The Black River, by C K Stead (Auckland University Press, $25):
It may come as a surprise to some who know me when I say I like poetry.
Not the flowery stuff of Shakespeare (no, that’s not an invitation for Shakespeare geeks to inundate me with reasons his poetry isn’t flowery) and not the new-age stuff that I can’t make head nor tail of.
My favourite poet is our own Hone Tuwhare but I’m also rather partial to a spot of Iain Lonie, Cilla McQueen and, of course, C K Stead.
Is it just me, or does it seem that we’re pleasantly over-supplied with poetic talent here in Godzone?
Stead’s latest offering is a real gem. It’s slightly darker than his earlier collections, most likely because the works were written after he’d suffered a stroke in 2005. However, while they are a bit on the dark side, it’s a good dark, with edginess and apprehension mixed in with a healthy dollop of wit.
Stead just seems to get better and better with age.