- Impressive varitey of forms Review by Sue Fitchett
Working in the Cracks Between is a substantial collection and I enjoyed reading Jenny Argante’s work. It is hard to cover all aspects, but the way she works with a variety of forms is impressive. I was particularly impressed with her villanelle. I have tried this form only once and found it hard not so sound clunky. I think hers was successful. Others I particularly liked were ‘white garden’, ‘grounded’ and ‘windows.’ Her skill in ‘white garden’ at invoking a particular place with all its sensory aspects is lovely. I wish more poets would tackle the political issues in New Zealand, like Curnow did; so ‘no amnesty’ really spoke to me and stayed with me. ‘Blackbird’ and ‘birdstroke’ will remain another two of my favourites.”
(Posted on 14/03/13)
- A potent blend of intellect and emotion Review by Morepork
- From beginning to end the subtlety, balance, the gentle unfolding of another perspective, the artistic language combine to give this anthology its lyrical rhythm and voice. I remained under a spell throughout the reading and treasure this remarkable book. Where else can one find an entire story expressed in the simple imagery of a cactus flower. Thank you Jenny. (Posted on 17/04/12)
- Ships that pass Review by Pete Dashwood
I did enjoy the launch of Oceanbooks and, judging by the people I spoke to, I think you can all count it as a success. But the main reason I’m writing this note is because I have been reading Jenny Argante’s collection of poems, Working in the Cracks Between.
It is too easy when you know somebody and see them frequently to lose the ability to see their work dispassionately and give it the attention it deserves. I spent this morning reading Working in the Cracks Between. I read it as ‘poetry’, not as ‘Jenny’s poetry…’ I have been moved by it and thrilled by it. There is some truly BEAUTIFUL imagery here and it is just fantastic.
I liked most if not all of it, but I LOVED West Park (Again) and Days End, which I have recorded for somebody.
There are insights and moments in all of the poetry that I found just amazing. Jenny Argante can and should be proud of her work; revealing, as it does, sides to her that are seldom on show.
Jenny, I want to hear about the Peter you had in mind when you wrote For Peter. I know it isn’t me; I would never use cliché like ‘ships that pass in the night’, but it is a lovely little poem. Maybe sometime you WILL write something for me… You can read it at my funeral.
(Posted on 16/04/12)
- Top drawer poetry Review by Catherine Mair
Confessional poetry has had a bad rap as has 'vanity publishing'. I imagine some poetry as being confessed to in an enclosed stall in church. Perhaps in some cases the poem was powerful enough to wake up the priest.
What are the alternatives to confessional poetry? Better offerings, I hope, than a meaningless babble of words.
With the availability of digital publishing a huge amount of material is being paraded before us. Naturally there is the good, the bad and the ugly on offer.
Argante's work comes into the top drawer category.
I burned my poems in the late of day.
They flared up bravely
searing deadwood roots
Tomorrow I can write another poem
in the bright aftermath of flaming.
Her poems have substance and the essence of each is memorable. I can't see much point to poems that are so esoteric they don't exist in your mind a soon as you close the book. And although Argante’s poems are accessible, they're not shallow. There is a sense of sharing.
Isn't that the point of writing rather than to show how clever or inventive the writer is?
(Posted on 15/04/12)
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