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In these poems characters appear in the landscape, situated, as in a story. They rage against it, consider it, interact with it, abandon themselves to it. A family walks north along a frozen road; a fugitive crouches in the long grass of a field; a woman driving around the harbour's edge points out the red sail of a yacht to her child. With tough, deft attention to language and its emotional power, Sarah Broom asks us to consider our relationships with the world and with words. Tigers at Awhitu is a first, compelling and rich, poetry collection by Sarah Broom. Many of Broom's poems emerge out of a profound connection with the New Zealand landscape, which is experienced as both nurturing and menacing, tender and indifferent. Landscape is at once richly natured and post-apocalyptically strange, the context for an exploration of extreme states of spiritual and physical awareness. Other poems chart the drifts and tides of intimate relationships, including the complex ties between mother and child, while the final section of the book takes us through an encounter with life-threatening illness.
Passionate and intense, yet taut, contained and carefully crafted, this poetry is the vehicle for an resolute exploration of life and death, of the spirit and its relationship to the world. Broom's is an unflinching and original new voice in New Zealand poetry.
Sarah Broom was born in Dunedin and grew up in Christchurch. She is the author of Contemporary British and Irish Poetry (Palgrave Macmillan, 2006). Her poetry has been published widely in journals, including Landfall, Bravado, Takahe, Poetry New Zealand. Broom has three children and lives in Auckland.