Born to a Red-Headed Woman (2014)

Jack Ross, ed.: Poetry NZ Yearbook 1 [Issue #49] (October 2014)

Books and Magazines in brief:

Kay McKenzie Cooke. Born to a Red-Headed Woman. ISBN 978-1-877578-87-8. Dunedin: Otago University Press, 2014.

Kay McKenzie Cooke: Born to a Red-Headed Woman (2014)

This is Kay McKenzie Cooke’s third collection of poems and, like the first two, it depends heavily on reflections on her Southland heritage: “You could say that this book is all about time; its capricious brutalities and its saving graces,” as Cooke herself explains. Another interesting feature here is music. The book concludes with a list of all the pieces of music she’s sampled from for the titles of the various poems. At times, in fact, it reads almost like a DJ’s version of existence: “the soundtrack of our lives,” as some radio station or other once claimed (“Classic Hits,” was it?) It seems quite a good conceit for isolation within a “close-knit community,” as the cliché describes it. There’s definitely a lot going on under the surface of this collection:
Let’s look at each other
long and hard.
It may be our only way
of knowing
where we are going [‘“it feels new,” p.70]


Poetry New Zealand Yearbook 1 [Issue #49]. ISSN 0114-5770 (2014): 226.

[177 wds]

Poetry NZ Yearbook 1 (2014)

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