Young Country

Kerry Hines

Author: Kerry Hines
Format: Hardback, Ebook
Pages: 200
Published: November 2014
ISBN: 9781869408237
$34.99

Available in Ebook

In the landscapes, streetscapes and skyscapes of a young country, a twenty-first century poet meets a nineteenth-century photographer.

Young Country is a book of poems by twenty-first-century writer Kerry Hines alongside images of colonial New Zealand life by nineteenth-century photographer William Williams. Here, wry, plainspoken but haunting poems sit alongside evocative photographs of settlement: landscapes, streetscapes, skyscapes; the escapades of a trio of flatmates; portraits of family and friends; burnt bush and rising buildings. Whether imagined or actual, in this 'young country; / people are an occasion', and the book features many figures: Williams and his housemates Tom and Alex; ethnographer Elsdon Best; notorious criminals and the judges who sentenced them; the mythic creature Shellycoat who accompanied the Scottish settlers; wives, prostitutes and 'hallelujah lassies'; and visiting professor Robert Wallace who cast an outsider view on this new society. The stunning photographs and poems of Young Country combine to offer a meditation on how we capture the present and re-present the past, on the parallels between building a community and authoring a text, and on the possibilities that expansive fiction offers to documented truth.

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Reviews

Kerry’s poems do take you back in time where men are catching eels, felling trees, smoking pipes, drinking whiskey, tenting, pondering the meaning of life, being alone. What of the women? I especially loved the multifaceted portraits  of the women. There are the wives, the mothers — but then, the surprise of the butcher’s wife who darns a man’s hand. - Paula Green, NZ Poetry Shelf

How we live now overlays how we lived then… This is worth reading. - Paula Green, NZ Poetry Shelf

Kerry Hines looks at intimate relationships and public personas. Scottish settlers, wives and prostitutes all appear. - Hamesh Wyatt, Otago Daily Times