Author(s): James Norcliffe
An impressive new collection, his sixth, by Canterbury-based poet James Norcliffe, Villon in Millerton presents vivid lyrics anchored by three sequences. The title sequence imagines the 13th-century French poet 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 19th-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. First published June 2007. The secrecy of people in exotic places stirs the poet and his controlled, whittled phrases summon up and sum up his experience. Language is his weapon and he uses it through a range of emotion veering from the evocation of the beauty of a red admiral butterfly to . . . irony and sorrow. - Margaret Christensen, Wairarapa Times Age
"So well woven is this collection that it's difficult to give a representative example of its art." --"Takahe"
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.