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Tung by Robyn Maree Pickens


Tung is the eagerly anticipated debut poetry collection from award-winning Ōtepoti-Dunedin poet Robyn Maree Pickens. In this collection, Pickens harnesses the strength of the Earth and highlights the vitalness of the ecosystems within it. These poems offer nourishment and healing to a planet gripped by a socio-ecological crisis. Without being preachy, Pickens constructs the arguments with a cogent and reflective style. Both as an academic and as a poet, Pickens is a pioneer of language, attuned to the subtle whispers of the earth and the louder sounds of human tongues. She draws out beauty from both realms. Hers is a unique, linguistically rich response that pushes boundaries, challenges norms, and overflows with typographic and sonic creativity. I do disappear

into the wing

(“Eridanus the river” by Robyn Maree Pickens) Unafraid of new forms and rhythms, Tung constructs a gorgeous poetic musicality bridging to the bond between human and nonhuman worlds. Through a cacophony of voices in art, literature, politics, science and general life, Pickens composes her distinctive song of hope. A human being is contingent on the nimbleness of leaf stems the company of strangers on quantum breaths & bones of trees buried (“The Importance of Process” by Robyn Maree Pickens) An accomplished poet and art writer based in Ōtepoti Dunedin, Pickens has published widely in Aotearoa and abroad. Her numerous awards include the Monica Taylor Poetry Prize, Kathleen Grattan Prize, and Saari Residence in Finland. With sensibility and skill, Tung marks the arrival of a fresh, masterful poetic voice.


Reviewer: Chris Reed

Otago University Press



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