James Brown

Warm Auditorium


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Paperback, 210 x 146mm

July 2012

James Brown’s fifth book of poetry moves through personal lyrics, narrative desire and short takes, before arriving at a climactic anti-poetry. Along the way, it climbs rock, reviews CDs and joins the blond revolution. Warm Auditorium is Brown at his most formally diverse, taking tea with rhyme, tongue-twisters, lists, monologues and prose poems. Several poems obey unusual restrictions. Within Warm Auditorium’s cleverness, humour and verve, lies a deep fascination with poetry: how its mechanics can be co-opted and subverted, and why it remains a vital form of expression. Warm Auditorium is perhaps the best answer to its own poetic challenges. 

‘Brown is exuberant, intelligent and genuinely funny.’ —Hamesh Wyatt, Otago Daily Times

‘This is poetry that grabs hold of the world and gives it a shake.’ —Hugh Roberts, Listener

‘a remarkable poetic achievement ruched by levity, and delivered with such spry energy. The perfect antidote to any languid afternoon.’ —Paul Gallagher 

James Brown’s first book, Go Round Power Please, won the 1996 Jessie Mackay Best First Book of Poetry Award, and he has been a finalist in the Montana New Zealand Book Awards three times. He has held the 1994 Louis Johnson New Writers Bursary, a 2000 Buddle Findlay Sargeson Fellowship, and was Writer in Residence at Canterbury University in 2001 and at Victoria University in 2004. He is the author behind the useful, non-fiction booklet Instructions for Poetry Readings, and editor of The Nature of Things: Poems from the New Zealand Landscape (2005). He lives in Wellington with his partner and two children.