Three Poets on Love


I was invited to contribute a piece on Love to Awkword Paper Cut blog run by Michelle Elvy (it draws in writers from NZ and USA to write on writing). Even though I edited an anthology of love poems (Dear Heart) and I feel I write primarily out of love, I don’t write many love poems.  It was a fascinating thing to do– to write the piece.

You can read the three pieces here.


Earlier this year, I read ‘Iambic pentameter’ by Patricia Sykes, a poem about voice and rebellion and learning to stand on one’s own two feet. In Sykes’ bio, I read of her collaboration with composer Liza Lim, and I was so intrigued by this project that I followed the links to Lim’s webpage and found myself lingering late one night over her piece called Love Letter, 2011’ – inspired and linked in various ways to James Tenney’s ‘Postal Pieces’. Tenney’s experiment is described as a “meditation on acoustics, form, or hyper-attention to a single performance gesture”. Lim’s ‘Love Letter’ is similarly experimental, something she describes as a mere “prompt, an invitation to the performer to participate in a process of honouring someone (‘their beloved’) [while] all the true work lies with the performer” – something which prompted me to reflect even more on ideas linking passion, voice, heartbeat and distances we traverse both physically and spiritually in the name of love.

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