The Art of Excavation

ART OF EXCAVATION<br><b>Leilani Tamu</b><br><i>Anahera Press</i>
ART OF EXCAVATION<br><b>Leilani Tamu</b><br><i>Anahera Press</i>
Leilani Tamu is a poet, social commentator, historian and former New Zealand diplomat.

Last year she was the Fulbright-Creative New Zealand Pacific writer in residence at the University of Hawaii.

This is her first poetry collection.

Tamu captures a myriad of moods.

There is a sense of bitterness in ''How to Make a Colonial Cake'', beauty in ''Arohanui: The Love of the Gods'' and grief in ''You'', which begins:

I never really knew you
yet, I knew you best
round and round we went
the racehorses, the league players
McNuggets and again the racehorses
driving around Auckland in your crusty-as car
a hole in your sock, an empty pocket, a heart full
of dreams but never a cent
always broke, always joking, always searching
always borrowing, always singing, always laughing
always always talking.

Tamu is a new potent creative force. I like how this is fun, intoxicating and indulgent. Tamu deliberately avoids convention and sentimentality. This new voice documents emotions more as postcards than as portraits. She offers wise and knowing nods to Gregory O'Brien and Albert Wendt.

The Art of Excavation is full of empathy, wit and insight.

Anahera Press keeps releasing books of quality.

Hamesh Wyatt lives in Bluff. He reads and writes poetry.

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