Poetry Shelf noticeboard: Paula Green reviews Glenn Colquhoun at Ketebooks

Glenn Colquhoun is a Horowhenua-based GP and poet. His terrific debut The art of walking upright won the Jessie Mackay Best First Book of Poetry Award at the 2000 Montana New Zealand Book Awards. Three years later Playing God won both the Poetry Award and Readers’ Choice Award. Reading his new collection Letters to Young People underlines the way poetry and medicine are significant parts of Colquhoun’s life. Poetry feeds his medical practice and the medical practice feeds his poetry.

Letters to Young People speaks to the youth he works with at the Horowhenua Health Service, yet these are also poems to self. The blurb states: “Gathered together [the poems] represent the inventory of one doctor’s consultations taken home, responses to those moments he might have woken in the night and wished he had said things better.” Colquhoun responds to the hopes, fears, doubts, and physical and emotional challenges presented to him. He also listens and speaks back to himself. He offers reassurance and comfort, and he offers his own frailties and strengths.

Full review at Ketebooks online here

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