Please go on over to my friend Katherine Liddy's blog which features this book, hot off Auckland University's press. The book contains Katherine's poetry, as well as two other women poets, Janis Freegard and Reihana Robinson. These '3 new poets' AUP publications have the reputation of discovering and showcasing young poets that more often than not go on to become fine, established New Zealand poets. I look forward to getting to know the work of Freegard or Robinson, but have already had the pleasure of reading a lot of Katherine's work. Katherine is a former Otago girl and I knew her as part of the Dunedin poetry scene. (And I miss her very much, as she now lives with her husband John Dolan way, way over in Vancouver, Canada.) However, this is the first opportunity I have had to see her poetry housed in a book of her own (albeit shared accommodation) which needless to say, is very exciting indeed.
Katherine is a writer to watch. She has huge talent and writes with quiet, understated power. A wordsmith in the truest sense, she has a sound knowledge of words; their ins and outs; and deftly fits them together (often with subtle, crafted rhyming) to tell a story ... or describe an event; an animal, an incident, a landscape, a bird, an insect ... Katherine writes about wide and varied subjects - from a day in an Auckland office, to the boundless imagined landscapes of the Greek classics. Whether describing the pathos of road kill or the dislocation of running along the Karitane beach at night, Katherine brings to each subject, a gimlet-eyed viewpoint and unique, fresh descriptions. Reading her work I sometimes have to stop, as if to catch my breath. This is otherwise known as pure astonishment.
Her intelligent, yet nicely restrained, approach to language and to the wide (you could even say global) subject areas that she tackles (Katherine knows her stuff, but never strays into showmanship) produces attractive, satisfying poetry. Her judgement is faultless and she executes it all with an expertise that is way beyond her years. I am a huge fan of Katherine's work; both prose and poetry; and very excited about her launch into the world with this, her first poetry book.