Native Bird

Hoopla Native bird web

About Native Bird (Makaro Press)

In his third poetry collection, award-winning poet Bryan Walpert—who arrived in New Zealand from the U.S. in 2004—writes of what it’s been like to be an observer or “birdwatcher” in a land whose physical and cultural geographies he is still learning to name. With his trademark precision and insight, Bryan weaves meditations on the life and songs of birds into his observations on living as a new settler in wind-charged Manawatu. Working at the shifting borders between homes and hearts, prose and poetry, call and song, this is an arresting collection that speaks to us all.

“Reading this book is like entering a restorative glade. Or a slow paced European movie where the camera takes one long slow delicious pan that sweeps and lingers and stalls and accumulates the faintest detail, the hint of movements, the tremor of action. And out of the long gorgeous sweep of reading, you get place, character, story. Or think of this rhythm as a sticky ribbon to which detail adheres. The detail catches you. Phrases, whole lines, stanzas. The sound of each line strikes your ear – beautifully, honey-like. The world slows because this is one of those books where the poems reach out and hold you in the grip of attention. I adore it.” Paula Green, NZ Poetry Shelf

“This work is full of wonderfully sharp, self-deprecating awareness of human foibles and a love of wordplay – as in Regret, which circles around egret with Walpert’s typical dexterity, humour and insight.” The NZ Listener

“Walpert’s language assembles these poems in a way that turns the source material into beautiful and striking pieces. He transforms the ordinary into poignant images.” Emma Shi, Booksellers NZ Review

“Will get under your skin.” Otago Daily Times.

Sample poems:
This Poem is Conversational (Best NZ Poems 2015)
Objective Correlative (Finalist, Rattle Poetry Prize 2011)
Aubade (p. 19 in the 2013 Montreal Poetry Prize Longlist)
There Is No Narrative (p. 173 in the 2011 Montreal Poetry Prize Longlist)

The book is available to purchase online here.