AUP New Poets 2
Stu Bagby, Sonja Yelich, Jane Gardner
This is the second volume in AUP’s occasional series presenting new poets to the growing poetry-reading audience. While the three poets here have distinctive voices of their own, each explores childhood memories and families past and present in ways that will strike a chord in many readers.
Stu Bagby writes in spare simple language about brief intense moments in ordinary lives, sometimes drawing on his own experience, sometimes on the fleeting glimpses of strangers in crisis he catches in his work as a gravedigger.
Sonja Yelich pieces together colourful pictures of a New Zealand childhood haunted by a harsh European past and adds to the mix the voices and dramas of her own four children in contemporary Devonport.
Jane Gardner’s poems too move back and forth in time, from recalling the past to observing the present. They are scenes of house and street, in Wellington perhaps, vividly recreated with clarity and stillness.
The striking thing about Jane Gardner, Stu Bagby and Sonja Yelich is how different they are. This again pulls the volume together into a whole – a reading with three voices. – Harvey McQueen, JAAM