Jack Ross, ed.: Poetry NZ Yearbook 1 [Issue #49] (October 2014)
Books and Magazines in brief:
Sue Fitchett. On the Wing. ISBN 978-1-927242-52-0. Wellington: Steele Roberts Aotearoa, 2014.
Sue Fitchett: On the Wing (2014)
My name is Sue,
how do you do. [“Sue T Rex,” p.16]
Sue Fitchett is an “avid conservationist, particularly with birds,” as the back of her new book of poems proclaims. We might have guessed. There’s a lot here about birds, just as there was a lot about Auckland and its multicultural plumage in her previous sole collection Palaver Lava Queen (2004). I have to say that, while I greatly enjoyed the evidence here of her immersion in avian lore generally, what I liked best was these occasional daft moments of contrast and disproportion, such as the one (quoted above) from a poem set in the Chicago Natural History museum. A sense of humour is a difficult thing to justify to the constitutionally po-faced, but I would see humour as one of Fitchett’s most pleasing attributes: “arriving in the spring / the Englishman could have been / an albatross migrating for a summer feed” [‘It is the Toroa seeking food merely’,” p.66]. Quite so.
Poetry New Zealand Yearbook 1 [Issue #49]. ISSN 0114-5770 (2014): 228.
Poetry NZ 38 (2009)