For those in Ōtautahi Christchurch, COLD HUB PRESS & SCORPIO BOOKS invite you to the launch of NO TRAVELLER RETURNS, the selected poems of RUTH FRANCE, & ENDURING LOVE, the collected poems of ROBERT McLEAN.

Wednesday 8 July 2020 at Scorpio Books, BNZ Centre, 120 Hereford Street, Christchurch.

Refreshments at 5.30pm for 6.00pm start.


Ruth France (1913–68) published two novels: The Race (1958), which won the New Zealand Literary Fund’s Award for Achievement, and Ice Cold River (1961); and two volumes of poetry: Unwilling Pilgrim (1955) and The Halting Place (1961), under the pseudonym Paul Henderson. Poems from a third collection, which remained in manuscript at the time of her death, are published here for the first time. M. H. Holcroft captured the gist of France’s poetry when he wrote that she found ‘her own words for the ancient parables of life and death, and the spinning world’. James K. Baxter proclaimed: ‘Plainly a real poet is among us.’

No Traveller Returns, edited by Robert McLean, will be introduced by John Weir.

Robert McLean is a defiantly modernist poet who often uses traditional metres and rhyme to explore the complexities of history and selfhood. His intellectually cosmopolitan and questioning verse attempts to re-illuminate how acts of attention—by Nijinsky, Andrea del Sarto, David Esterley, Charles Fourier, John Mulgan and others—have sanctified, if only momentarily, the world with all its wrecks and wonders. Enduring Love features a generous selection of poems from his four previous collections; the sixty-two sestet tour de force ‘A Graveyard by the Sea’; and more than thirty new poems, including two long sequences: ‘The Passions of William Colenso’ and ‘A Fantasia in the Voice of D’Arcy Cresswell’. Robert McLean was born in Christchurch in 1974 and educated at Mairehau High School and the University of Canterbury. He is the author of five collections of poetry: For the Coalition Dead (Kilmog Press, 2009), For Renato Curcio (Gumtree Press, 2010), Goat Songs (Kilmog Press, 2011), A Graveyard by the Sea (Cold Hub Press, 2012), and Figure & Ground (Cold Hub Press, 2018). His work has featured in a number of anthologies, including Essential New Zealand Poems (2014).

Enduring Love will be introduced by John Allison.

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