Poetry Shelf celebrates Jeffrey Paparoa Holman’s After Hours Trading & The Flying Squad with a reading and a poem

enter the silence

entering the silence that is not a silence
remains of a shoe by the mouth of a shaft
rusted boiler at a fork in the creek
pond of eels where the dredge dismantled
ended its song in a valley of tailings
entering the silence that is not a silence

enter a silence that never was
the wheels of a lokie sprouting fern
a railway signpost clothed in lichen
the sign to a mine where the dead
still linger lost to lovers dear to mothers
enter a silence that never was

enter then the world without knocking
digging drilling sluicing felling
fishing farming ploughing a dream
hauling an island from the constellations
into the glare of an alien reign
enter then the world without knocking

enter the silence enter the dark enter
the hive of the invitation   enter
the majesty   enter the wine   enter
the wilderness while you may   enter
with flags and enter with instruments
enter the silence   enter   enter

Jeffrey Paparoa Holman

Paula: I recently reviewed Jeffrey’s new poetry collection for Kete Books. In conclusion I wrote: “Holman writes with a measured step, with distinctive and diverse musical keys, with an ear attuned to the everyday and to a refreshing uplift of language. Repetition is a useful device, appearing like a refrain in a book of song, as a subterranean reminder that history repeats itself. Death, ruination, love, joy. This is a collection of poetry that will echo and nourish as we move through uncertain days.”

You can read the review here.

The reading

After Hours Trading & The Flying Squad, Jeffrey Paparoa Holman, Carbide Press, 2021

“The handpiece” for Jack Gilbert


“when the mobile library comes”

“Grinding the gear, 1969”

Jeffrey Paparoa Holman is a Christchurch poet and non-fiction writer. His collection, Blood Ties: selected poems, 1963-2016 was published by Canterbury University Press in 2017. A memoir, Now When It Rains came out from Steele Roberts in 2018. The most recent collection – After Hours Trading & The Flying Squad – has just been released by Carbide Press, his own imprint (29 October 2021).

Recent work has also appeared in Poetry New Zealand Yearbook 2021, an essay on prison reform, and poetry; his work has also been included in The Cuba Press anthology, More Favourable Waters – Aotearoa Poets respond to Dante’s Purgatory (2021).

He makes his living as a stay-at-home puppy wrangler for Hari, a Jack Russell-Fox Terrier cross. Hari ensures that little writing takes place, while psychogeography and excavating parks happens daily.

After Hours Trading & The Flying Squad, Jeffrey Paparoa Holman, Carbide Press, 2021, ISBN 9780473584047

Jeffrey in conversation with Lynn Freeman Standing Room Only RNZ National

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