Roger Horrocks

Song of the Ghost in the Machine


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May 2015

Finalist in the Ockham New Zealand Book Awards 2016

After more than twenty thousand days in this world
I’m back to basics. My body is dated equipment
and I ride it as though I’ve borrowed it
for the day, taking its senses on a test flight.

Song of the Ghost in the Machine is a free-wheeling philosophical poem that emerged during the walks Roger Horrocks took over a year of his life. In this striking, one-of-a-kind work, he seeks to engage as directly as possible with the basic elements of life – the self and the body, sleeping and waking, death and belief, and above all the strangeness of thought (‘the ghost in the machine’). In his curious look at life from unexpected angles, he draws upon state-of-the-art science and philosophy, doing so in a lively, accessible, down-to-earth way.

Roger Horrocks’s previous work as a poet includes The Auckland Regional Transit Poetry Line (1982) and the libretto for the highly successful Len Lye: The Opera (2012) with music by Eve de Castro-Robinson. He has been a contributing editor to noted literary magazines such as And, Splash and Parallax. He is a filmmaker who founded the Department of Film, Television and Media Studies at The University of Auckland. He worked as Len Lye’s assistant in 1980 and later wrote a biography of Lye which was a finalist in the New Zealand Book Awards. He has been involved in many areas of the arts and in 2004 was made a Member of the New Zealand Order of Merit.

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