A Canoe in Midstream: Poems New & Old, by Apirana Taylor (Canterbury University Press, 2009), 168 pp., $25.00
At a hefty one hundred and sixty eight pages, Apirana Taylor’s fifth volume of poetry brings together new work with previously published poems. Taylor is a poet and short story writer who also writes for children and theatre. With a background in drama, much of his work has appeared in multimedia recordings. Taylor first’s collection Eyes of the Ruru was published in 1972, and it launched his voice onto the New Zealand poetry landscape. Critics have called his poetry everything from ‘raging’ to ‘meditative’. Of Maori and Pakeha descent, with affiliation to Ngati Porou, Te Whanau-a-Apanui and Ngati Ruanui, his style is often contrasted with the fluid lyricism of Hone Tuwhare.