Dandy Bogan brings one of New Zealand’s most distinctive poets to the rest of the world for the first time. Nick Ascroft’s poems display a familiarity with the furthest reaches of the Scrabble dictionary, and even somewhat beyond. His logo-philia evinces a fascination not merely with language but with the workings of the human mind. Ranging across a dazzling variety of subject matter, Ascroft’s abiding interest and concern is what it means to be human. Who are we? How did we get here? And what the fuck do we do now?
The heart of this selection draws on Ascroft’s three full collections published in New Zealand. Bookending this are selections of newer and older poems, tracing the development over a quarter of a century of a unique poetic talent.