Astonishing and fresh expression, Stuti Patel
AUP New Poets 8
Writers; Lily Holloway, Tru Paraha, Modi Deng
Edited by Anna Jackson
Auckland University Press
November 23, 2021
Editor Anna Jackson, for the eighth book in the collection of AUP New Poets, has chosen three astonishing and unique authors, whose words have brought rich and deeper meaning into my life.
Lily Holloway, 22 years old, is a queer writer and postgraduate English student. The book starts off with her collection, “a child in that alcove”. Holloway brings moments from her daily life and expresses them to her readers. Her poetry is filled with excitement, with dread, with questions and with memories of people from her life. Younger readers will relate to the poems written from her younger self-perspective. An example could be “Stand in the rain/ feel the weight of yourself/ return again.” This phrase stuck out because many teenager’s like myself mentally feel better standing in the rain every day, than feeling the pressure and weight we put on ourselves. Lily’s poems were “a poem/not yet a poem/ but a tangle”. Her writing touched my soul and left me with joy but also a missing tooth. Reading some parts from her life with depression and anxiety helped me understand the feeling of “getitoutofmyheadicannotthink orsleep.”
Tru Paraha has a range of artistic skills, from live performing to creating poems based on deep space. She is a member of the International Dark-Sky Association and an advocate for the preservation of the night sky as a world cultural heritage. Next in the story comes her collection In my darkling universe. She brings all her worlds together: te reo Māori, choreography and space, and forms them into beautiful pieces of poetry. Even though some may like her style in writing, I had a really hard time understanding her work and making connections to it. However, this is my review of it, and even though I disliked her poems, some may find deeper meaning and understand what she is expressing. Some phrases that I did enjoy were “time & there was no time/ every brand of love sign of the beloved/orchard full of aaporo a thousand muzzled mouths/ we being the core-bitten legacy of every fallen.” and “watched once/ the sun/ the moon/ make love.” Overall, I believe that these poems would be more suitable for an older age group as it does have multiple mentions of sex.
Modi Deng is a pianist based in London. She grew up in Dunedin and is pursuing postgraduate performance. She cares deeply about literature, music, psychology and her family. The collection ends with her piece “安慰 (an wei)”. Her writing is magnificent and there are strong meanings behind all her poems. The first poem, ‘lessons’, is something that I can’t stop reading: “breath is to a phrase as a pulse is to rhythm” and “being passive means being a cavity for someone to fill.” “I am running without reason/without grief, or anger/sleeveless, without billowy/ unwanted voices,” for this feeling that today will be all right. This is something that anyone, including myself, can relate to.
To conclude my review, I have loved reading AUP New Poets. These authors are incredible, eye-opening and have a wonderful way with words. This book is something that I will always enjoy no matter how many times I read it.
- Stuti Patel is 15 years old and lives in Hamilton.