Book Launch: In a Slant Light; A Poet’s Memoir.

23 March 2016 5:30pm

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Otago University Press and the University Book Shop are very pleased to invite you to the launch of former New Zealand Poet Laureate Cilla McQueen’s memoir In a Slant Light; A Poet’s Memoir.

In this absorbing poetic memoir of her early life, Cilla McQueen, one of New Zealand’s major women poets, leads us over the stepping stones of childhood memory, some half submerged, some strong and glinting in the light of her wit:
In the large lead shoe X-ray machine
at the back of the shoe shop, our skeletal
feet appeared at the press of a button.
We irradiated ourselves further
when the shop assistant wasn’t looking.

... I tried the magic trick of pulling the tablecloth out
from under our plates of tomato soup. This didn’t work.

With humour and openness, clarity and grace, the memoir continues through her teenage years and the excitement and turbulence, the expansion and vulnerability, of university days and early motherhood in the 1960s and 1970s ... raising a young child alone, falling in love with Ralph Hotere and witnessing his deeply immersive artistic practice ... From the sweet shocks of her imagery to the joy of recognition of many shared experiences of a New Zealand childhood, this memoir brings a honeyed, sensitive yet utterly resilient voice in our local literature as close as the voice of a good friend. This is a book not only for those who love Cilla McQueen’s poetry, but for anyone fascinated by the social, artistic and literary history of New Zealand


Where: University Book Shop, 378 Great King St, Dunedin
RSVP: to publicity@otago.ac.nz (not necessary to attend but very helpful for catering purposes)


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