Ian Wedde’s new poetry collection Good Business, his fourteenth, finds him still in business.
At the heart of the book is a stunning sequence, ‘Good Business’, at once an ode to walking the side-streets of central Wellington and an elegy for the poet’s father. Quietly hilarious, the poems are titled after Wellington businesses and institutions – Toyota, Tony’s Tyre Service, Metalworx Engineering, Wellington Scrap Metal, the KFC on the corner of Pirie St, and the SPCA. Gradually, though, Wedde’s jaunty and self-deprecating tone becomes more serious and elegiac. The collection has two other major sequences. ‘Seven dreams’ is full of surreal and quirky moments and humour stretched thin over night terrors; and in the lyrical but mordant ‘Arriving blind’, Wedde travels from Bangladesh to the south of France, playing with the contrasts of light and dark, dawn and dusk, arriving and departing, sight and blindness.
In Good Business Wedde ‘continues that vivid exchange he has long worked at between the disconnected particulars of experience and ordering forms of poetry’.
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If you’re the sort of person who’d rather pull out their own teeth than read poetry, Good Business could be the introduction you need. It is confident, enthusiastic and assured. – Hamesh Wyatt, Otago Daily Times
Wedde's latest collection, Good Business, continues to mix down-to-earth preoccupations with things that are a bit more ethereal. Ideas and observations bed down in the nooks and crannies of his daily life. - Paula Green, NZ Herald