Jack Ross, ed.: Poetry NZ Yearbook 1 [Issue #49] (October 2014)
Books and Magazines in brief:
Alison Denham. Raspberry Money. ISBN 978-0-9864529-3-2. Christchurch: Sudden Valley Press, 2013.
Alison Denham: Raspberry Money (2013)
Alison Denham’s first book of poems, Pieces of Air (1999), was published by the late lamented Theresia Liemlienio Marshall, who also published my own first book, City of Strange Brunettes, in 1998. So let’s just say that I’m predisposed to like her work. I’m very pleased to report, then, that this second book has been well worth the wait. There’s a kind of Gothic exuberance about her poetry at its best which seems to suit the South Island ethos of Sudden Valley Press very well:
Tuesday night a bell ringers’ practice
someone notices another gravestone gone over.
[“Spring comes to the villages,” p.51]
This is more a poetry of discomfort than of complacence. Denham’s poems read like chants against the dark.
Poetry New Zealand Yearbook 1 [Issue #49]. ISSN 0114-5770 (2014): 227.
Poetry NZ Yearbook 1 (2014)