Author(s): Jo Thorpe
The poems in this collection range from the complexities of human relationships to the simplicities of light, rock, sea and sky; from myths and the metaphysical to ‘the marvellousness of now’. Jo’s first book Len & other poems was inspired by kinetic artist Len Lye. Reviewers said her touch was sure, the content filled with subtle energy … sophisticated, visual and clever.
‘Jo’s poems seem entirely continuous with the world of movement. Some of them are actually about dance of course; but more often they behave like dance. They watch movement occur, they notice it; but in their own right they also move … It’s as if the Greek gods Apollo and Dionysus are circling one another on every page.’ — Bill Manhire
Thorpe, Jo (1948- ) is a poet, dancer and lecturer in dance history. Jo Thorpe was born in Wellington. She grew up in Gisborne, and graduated from Auckland University before settling in Wellington. Thorpe has also had stints living in Jakarta, New York, Canberra and Singapore. Jo Thorpe’s poems have appeared in a number of journals and anthologies. 'Windscreen' was selected by Elizabeth Smither for Best New Zealand Poems 2002. Her collection of poetry Len & Other Poems (2003) was written in part as a response to the work of Len Lye and Roger Horrocks’ biography of the visionary kinetic artist. In his review of Len & Other Poems for the New Zealand Listener Peter Bland writes that, ‘the real interest in this collection is in its adventurous search for a poetic method, one that prefers 'the voluptuary/over the ascetic' and that has a genuine feeling for 'all the Ishmails and outcasts/of a wall-less/ unbarred universe'’. Jo Thorpe lives in Wellington.