Rachel Bush

Nice Pretty Things

ISBN: 9780864736918

‘Published November 2011

My poems don't start from ideas, but from bits of language, maybe a turn of phrase that's like a tune that plays over and over in my mind. A poem can often be like a game in my head where I want to think about something I don't fully understand. Recently a child said to me, “I'm not me. I'm someone else. I'm very strong. I'm Richie McCaw.” It's easy when you're four years old to play this sort of game. Writing is one way that as an adult I can take on a different persona. Some of these poems may suggest I live in rest home and that I have won the Katherine Mansfield Fellowship and lived in Menton. I did once spend a happy weekend in Paris, but I've never been to Menton and I have never won the Katherine Mansfield Fellowship. That doesn’t stop me wondering what it would be like to be selected for a magnificent prize and live in a remote city. I also wonder what it may be like one day to live in a rest home.’

Rachel Bush was born in Christchurch on Boxing Day 1941, and grew up in Hawera. Until 2003 she was a teacher of English at a secondary school in Nelson. Her first two collections of poetry are The Hungry Woman (1997) and The Unfortunate Singer (2002). She has also appeared in Faber’s Introduction 3 as well as in anthologies and journals such as Sport, Landfall and the Listener.

Reviewed in Takahe.

Reviewed on Landfall Online.

'Small details evoke feelings that are meaningful and true; her ability and skill as a poet enables her to create a sense of place and feeling that seems to lift off the page without effort. The poems in this collection are quietly witty, contemplative and cleverly layered with anger, frustration and love.' Stella, Page & Blackmore Books

'This is a tour de force that zooms in on human details. It would be wonderful if Nice Pretty Things earned Bush a few new fans. If you like your poems biting, passionate, stunning and magical, this is the one for you. There is a chilliness that grabs the reader's attention.' Hamesh Wyatt, Otago Daily Times

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