Vincent O’Sullivan

Being Here: Selected Poems


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April 2015


Being Here is the first book to survey the entire span of Vincent O’Sullivan’s poetry, from Bearings (1973) to new poems first published in this volume. On display is the full range of the wit, intellectual agility and arresting beauty of one of New Zealand literature’s finest poets.

‘You’re just a few pages in when you know you’re in the company of a master. The poems are so meaty, so pithy, so well crafted, so damned good.’ —Nicholas Reid on The movie may be slightly different

‘There is a kind of luminous spirituality about O’Sullivan’s poetry, that long after you have read the poems, continues to reside in the objects or situations the poems describe.’ —Anna Jackson on Lucky Table

‘O’Sullivan is a witty, intellectual poet and these are poems full of story, full of detail. Auden talks about poetry as “memorable speech” – that’s what these poems are. I love the life in these poems. Recommended!’ —Harry Ricketts on Further Convictions Pending

‘One of the outstanding books of poems of the decade,’ Kevin Ireland on Seeing You Asked

Blame Vermeer is the real thing, wise beyond the attitudes of wisdom, deft beyond the posturing of deftness, brimming with O’Sullivan’s exciting ability simply to talk his understated way into sheer bloody poetry.’ —Michael Hulse on Blame Vermeer

Vincent O’Sullivan is one of New Zealand’s leading writers, author of the biography of John Mulgan, Long Journey to the Border, the novels Let the River Stand and Believers to the Bright Coast, and many plays and collections of short stories and poems. He is joint editor of the five-volume Letters of Katherine Mansfield and has edited a number of major anthologies. He lives in Dunedin.

Cover painting by Karl Maughan

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