This is an impressive new collection, the sixth by this Christchurch-based poet, Villon in Millerton presents vivid lyrics anchored by three sequences. The title sequence imagines a fifteenth-century French poet, Francois Villon, fetching up in the isolated and deserted West Coast town of Millerton; another sequence brilliantly evokes the mysteries of the Indian rope trick; while a concluding group focuses on the contradictory character of the nineteenth-century missionary Samuel Marsden. The range of subjects - from the red admiral butterfly to the attack on Baghdad - and tones - from meditation to satire - along with the poet's acute ear and sharp eye make this book always unexpected and illuminating.
A well-established poet, JAMES NORCLIFFE has received the Burns Fellowship, a Hobart residency, and is currently the New Zealand writer in the Iowa Internation Writing Program. He is the poetry editor of Takahe and his work has twice appeared in the annual online anthology Best New Zealand Poems.