Thursday, June 27, 2013
INTERCOLONIAL by Stephen Oliver
Intercolonial is the title of an ambitious narrative poem by Stephen Oliver. The term refers to the shipping trade between the colonies of Australia and New Zealand. The poem was started in Sydney back in the mid-90s and after many long delays, finally completed in New Zealand.
Intercolonial, fittingly, ranges wide—it’s oceanic—transtasman, transatlantic—both impressively researched and visionary. McCormack, at its centre, may be ‘Dionysius morphed into Cormac Mac Airt’—his dreamscape comprises the coming of the gods, the Romans, the Vikings, the Maori. Stephen Oliver gives us a Wellington as shape shifting through myth, history and childhood as any of McCormack’s hauntings; set him at any of the way stations and we are caught in the swirl of seas, the changing landforms and cities, human doings, minds and stories. A compulsive read.
Judith Rodriquez—poet and editor (Melbourne)
Intercolonial is founded on a kind of psychic geography, a set of bravura descriptions which move from the geology of Wellington to the clash of the Pacific and Australian plates—and, further afield, the North Sea. As the title suggests, Oliver’s identity has both Australian and New Zealand roots; this poem powerfully explores the ground of that identity in the dark realms of being, dream and the unconscious. The ambition is epic, the language driven, the structure balanced. Intercolonial reconfirms Oliver’s status as perhaps our leading transtasman poet.
Nicholas Reid—sometime senior lecturer, University of Otago (Canberra)
About the author:
Stephen Oliver is the author of 17 volumes of poetry. Travelled extensively. Signed on with the radio ship The Voice of Peace broadcasting in the Mediterranean out of Jaffa, Israel. Free-lanced in Australia/New Zealand as production voice, narrator, newsreader, radio producer, columnist, copy and feature writer, etc. Lived in Australia for the last two decades. Currently spending an extended sojourn in NZ. His latest volume, INTERCOLONIAL is as much about Australia as it is New Zealand. A transtasman narrative.
Intercolonial ISBN 978-o-9o8943-40-1 76 page soft-cover printed on fine paper and hand sewn. Size: 140 x 207mm
Price: nz$.28.50 plus postage. Direct credit payment option available on request.
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