Hoof by Kerrin P. Sharpe arrives with new urgency and longing. These are poems about a father who can only remember one word, ponies that grow hooves of basalt as they pull Scott and Shackleton around Ōtamahua in sledges, and a woman named Johanna living in a small village in Greenland. She writes about the strange places that watch over our parents, and the delicate but brutal mechanics of surgery. Famous people appear here too: Leonard Cohen, Ted Hughes, William Blake, and Benedict Cumberbatch at a bus stop.
Hoof is an invitation to travel by train through the poet’s world. The trains that begin each of the three sections in the book give the reader time to stop and stare.
'Sharpe expresses herself in a pithy but understandable way, is astute at conjuring up fantastic images, and even while dealing with serious matters, she knows how to be funny. A great gift.' —NZ Listener
'Hoof is my favourite book I have reviewed for Regional News so far, yet also the book I understood the least. Kerrin P. Sharpe’s latest poetry collection features an eclectic mix of horses, celebrities, and small villages, tied together by beautiful writing throughout.' —Miya Dawson, Regional News
'This little book wraps desire, violence and sadness into a tight bundle.' —Hamesh Wyatt, Otago Daily Times
‘One of the most original and idiosyncratic voices currently writing in New Zealand.’ —Lynley Edmeades, Landfall
‘Kerrin P. Sharpe is a very fine poet whose previous books hooked me with their agility, their lightness of touch, their grounding. . . . Entering the poem is like entering a show both magical and wondrous, and you just want to get another ticket and go through again.’ —Paula Green, NZ Poetry Shelf
Kerrin P. Sharpe is the author of four previous poetry collections, most recently Louder. Her poems have appeared in local and international literary journals including Landfall, Turbine | Kapohau, Poetry Aotearoa Yearbook, POETRY (US), Blackbox Manifold, PN Review and Stand. Her work has been anthologised in Best New Zealand Poems six times, Best of Best New Zealand Poems, Oxford Poets 2013, 150 Essential New Zealand Poems and A Game of Two Halves: The Best of Sport 2005–2019. In 2021 she held a writing residency at the Michael King Writers Centre.
Cover design: Spencer Levine
Composite cover photos: Roland Searle, [North Island steam train], 1920s–1930s, North Island, Te Papa (A.019587); [North Island lake], 1920s–1930s, North Island, Te Papa (A.019515); [Wanganui River], 1920s to 1930s, Whanganui River, Te Papa (A.018950). All purchased 1999 with New Zealand Lottery Grants Board funds.