Sam Sampson’s first book of poems, Everything Talks, was published in 2008 by Auckland University Press (NZ) and Shearsman Books (UK). It won the NZSA Jessie Mackay Best First Book Award for Poetry at the 2009 book awards. In June 2014, his second collection of poems Halcyon Ghosts appeared through Auckland University Press.
A collection of galleries; from collaborative exhibitions, to readings, bookworks, and other projects can be found at: www.samsampson.co.nz
When asked to comment on this suite of poems I was reminded of a recent interview concerning my book – Halcyon Ghosts – where I commented on a synchronicity, a conversation linking back to my previous book Everything Talks. Reviewing these poems I can join more dots, isolate themes, people landscapes, but saying that, I’m not sure how to describe the poems. Facts have been lost, other facticities I have created to replace forgotten fact, certain memories I have erased, or chosen to omit. When trying to chart poems, frames of reference will only take me so far, and images make me believe there was an event connected to each and every poem. I hope in this body of language I’ve let the subjects find themselves and inadvertently resurrected the dead. The dead here, I take to mean, not just those that have passed away during the writing of this suite of poems, but also the language that has been unearthed, the unearthed vestiges.
The poem 'Distant Trees' (which is recorded here for the first time) is accessible as an online text at Cordite Poetry Review.