Dinah was greeted by a very large and friendly crowd at the launch of her seventh collection of poetry Ocean and Stone. Both Fergus Barrowman and Greg O’Brien, who introduced and launched the book, were bursting with pride as they spoke about the book. Unity had discovered a relic of an event held at Unity Books all the way back in 1988, where Dinah read from her very first collection, It Has No Sound & It’s Blue. This memory spurred many fond memories amongst the crowd, as well as with Fergus, Greg and Dinah herself. This was fitting as it was mentioned several times throughout the evening how this book represents a sort of returning, a circular ending and beginning for Dinah. This was emphasised by Greg especially as he described the use of the single dot ( . ) throughout Ocean and Stone:
This recurrent dot is anything but a full-stop. In fact, it is the exact opposite … the dots link the nouns together, each a fulcrum, bringing the disparate objects — page, stone, leaf — into a state of mutual respectful dependence, an equilibrium.
Greg’s speech was a piece of art in itself, a tribute to the great work Dinah has done for New Zealand poetry over the years. Dinah was full of thanks for the help she’s received in the production of Ocean and Stone. The crowd were lucky enough to get a taste of the work as Dinah read three poems aloud.
Meanwhile-the lake has the calm
Of a dark, enlightened mind:
Nothing appears to be broken,
Everything settled is fragile,
Nothing seems likely to break.
— ‘The Lake, the bloke and the bike’, part 6, lines 16–20, p. 18
Ocean and Stone (Victoria University Press) is $35 and available in store now or from our online shop HERE.
Photos by Matt Bialostocki, words by Laura Munro