Archive for the ‘poetry’ Category


A companion volume to the best-selling Where your left hand rests, this is a personal, autobiographical collection of poems from one of NZ’s top writers.

These well-crafted poems are rich in descriptiveness and invite the reader into Fiona Kidman’s life, sharing family, friends, and places she loves with the sonnet sequence being illustrated with family photos of the poet’s mother.  They touch our own experiences, giving relevance and insight to our memories.

The very attractive little book has a golden mosaic dust jacket and an attached red ribbon to mark your place.  It has stunning artwork and is a pleasure to read.


Supplied by Penguin Random House New Zealand

Reviewed by Jan



Ever been to a dinner with friends and some other guest has started spouting complete bollocks? But you don’t say anything because it’s just not polite? Tim Minchin found himself in such a situation a few years ago. He remained polite. But inside he cracked, and this book is the result.

Minchin has provided the story, which is lovingly introduced by Neil Gaiman. Who describes the story as a beat poem. Certainly Minchin has delivered it live on stage on more than one occasion. It’s also available on Youtube with animation by King and Turner, along with several live stage presentations. Also explained is the gensis of the King-Turner illustrations which add to the beauty of the story/poem/Dr Seuss homage but with less silliness.

Don’t get me wrong, Dr Seuss is a very apt comparison for the presentation of this tale: the cartoons add to the flow and drama of the text. Apart from a couple of swear words this could easily be part of the junior curriculum. It might get more people interested in thinking.

The book, which is only about 80 unnumbered pages, so maybe it’s a bit bigger than The Cat in the Hat or Green Eggs and Ham, ends with biographies of Minchin, King and Turner plus a few guest covers of editions that never will be (but that’s a nod to the cartoonists’ world) and then several absolutely brilliant short reviews on the back cover.

For the intelligent everywhere: buy it and read it to your kids. And yourself. Because both they and you deserve it, and will treasure it.


Supplied by Hachette New Zealand

Reviewed by Steve

The Slow Regard of Silent Things

It’s an odd little piece at that, more poetry than prose in many ways. There certainly isn’t a lot of plot, and only one living character. This is Auri, and this is a week in her solitary life in the subterranean world which is the Underthing. For Auri, inanimate objects and locations have a life of their own. Everything must be in its place, and there is a certain alchemy about things and where they belong.

I would not say that The Slow Regard of Silent Things should be the usual door into Rothfuss’ world, but once there, I found it to be a pleasing and a restful place, full of poetry and meaning. There are times in life when this is just the sort of thing you want to be reading, and I suppose for me, it was one of those times. And if you’re not that kind of person, and it’s not that time, then you’ll hate it. This book will polarise people, especially those who thought Rothfuss ought to have finished the trilogy before wandering off in other directions…

Published by Gollancz

Supplied by Hatchett NZ

Reviewed by Jacqui

essential nz poems

This collection explores the question of what is an essential New Zealand poem. The selected poems touch on New Zealand’s unique geography and its people’s connection to the land, as well as its society, culture, and values. The 150 poets featured include; Fleur Adcock, James K Baxter, Allen Curnow, Lauris Edmond, CK Stead, Denis Glover, Janet Frame, Bill Manhire, Hone Tuwhare, Sam Hunt, Vincent O’Sullivan, Brian Turner, James Brown, Kate Camp, Glenn Colquhoun and Paula Green.

Ordered alphabetically, each poet has only one poem featured and they start from the 1950’s onwards. The book itself is very attractive, with a cloth-bound cover and photographs scattered throughout the pages. A very enjoyable collection of some of New Zealand’s best poems, this is very diverse and has something for everyone.


Supplied by Random House New Zealand

Reviewed by Jan