An Outsider’s Insider Perspective on Aotearoa Poems by Craig Foltz Published March 2020 Edition of 250 ISBN 978–0–9951251–1–7
A US exile gets lost in the Aotearoa bush—exactly what he wanted. These poems range with exuberant humour and intelligence from tourist traps such as Franz Josef glacier, to Maungapōhatu and other places more out-of-the-way than you could ever imagine. Sometimes it takes an outsider to find the uniquely absurd sights and rhythms that ensure we’ll never look at home the same way again.
Craig Foltz takes his readers on a road trip through the physical and human landscapes of Aotearoa in a kind of game show of clues and cryptic references to location. Stop and see oblique palimpsests of geographic and cultural references and modes of address, populated by the ghosts of myth, colonial history, and the digital age. These are poems where the sentence is the driver, and the most lyrical moments are reserved for language itself. There are also maps!
Alison Glenny (author of The Farewell Tourist, winner of the Kathleen Grattan Award)
These poems plunge the reader into oblique investigations of Aotearoa / New Zealand’s remote settlements, iconic regions, and geographic features contorted by a range of forces: humour, mystery, wonder, banality, and alienation. Analogue paths zig-zag across digital means of orientation. Where are we? We’re not exactly sure how to answer.
Ellie Ga (author of North Was Here)
A collection that says maps are as mutable as minds, and that you can deepen the question and deepen the answer and still come up with double zero. In fine textures, this book suggests the act of expression is still an act of hope and that’s about all you can hope for I think.
Nikki-Lee Birdsey (author of Night As Day)
We know we are alive when reading Craig Foltz’s poetry. We are reminded beautifully that each naming has been preceded and can easily transform us if we let it. With an Invisible Cities quality of ‘I could be anywhere and everywhere right now’, Locals Only has an ecological sensibility firmly located in a digital realism yet hopefully envisions a world in which each syllabic encounter, each word, is also a shift of our surrounds, feeling the ground shaking in poem form. The poem is a gift and the gift is a question: ‘Is this what we created the world for?’
Anna Gurton-Wachter (author of Utopia Pipe Dream Memory)
Craig Foltz is a writer & visual artist whose work has appeared in numerous journals, anthologies & galleries. He has previously released two books on Ugly Duckling Presse. He currently lives & works in New Plymouth, pinched between the wild & remote west coast & Mt Taranaki. More info at craigfoltz.com