■ REVIEW: Poems from the Abattoir
Not your typical poet

Writing poetry probably is not a common pastime for blokes working on the chain at the meatworks – but Terry Lynch is not most blokes.

In an interview in The Press in 1995, the meatworker said he was almost scared to go back to work after coming out as a poet. However, his workmates were overwhelmingly supportive after they learnt of his wordy efforts.

Back then he had a collection of nearly 30 poems and was looking for a publisher. Sixteen years on, those poems and more have been self-published in a series of four books: Sh*t In Your Eye (1999), A Summer’s Day and Unforgiven Forensic (both 2003) and Oreti Beach (2007).

It is safe to say Lynch the poet is out and proud. The poems are unashamedly personal, giving an insight into some of the hardships that Lynch has endured and some of the personal triumphs.

Lynch takes the reader along on his life journey as he recalls family and friends, illness and issues and being part of a system that doesn’t always work as well as it should.

Funding from the Community Trust of Southland has allowed all four books to be reprinted and they are out now, along with his new book entitled Off Season – a collection of short stories and poems about life at the works.

Although Off Season carries a disclaimer saying it is a work of fiction, the author’s 20-plus years working in the industry have given it a sense of authenticity, and I’m sure anyone who has even known someone at the works will identify with the characters who appear throughout the book.

White gumboots were optional optional at the book launch held at the Invercargill Public Library last month.

Poems from the Abattoir, by Terry Lynch. Available at Impulse at the South City shopping mall in Elles Rd and The Book Stop at Glengarry or email the author – tptmlynch@xtra.co.nz

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