Blood Ties: New and selected poems 1963 - 2016
Jeffrey Paparoa Holman
200 x 145mm
Woven from the sharp and tensile strands of memory, many of the poems in this collection return to the primal pains of neglect and damage in childhood. Emotional memory is anchored in the specific detail of an era – the selection is laced with dreams of flight and memories of West Coast town rituals, places and people – and fans out to draw on local and international history, exploring with wit, anger, imagination and grief the ways in which Aotearoa still carries the wounds of colonisation and class.
Confronting the ghosts of bereavement and loss, in this gripping and powerful collection Holman leads us from remembrance and elegy, in all their guises, to a kind of ‘spring of the soul’. Poetry and song have their own healing gifts: here, Jeffrey Paparoa Holman calls on their potency to set the mind free.
‘Blood Ties is a journey through a lifetime that is a parable of settlement, one man’s response to the challenge of living responsibly and with sensitivity to the question of where we are and what we must be. There are strong ancestors throughout, but, at the same time and very distinctively, the urgent sound of this river of poetry is all this fine poet’s own.’
Blood Ties has been designed and printed in collaboration with Ilam Press.
A transcript of the launch speech given by Emeritus Professor Patrick Evans and the response from the author can be found here.
Jeffrey Paparoa Holman, poet, memoirist and historian grew up in Blackball on the West Coast and now lives in Christchurch. Having worked as a shearer, postman, psychiatric social worker and bookseller, he is presently a senior adjunct fellow in the University of Canterbury School of Humanities and Creative Arts. His collections of poetry include As Big as a Father (Steele Roberts, 2002), long-listed for the Montana New Zealand Book Awards in 2003. The title poem won the 1997 Whitireia Prize and was selected for Essential New Zealand Poems (Godwit, 2001). His last poetry collection, Shaken Down 6.3, was published by Canterbury University Press in 2012 and a memoir, The Lost Pilot, by Penguin in 2013.