No Other Place to Stand is a new major anthology of Aotearoa New Zealand poetry addressing the urgent problem of climate change. It is a weighty collection including ninety-one poets in its 200 hundred pages, and is published by Auckland University Press. The massive job of collecting, selecting and editing fell to Jordan Hamel, Rebecca Hawkes, Erik Kennedy and Essa Ranapiri.
The foreword opens with these words: “Climate change is so massive – so literally and figuratively global – that one wonders about the value of the particular, the specific, the local, the here, the now. Are these writers merely screaming – albeit skilfully -into the abyss? Have these editors merely rearranged deckchairs of words on a sinking scientific ship? If deniers of climate change are unlikely to open this book, what value is there in preaching to the choir? What is the point of quietly – or even noisily - reading about climate change when the crisis in which we find ourselves demands action?
These are not rhetorical questions.Every single poem in this anthology speaks to the relationship between words and worlds.”
Of the editors, Erik Kennedy is well-known in Otautati-Christchurch for his advocacy of poetry through his involvement with Takahe, with the CPC, with other groups and not least for the regular readings of his terrific poetry. He is also well-known as a climate activist.
I was delighted that one of my poems Lambton Quay was chosen for the book.