Detritus of Empire: feather / grass / rock

Robin Peace


Poems by Ōtaki author Robin Peace about the natural world, settlement and displacement.

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ISBN: 978-1-98-859578-8 Categories: , Tags: , , ,

About the book

Detritus are the pieces that are left when something or someone breaks, falls apart or is destroyed: gravel from rocks, the organic matter from plants. At the edge of an endangered wetland in Te Ika-a-Māui, Robin Peace writes of what is left of a country colonised not just by people but by the plants and creatures they brought with them, especially the most ignored invader: the grass that replaced Aotearoa’s forests and lowlands with lawns and farms. Robin’s observations of the natural world are meticulous and often surprising, fertilised with the wonder and rage she feels at what’s in front of her and supported by her own stories of settlement and displacement.

Like the grass she writes about, these poems ‘speak of multitudes / and shine’. —Brian Evans-Jones

Robin Peace’s new collection sings of plants and animals, insects and hills, all the while meditating on family history and the troubling inheritances of colonialism … I was struck by how sweeping gestures are always engaged through particular, beautiful images born of surprising perceptions. —Bryan Walpert

About the author

Ōtaki writer Robin Peace lives in the margin land of Otepua wetland with her partner, observing and interacting with the natural world. A retired geographer, teacher and academic, her first collection of poetry, A Passage of Yellow Red Birds, was published in 2018. She contri­buted a poem ‘In the Moment’ to More Favourable Waters: Aotearoa poets respond to Dante’s Purgatory, and ‘Intricate Relationships’ to The Power in Our Truth: the Truth of Our Power. 


Dimensions: 148 x 210mm
Number of pages: 98
Binding: soft cover