A moving, meditative and vulnerable manifesto from John Dennison.
John Dennison's first collection, Otherwise, is a finely crafted marvel. The poems here are concerned, above all, with love, and with the strange, unlooked-for manner of its appearances among us. Marked by an emotional acuity and formal deftness, the lyricism of Otherwise draws us into confrontations with human equivocacy and finitude. A trio of elegies for poet Seamus Heaney is moving; a heart-shaking sequence recounts an encounter in Calcutta. Ranging globally from Scotland to Dunedin, Otherwise also sits firmly in the New Zealand literary tradition, with poems which take in Baxter's bees, Bethell's gardening, Duggan's amends and Curnow's 'surge-black fissure'. And here, too, because 'some things bear repeating', are singular moments of turning, of grace and our refusals. This is a moving, meditative and vulnerable manifesto from an assured new voice.
More about John Dennison
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Dennison is a poet whose language is gritty, knotty, chewy… - Catriona Ferguson, Booknotes Unbound
…a love of language that is contagious…. Delicious phrasing abounds. – Paula Green, Poetry Shelf
This is poetry with meat on the bones. Dennison has offered up a poetic engastration. There are layers to be picked through, and references to a rich literary history, from Dylan Thomas to Seamus Heaney, and locals - Eileen Duggan, Bethell, Baxter and Curnow.– Elizabeth Morton for Beatties Book Blog