New work - 'At Longfellow House'


I had a chance in July this year to read with Raphael Campo (another doctor-poet) at Longfellow House in Cambridge, Massachusetts. It was a real privilege to be honest. Henry Wadsworth Longfellow lived there for many years and for a time it was George Washington’s headquarters during the revolutionary war. So there were lots of ghosts wandering around the place. Before the reading I thought I’d take the opportunity to write there on the lawn. I couldn’t think of a better way of celebrating the house and it’s big old memories.

Most of my career I seem to have written my poems to a set theme, whether it’s the practice of medicine, or that coastline between Pākehā and Māori, or an exploration of oral poetic forms. So it was really nice to sit on Henry’s lawn and just write something that bubbled up from the moment. It made me want to do more of this, i.e. sit still and notice what is right in front of me. Maybe one day I might just write a collection about things I noticed wandering past. There would be a kind of relief in that I think.

Open 'At Longfellow House' here...

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