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Oasis motel and other poems by Harvey McQueen (Author)

Publisher: Black Robin (1986)

Harvey McQueen published several collections of poetry and two memoirs, and edited or co-edited eight anthologies of New Zealand poetry, which were lauded for their originality. McQueen was made an Officer of the New Zealand Order of Merit in 2002 for services to education and literature. He died on Christmas Day, 2010, after a long illness.

McQueen’s own poetry is mostly meditative or conversational, giving engaging expression to the mental life of a contemporary educated New Zealand male. Poems range over relationships, family, love, work, politics, office life, domestic concerns like gardening or cats, music and reading, with a sensitivity that is never merely fashionable and a commitment to the significance of private thought that is never pretentious. The wry humour, observation of small-scale detail and natural recurrence of reference to New Zealand’s fauna and flora are all pleasures.

His volumes are Against the Maelstrom (1981), Stoat Spring (1983), Oasis Motel (1986) and the exquisitely produced Room (Black Robin, 1988). McQueen was president of PEN (NZ) in 1987, guiding the momentous shift of headquarters from Wellington to Auckland. Until 1997 executive director of the New Zealand Council for Teacher Education, he edited the provocatively titled Education is Change: 20 Viewpoints (1994).

This copy in NOT in mint condition. Sadly, several pages have been graffitied (!) or otherwise blemished and a few have been creased. The more damaged pages as shown in my photographs. However most pages are clean as shown in the final two photographs. There is still a lot of pleasure to be gained from this little volume of poems. Please click here to ask a question
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  • Seller location: Auckland City, Auckland, NZ

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