by Gregory O’Brien
Auckland University Press
Two poets on a headland, mid-survey might pause suddenly and say will this be your whale, or mine?
Between 2011 and 2014, poet and artist Gregory O’Brien found himself following the migratory routes of whales and seabirds across vast tracts of the South Pacific Ocean, resulting in work that O’Brien describes as ‘acts of devotion – a homage to a series of remarkable locations and to the natural histories of those places’. These poems are an exploration of outlying islands, the ocean that lies between them, and the whale-species and sea birds found there. From Waihi looking east and Valparaiso looking west, O’Brien surveys the cultural heart and health of an ocean in memorable, musical, moving lines.