Release date: 3rd September 2024
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The Empty Grandstand
About the Book:
Lloyd Jones was seven years old the first time he climbed high into a grandstand to watch rugby with his father. The experience was baptismal. From his new elevated perspective Jones believed he could see everything that mattered – a field of play that rolled out, green with promise, from suburban New Zealand to the wider world.
The grandstand is a guiding metaphor for these questing narrative poems that reach back into childhood and forward into the life of a writer constantly experimenting with form and voice.
Jones writes of the wild secrets of boyhood – riding dogs, falling from trees, destroying the class ukuleles, learning to sail in small boats. He is alert to the airless small-town grievances that must inevitably be escaped.
As an aspiring young writer Jones travelled widely, testing his identity against difference – places, people, politics and importantly, language.
The more recent poems are a re-assembling of coordinates and a return to the local view. The grandstand has long been decommissioned – it’s a housing estate now, but the poems are full of air and greenery. Dream spaces where language is forever in play.
About the Author:
Lloyd Jones is one of New Zealand’s most innovative and accomplished writers. A former journalist who has travelled the world and lived for extended periods in other countries, he has published award-winning short stories, novellas, novels, essays, and a memoir. His novels include The Book of Fame, winner of the Tasmania Pacific Prize for Fiction; Mister Pip, winner of the Commonwealth Prize for Literature and shortlisted for the Man Booker Prize, Hand Me Down World, shortlisted for the Berlin International Prize for Literature, The Cage, and The Fish. He is a New Zealand Arts laureate and recipient of the Prime Minister’s Prize for Literature. The Empty Grandstand is his first book of poems.