Harvey Molloy, a fellow Wellington poet and blogger, has just published his first collection of poetry, Moonshot, and will be launching it on Wednesday 24 September. See the invitation below for details, or visit Harvey's blog.
I have managed to get myself a copy early, and have been reading and enjoying it.
It’s divided into two sections – the first, ‘Gemini spacewalk’, contains poems that all have something to do with space. I got to read an earlier draft of this manuscript, and being rather into thematic collections of poetry as I am, I encouraged him to focus on the space poems. Since then, he wrote a few more, which rounded out this section.
I think my favourite poem in this section (and probably in the collection) is ‘A walk on the moor’, which I always think of as ‘A walk on the moon’ – which is quite appropriate really because it features a child (a younger version of the author) pretending to walk on the moon. The moor in question, where the author was sent to play, is the same where Ian Brady and Myra Hindley murdered and buried children. That sends quite a chill over the poem.
Some are more directly space oriented, such as the poem ‘Gemini spacewalk’, while others are about scientists and astronomers. The thematic links are sometimes more lateral - the first poem in the collection describes black paint dropping on the white floor of a cockatoo cage at the zoo as black star in a white sky.
The second section, ‘Learning the t’, is more varied in subject matter. It ranges from ‘Tusalava’, which conjures a Len Lye film, to ‘Diwali’, which describes a family occasion. There’s a mixture of humour and seriousness. A favourite in this section is ‘Sylvia’, about (I can only assume) Sylvia Plath. It find it a chilling, evasive poem and exquisite poem.
I also have to say that it has a gorgeous cover, featuring the painting Phenomenon of Weightlessness by Remedios Varo, who is one of my fav painters. I even named the main character in my never-really-got-going-but-one-day-I’ll-figure-it-out-and-write-it novel Vara, after her. No one else much seems to have heard of her, so I was delighted to discover that Harvey is a fan too.