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WORK explores the lives of others

WORK explores the lives of others


A woman hunts a bear in backcountry New Zealand, a grieving man flees war-torn Ethiopia, and a couple in a polyamourous relationship raise a child – Sarah Jane Barnett’s latest book WORK blurs the line between poetry and fiction to explore the lives of others.

The six poems in WORK move from Africa to Paris to Norway’s frozen north, but each is linked by the characters’ fight for a ‘normal’ life.

'All of the characters have been through something. The poems are about what happens after the event, and how they rebuild their lives,’ says Barnett.

‘The poems do draw on real events, and while I’ve tried to be accurate, I play with the facts. I wanted to get at a different truth about what it means to be human.’

Wellington-based Barnett’s first book, A Man Runs into a Woman, was a finalist in the 2013 New Zealand Post Book Awards. Judge John Campbell describing her work as “vivid and real and so brave”.

Her writing has been anthologised in Best New Zealand Poems, Dear Heart: 150 New Zealand Love Poems (Godwit), andEssential New Zealand Poems: Facing the Empty Page (Random House), and has also appeared in Sport, Turbine, andLandfall.

WORK will be launched at 5.30pm at Vic Books, Wellington on Thursday 15 October, 2015. Barnett and writers Therese Lloyd and Matt Bialostocki will perform her poem ‘Ghosts.’

WORK by Sarah Jane Barnett
Hue & Cry Press, 2015
RRP $25.00


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