Jake Arthur


210mm x 138mm
Publication date:
13 June 2024

Available for pre-order only. Available from 13 June 2024

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Here are the cards. Put your hand on them,
Close your eyes. You don’t want to?
But you are blind with them open.

Jake Arthur’s beguiling second poetry collection opens with a tarot reader coaxing us into a reading over a cup of tea. And in a rush of vivid scenes and impressions, we begin to imagine episodes from different lives – a woman tries to train a robin; parents anxiously attend a teacher–parent interview; a man is cast overboard and wonders if he will ever be found. Each card prompts a new character to mull over their uncertainties, hopes, obstacles and joys.

Loosely inspired by the illustrations of the famous 1909 Rider-Waite tarot deck, with its riotous depictions of magicians, occultists, lovers, fools and angels, these poems have us grappling our way towards a clear path.

‘An enchanted and enchanting clamour. Intimate, wise, utterly glorious.’
—Catherine Chidgey, author of Pet and The Axeman's Carnival

Jake Arthur is the author of A Lack of Good Sons, included in the NZ Listener’s Best Poetry of 2023. His poems have appeared in Best New Zealand Poems, Sport, Mimicry, Turbine, and Sweet Mammalian. He has a PhD in Renaissance literature and translation from Oxford University.

Cover illustrations: Pamela Colman Smith, from the 1909 Rider-Waite tarot deck
Cover design: Todd Atticus

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