In his third collection, Richard Reeve examines a catalogue of historical incidents - from the violence of Tiberius and Edward III to the death of James Cook's Polynesian companion, Tupaia - to illustrate the habitual barbarity, selfishness and stupidity of humans, in counterpoint with our prospective responsibility as stewards of the divine. "In Continents" contrasts grace with atavism, imaginative transcendence with the determinative structures of biology, culture and belief. Humans - the clever apes - live and die in age-old continents yet, he demonstrates, behave incontinently.Using a local example, Reeve reflects on the environmental conflict raging in his locality over the giant wind farms proposed by power generating companies; ironically, such areas of great and remote natural beauty have fallen victim to the very technology that is coming to symbolise the would-be corporate revolution towards greener methods of energy. "In Continents" displays deft and concentrated language to bridge the gap between ideas and objects, and confirms Reeve's reputation as a unique and innovative voice.
Richard Reeve has published two earlier collections of poems, Dialectic of Mud (AUP, 2001) and The Life and the Dark (AUP, 2004). He won the Macmillan Brown Prize for Poetry in 1998 and the $20,000 Todd Foundation New Writer's Bursary in 2002/03. He works as an editor for Otago University Press and is the Chair of the environmental group, The Upland Landscape Protection Society.
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