Two favourites: Manhire and Wedde

I will still do the occasional poetry review for The Herald and I will post links to them once they appear (I have a new review of about five books appearing this weekend).  I really appreciate those in print media who continue to support New Zealand poetry by publishing reviews. Thought I would post links to two of my favourite books that I have reviewed in The Herald in the past year (one of our inaugural Poet Laureate and one of our current Poet Laureate).

Bill Manhire Selected Poems Victoria University Press 2012

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To mark the end of Bill Manhire’s directorship of the International Institute of Modern Letters, Victoria University Press have released his newSelected Poems, about a decade after his previous collected works.

This is the most gorgeous book of poetry I have held in a long time: hardback, beautiful paper stock, an internal design that allows the poems breathing space, a font that doesn’t distract and Ralph Hotere’s elegant drawing of Manhire on the cover.

Manhire is one of the standout poets of his generation – not beholden to trends, a prodigious reader of the poetry of others, with an ear attuned to the wide stretch of the world we inhabit. The poetic result is irresistible.

For the rest of the review go to this link.  

Ian Wedde The Lifeguard Auckland University Press 2013

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New Zealand’s Poet Laureate, Ian Wedde, has written two of my all-time favourite poetry collections: The Commonplace Odes and Three Regrets And A Hymn To Beauty. Auckland University Press has released his laureate collection, The Lifeguard: Poems 2008-2013, and I was curious to see what would follow such poetic riches.

Wedde’s poetry is steered by an intellectual fascination with the world, but the poems are never shuttered in a way that prevents reader engagement. His prodigious reading is coupled with a strong connection to both the living and to living. His lines generate the music we associate with lyric poetry, and his heart draws the reader in, along with a generous scattering of sensual detail.

For rest of the review go to this link.

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