Last Thursday evening we were excited to launch two new collections of poetry from Cold Hub Press: In The Supplementary Garden by Diana Bridge and Walking to Pencarrow by Michael Jackson. There was a large number of attendees despite the dismal weather, and we were honoured to have Vincent O’Sullivan launching both collections.
After a few words of introduction from Roger of Cold Hub press, Vincent O’Sullivan spoke briefly about Cold Hub Press, and its place within the NZ literary community. He said he admired the publishers for the way they shatter the moulds of complacency. Vincent said that the NZ publishing industry was in a near critical shambles, but both of the collections being launched tonight unsettled popular expectations about NZ poetry.
In his introduction to Diana Bridge’s collection, O’Sullivan said that he admired the way that Diana’s work took seriously the work of other artists, and this quality made her work worthy of careful consideration. He said that her poetry displayed an unashamed humanism, and that he can think of few poets that have a sharper eye or finer ear. He concluded by saying that this book had both a precision and a gutsiness about it, and that few people could write so well about the natural world.
Diana said that to be able to share a launch with Michael was best described by the Chinese character associated with weddings – double happiness.
In Vincent’s introduction to Michael Jackson’s book he said he admires Jackson more than any of his other contemporaries. He described Jackson’s work as ‘innocent,’ a term which he said people might find unusual, but that it was the cornerstone of Jackson’s work and his work had a transparency. He admired Jackson’s ability to write without ‘the stain of self.’ He said that nobody else in NZ letters pays such broad and personal attention to the world, without any traces of self-interest, yet with an extraordinary honesty. O’Sullivan described Jackson’s work as always circling around the meaning of home; ‘the heart’s magnet.’
Michael Jackson read a few poems from his latest collection, and then he and Diana signed books for the rest of the evening. Both titles are available from our online shop.
Photos: © Matt Bialostocki