’m alive is about what it’s like to live in a world where shaking a stranger’s hand, catching a taxi or touching a door handle are...


Every morning, so far, I’m alive is about what it’s like to live in a world where shaking a stranger’s hand, catching a taxi or touching a door handle are fraught with fear and dread. This memoir charts the author’s breakdown after migrating from New Zealand to England: what begins as homesickness and career burn-out develops into depression, contamination phobia and OCD. Increasingly alienated from all the things that previously gave her life meaning and purpose – family, work, nature, literature – the author is forced to confront a question once posed by the young Virginia Woolf: ‘How is one to live in such a world?’ In this fiercely honest memoir Wendy Parkins, a former English professor, explores what it means to belong and feel at home, and how we are shaped by our first environments, both familial and physical. Describing the gradual process of recovery – as well as its reversals – it shows that returning to health can be about rediscovering how we came to be who we are, without becoming trapped by our narratives of origin. Like coming home, recovery is never quite what we expect it to be, however much we long for it. Beautifully written, intensely moving and threaded with self-deprecating humour, Every morning, so far, I’m alive is about claiming the right to tell our own story and learning to embrace the risks that the messy unpredictability of life always entails.


Bind: paperback


Pages: 220


Dimensions: 150 x 230 mm


$35.00
Two Or More Islands

ISBN: 9781988531625

Author: Diana Bridge    Publisher: Otago University Press

Diana Bridge’s subjects are reflected through a range of cultural lenses. To engagement with Western and New Zealand literature should be added her immersion ...


Diana Bridge’s subjects are reflected through a range of cultural lenses. To engagement with Western and New Zealand literature should be added her immersion in the great Asian cultures of China and India. Her poetry is an intricate meshing of realities and possesses a remarkable depth and richness of perspective. These are poised, elegantly wrought poems, full of lively intelligence and verbal deftness. Since Baxter, most New Zealand poets have shied away from the use of myth in their poetry. In this collection, Bridge mines this vein for its deeply traditional and personal resonances. She knows, as firmly as did Jung, that ‘myths give us pictures for our emotions’. Here, the poems that openly glance off myth are brief, fresh takes that centre on the heroines of Western Classical legend. They begin in an irony that is needed to cope with the sometimes shocking stories, then range through time to alight with radical brevity on Shakespeare and English history. The refrain of the past narrows down to the notion of the family, No one of us today is of the House of Atreus – Just meet the Family, I say. The book concludes with ‘The Way a Stone Falls’, 22 poems set in Southeast Asia. The sequence takes on board the Cambodian tragedy of last century by way of headless statues – taking a sideswipe at French colonialism. It confronts the hardest decision in the whole Hindu tradition, that of Arjuna in the Bhagavad Gita. This is how Bridge finds her way in the world – a place of trees and people and noise and contingency – with the assurance that myth tells her story as well as its own.


Bind: paperback


Pages: 80


Publication Date: 01-06-2019


$27.95
A Communist In The Family

ISBN: 9781988531601

Author: Elspeth Sandys    Publisher: Otago University Press

This is my story of the man, Rewi Alley – family member, writer, humanitarian, activist and unwitting myth-maker. It is also the story of his relationship wit...


This is my story of the man, Rewi Alley – family member, writer, humanitarian, activist and unwitting myth-maker. It is also the story of his relationship with a country, China, about which I now know enough to acknowledge how little I know. A Communist in the Family: Searching for Rewi Alley is a beautifully written multi-layered narrative centred on New Zealander Rewi Alley and his part in the momentous political events of mid-twentieth-century China. Part-biography, part-travel journal, part-literary commentary, A Communist in the Family brings together Alley’s story and that of his author cousin, Elspeth Sandys. In 2017, Sandys travelled to China with other family members to mark the ninetieth anniversary of Rewi’s arrival in Shanghai in 1927. One strand of this book follows that journey and charts Sandys’ impressions of modern China. Another tells the story of Rewi’s early life, in an insightful meditation on the complex and always elusive relationship between memory and writing. By placing the man, Rewi, and his work in the context of his time, Sandys is able to illuminate the life of this extraordinary New Zealander in a way that is both historically vivid and relevant to the world of today. Her focus on the role poetry played in his life – both his own and that of the Chinese poets he translated so prolifically – provides moving glimpses of the man behind the myth. Threaded through A Communist in the Family are Sandys’ evolving insights into a nation that looms ever larger in the day-to-day realities of New Zealand and the world. The strange – and strangely intimate – link between the two countries Rewi regarded as home is one in which he played, and continues to play, a crucial role.


Bind: paperback


Pages: 324


Dimensions: 150 x 230 mm


Publication Date: 12-07-2019


Tags: Biography   History   New Zealand
$40.00
Queer Objects

ISBN: 9781988531663

Author: Chris Brickell    Publisher: Otago University Press

Queer lives give rise to a vast array of objects: the things we fill our houses with, the gifts we share with our friends, the commodities we consume at work an...


Queer lives give rise to a vast array of objects: the things we fill our houses with, the gifts we share with our friends, the commodities we consume at work and at play, the clothes and accessories we wear, various reminders of state power, as well as the analogue and digital technologies we use to communicate with one another. But what makes an object queer? The 63 chapters in Queer Objects consider this question in relation to lesbian, gay and trans­gender communities across time, cultures and space. In this unique international collaboration, well­known and newer writers traverse world history to write about items ranging from ancient Egyptian tomb paintings and Roman artefacts to political placards, snapshots, sex toys and the smartphone. Fabulous, captivating, transgressive.


Bind: paperback


Pages: 400


Dimensions: 210 x 250 mm


Publication Date: 11-10-2019


$50.00
Listening In

ISBN: 9781988531786

Author: Lynley Edmeades    Publisher: Otago University Press

In this original second collection, Lynley Edmeades turns her attention to ideas of sound, listening and speech. Listening In is full of the verbal play and lin...


In this original second collection, Lynley Edmeades turns her attention to ideas of sound, listening and speech. Listening In is full of the verbal play and linguistic experimentation that characterised her first collection, but it also shows the poet pushing the form into new territories. Her poems show, often sardonically, how language can be undermined: linguistic registers are rife with uncertainties, ambiguities and accidental comedy. She shuffles and reshuffles statements and texts, and assumes multiple perspectives with the skill of a ventriloquist. These poems probe political rhetoric and linguistic slippages with a sceptical eye, and highlight the role of listening – or the errors of listening – in everyday communication. Edmeades’ poems are terrifically accomplished – they show confidence and a sure, skilful handling of language, even when expressing tentative, slippery ideas and emotions. Her work is full of verbal play, celebration, pleasure and despair. This is a book where you know the poet is intensely alive to language and its possibilities – she’s always looking for another angle, another way. Edmeades’ voice is an essential one in the ‘now’ of NZ poetry. – Jenny Bornholdt This book confirms Edmeades as both a wily and witty writer with a sure grasp of the potential for shifts of linguistic register to create telling shifts of perspective. Extracting poetry from noise with cool measured techniques, Edmeades emerges in this collection as a precise observer of the human comedy as well as a careful listener. Edmeades’ poems are alert to the phenomena of the real world, delivered with a fidelity and assurance that indicate a significant writer. Every poem in this collection is rewarding. – David Eggleton


Bind: paperback


Pages: 74


Dimensions: 165 x 235 mm


Publication Date: 20-09-2019


$27.50
Alzheimer's and a Spoon

ISBN: 9780947522988

Author: Liz Breslin    Publisher: Otago University Press

when life gives you spoons, demand a refund, an inquiry when life gives you spoons, scoop the innards, carve a heart when life gives you spoons, collect a set A...


when life gives you spoons, demand a refund, an inquiry when life gives you spoons, scoop the innards, carve a heart when life gives you spoons, collect a set Alzheimer’s and a Spoon takes its readers on a tangled trip. Public stories – a conversation at the Castle of the Insane, online quizzes to determine if you’re mostly meercat or Hufflepuff. #stainlessteelkudos. Personal tales, of Liz’s babcia, a devout Catholic and a soldier in the Warsaw Uprising, who spent her last years with Alzheimer’s disease. There is much to remember that she so badly wanted to forget. What do you do when life gives you spoons?


Bind: paperback


Pages: 100


Dimensions: 155 x 235 mm


Publication Date: 28-06-2017


$25.00
Seabirds Beyond The Mountain Crest

ISBN: 9780947522643

Author: Richard Cuthbert    Publisher: Otago University Press

Seabirds Beyond the Mountain Crest tells the fascinating story of New Zealand’s endemic Hutton’s shearwater, a species that breeds only at two remote locati...


Seabirds Beyond the Mountain Crest tells the fascinating story of New Zealand’s endemic Hutton’s shearwater, a species that breeds only at two remote locations, high in the Kaikoura Mountains. Amateur ornithologist Geoff Harrow is the person most closely associated with the story of Hutton’s shearwater, for it was Geoff who discovered the two remaining nesting sites in the 1960s. For five decades he visited the mountains whenever he could to observe and record the birds, and to encourage the Department of Conservation and its predecessors to take steps to conserve this endangered species. As a result, scientist Richard Cuthbert was to spend three years living with 200,000 Hutton’s shearwaters and their neighbours, studying their behaviour, observing their interactions, measuring and recording facts and figures to build a detailed picture of why and how these birds had survived. The discoveries over time of Richard and his co-workers turned received wisdom on its head and revealed a whole new predator story. Richard’s beautifully written, witty account – of the challenge and exasperation, the heartbreak and hardship, and the sheer joy of conservation fieldwork in a remote environment – is beautifully interwoven with other fascinating stories – of the ‘discovery’ of the species by nineteenth-century scientists and collectors, and Geoff Harrow’s discovery of the nesting grounds and subsequent long involvement with this species. Seabirds Beyond the Mountain Crest is a delightful and highly entertaining read.


Bind: paperback


Pages: 220


Dimensions: 170 x 240 mm


Publication Date: 14-08-2017


$45.00
The Lifers

ISBN: 9781988592077

Author: Michael Steven    Publisher: Otago University Press

From Sean Macgregor's lounge occupied by stoned youths, to three bank robbers en route to the Penrose ANZ, Michael Steven's second collection presents his clear...


From Sean Macgregor's lounge occupied by stoned youths, to three bank robbers en route to the Penrose ANZ, Michael Steven's second collection presents his clear, clean vision of 'the lifers' who inhabit these islands and beyond.A generation's subterranean memories of post-Rogernomics New Zealand are a linking thread, in the decades straddling the millennium, while other poems echo with the ghostly voices of the dead, disappeared and forgotten. Steven's writing neither patronises nor romanticises in its intricate depictions of small worlds of violence, despair, love and struggle. Always it refers back to the redemption of human connection as its magnetic pole.Dawn is a fire show of gold and hot white, blasting the darkness off the isthmus.In two hours, I will land in your city.I am made of atoms and they are dancing.


Pages: 92


Dimensions: 150 x 230 mm


Publication Date: 01-03-2020


Tags: New Release   Poetry
$27.50
Undreamed Of... 50 Years of the Frances Hodgkins Fellowship

ISBN: 9780947522568

Authors: Priscilla Pitts, Andrea Hotere    Publisher: Otago University Press

In 1966 Michael Illingworth, whose oil painting Adam and Eve appears on the front cover of this book, was awarded the inaugural Frances Hodgkins Fellowship. For...


In 1966 Michael Illingworth, whose oil painting Adam and Eve appears on the front cover of this book, was awarded the inaugural Frances Hodgkins Fellowship. For the first time in New Zealand a practising artist was given a studio and paid a salary to make art for a whole year. Such support, as Frances Hodgkins herself wrote from her own experience, was capable of ‘yielding up riches – undreamed of’. Poet and critic David Eggleton has described the fellowship as ‘an emblem of cultural endeavour which … holds a legendary status in the public imagination’. The initiative and much of the early funding for the fellowship is thought to have come from poet, editor and arts patron Charles Brasch, and it was set up by the University of Otago Council. Fifty years later, the Frances Hodgkins is still going strong, one of five arts fellowships offered through the University of Otago’s Humanities Division. This sumptuous book brings together the art and the stories of half a century of Frances Hodgkins fellows. Arts commentator Priscilla Pitts writes about their work, while journalist Andrea Hotere interviews the artists about their lives and sources of inspiration. The result is a vibrant celebration of a wealth of talent fostered through New Zealand’s foremost visual arts residency, showing how the artistic wealth created has flowed back into the culture of the small country that nurtured it.


Bind: hardback


Pages: 224


Dimensions: 220 x 280 mm


Publication Date: 11-09-2017


$59.95
Landfall 234

ISBN: 9781988531151

Author: David Eggleton Ed.    Publisher: Otago University Press

FEATURED ARTISTS James Robinson, Jenna Packer, Andrew McLeod AWARDS & COMPETITIONS Results of the Kathleen Grattan Award for Poetry 2017 and judge’s report by...


FEATURED ARTISTS James Robinson, Jenna Packer, Andrew McLeod AWARDS & COMPETITIONS Results of the Kathleen Grattan Award for Poetry 2017 and judge’s report by Bill Manhire, results of the Caselberg Trust International Poetry Prize and judge’s report by Riemke Ensing, results and winning essays from Landfall Essay Competition 2017, and judge’s report by David Eggleton WRITERS Alie Benge, Marianne Bevan, Tony Beyer, Owen Bullock, Kate Camp, Medb Charleton, H.E. Crampton, John Dennison, Doc Drumheller, Breton Dukes, Lynley Edmeades, Ben Egerton, Riemke Ensing, Sisilia Eteuati, Laurence Fearnley, Rachel J. Fenton, Rhian Gallagher, René Harrison, Ingrid Horrocks, Mark Anthony Houlahan, Stephanie Johnson, Judith Lofley, Owen Marshall, Samantha Montgomerie, Claire Orchard, Bob Orr, Kiri Piahana-Wong, Brian Potiki, Joanna Preston, Vaughan Rapatahana, Rebecca Reader, Sue Reidy, James Robinson, Ali Shakir, Kerrin P. Sharpe, Sarah Shirley, Carin Smeaton, Ruby Solly, Michael Steven, Mua Strickson-Pua, Tayi Tibble, Albert Wendt, Sue Wootton, Phoebe Wright REVIEWS Landfall Review Online: books recently reviewed Martin Edmond on Charles Brasch: Journals 1945–1957 ed. Peter Simpson Iain Sharp on Selected Poems by Ian Wedde Jenny Powell on Die Bibel and Collected Poems 1981–2016 by Michael O’Leary Johanna Emeney on The Arrow that Missed by Ted Jenner and The Ones Who Keep Quiet by David Howard Denis Harold on The New Animals by Pip Adams Charlotte Graham on The Suicide Club by Sarah Quigley Katie Pickles on The Great War for New Zealand: Waikato 1800–2000 by Vincent O’Malley Edmund Bohan on The World, the Flesh and the Devil: The life and opinions of Samuel Marsden in England and the Antipodes 1765–1838 by Andrew Sharp


Bind: paperback


Pages: 208


Dimensions: 165 x 215 mm


Publication Date: 15-11-2017


$30.00
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