Backroads : Charting a Poet's Life

4.45 (20 ratings by Goodreads)
  • Hardback
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Sam Hunt's life as a poet and performer has always strayed far off the straight and narrow, more akin to following a series of winding backroads that have led to places and people away from the mainstream. As a child, Hunt was surrounded by 'a lot of words, a lot of poems,' and from the age of eight, he knew he wanted to live the life of a poet. His parents and grandparents were his earliest influences, and later it was the likes of W. B. Yeats, Pablo Neruda and Dylan Thomas; while within New Zealand, Alistair Campbell, James K. Baxter and Denis Glover, among others, inspired and nurtured him. Backroads is a memoir, a series of reflections by Sam Hunt on his life as a poet. He talks about inspiration and its unwelcome antagonist, drying up; the importance of performing, of 'saying poems out loud'; his good friends, like artist Robin White and his faithful canine companion Minstrel; his early publishing ventures and his experiences with maverick publisher Alister Taylor; and his touring and collaborations with musicians such as Mammal, The Warratahs and David Kilgour. The narrative is enriched by many of Hunt's poems, as well as work from other poets who have been important to him.
The book is heavily illustrated with many photographs, and a range of important ephemera and other illustrations - some of his earliest broadsheet poems, paintings and even the original copy of 'Letter to Sam Hunt' sent to Sam by James K. Baxter. Sam Hunt is one of New Zealand's favourite literary sons, a unique and singular character, and Backroads offers a fascinating insight into his remarkable life.
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Product details

  • Hardback | 160 pages
  • 210 x 255mm
  • Nelson, New Zealand
  • colour photographs
  • 1877517054
  • 9781877517051

About Sam Hunt

Sam Hunt is New Zealand's best-known and best-loved performance poet. His profile has been enjoying a renaissance in recent times, with the publishing of Doubtless: New & Selected Poems (over 4,000 copies sold in 9 months) and his selection of James K. Baxter poems; his performance as supporting act for Leonard Cohen concerts in New Zealand; and the critically acclaimed album, Falling Debris, with David Kilgour.
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Rating details

20 ratings
4.45 out of 5 stars
5 55% (11)
4 35% (7)
3 10% (2)
2 0% (0)
1 0% (0)
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