In conjunction with that fine emporium of printed wonder, Scorpio Books, Cold Hub Press presents a double book launch of poetry with special guests the editors of both collections.
From the Cold Hub Press blurbs:
West Coast poet, novelist, teacher, bookseller and conservationist, Peter Hooper (1919–1991) was described by Colin McCahon, who used his poems in a number of art works, as a ‘poet of grace and truth’. Rejoice Instead,edited and introduced by Pat White, includes most of the poems from the slim volumes of poetry that were published in Hooper’s lifetime and are no longer easily accessible, along with thirty-nine previously unpublished poems written in the last years of his life. It is the first comprehensive collection of the work of a poet whose voice on behalf of nature and the environment, and whose clear insight into where our treatment of the environment was heading, has only deepened in its relevance to the inhabitants of Aotearoa in the 21st century. Peter Hooper’s published poetry included A Map of Morning (1964), Journey Towards an Elegy & other poems (1969), and Earth Marriage (1972)––a selection of previously published and new work with photographs of the West Coast which sold two thousand copies within a year. A rather meagre Selected Poems was published by John McIndoe in 1977. Between then and his death in 1991 Hooper published a trilogy of novels: A Song in the Forest (1979); People of the Long Water (1985); and Time and the Forest (1986) which won the New Zealand Book Award for fiction. A collection of short stories, The Goat Paddock and other stories appeared in 1981. Hooper also wrote and published extensively on conservation and environmental subjects. Gregory O’Brien has called Rejoice Instead “a world-sized, world-shaped book, a ‘tremendous room’ in its generosity and breadth”.
Owen Leeming’s 1972 collection Venus is Setting, with its centrepiece ‘The Priests of Serrabonne’, was marked for praise by Kendrick Smithyman, Vincent O’Sullivan and James K. Baxter, but it would take the best part of five decades until his next collection was published. Latitudes: New & Selected Poems, edited with an introduction by Robert McLean, contains selections from Venus is Setting and 2018’s Through Your Eyes, which comprised poems from the 1960s and 70s along with others written in more recent years. It also includes a section of hitherto uncollected earlier poems and another of new work offered for the first time. Leeming’s early poems remain fresh and energetic, marked by their rare reconciliation of the playful and the serious. The recent poems sparkle with intensified brio and rumbustiousness, by which readers are offered the world freshly rendered in words with an utterly uncommon intelligence and sensuousness.Charting a course from youthful disillusionment to celebratory old-age (Leeming who lives in France is now in his nineties) Latitudes: New & Selected Poems will surprise, delight and challenge readers of poetry with its open-eyed love of life and language.