Sam Sampson's first book of poems Everything Talks, was published in 2008 by Auckland University Press (NZ) and Shearsman Books (UK) and won the 2009 NZSA Jessie Mackay Best First Book Award for Poetry.
Halcyon Ghosts reads as an investigation of the Romantic scored serially. A collection of delicately composed cartography / scenography / choreography, and yet such rich language. Words in flight.
While the American poet Michael Palmer commented:
How sing the forms the eye apprehends in the green world? Sam Sampson here – while reimagining the venerable tradition of the 'shaped poem' – asks us to rethink our assumptions about the limits of poetic speech and presentational immediacy. The result is a reverential and deeply lyrical voyage of discovery, a celebration of things seen and sounded anew.'
The NZ critic Paula Green reviewed Halcyon Ghosts calling it both 'breathless and breathtaking'.
In 2007 he was selected as the Curnow Reader at the Going West Festival. Collaborations with visual artists and photographers has seen the production of chapbbooks, photobooks, and artworks: such as, the 2010, Broken Architecture / Salt Away (a selection of poems, published as part of the Duets chapbook series, which pairs poets from New Zealand and the United States); the 2012 and 2015 collaborative exhibitions with collage artist Peter Madden at the Ivan Anthony Gallery and Gus Fisher Gallery (2015), and in April 2012, and September 2019 collaborative bookworks with photographer Harvey Benge. In April 2013, the poem 'All the Everlasting Cataracts' was included in the online collection: Best New Zealand Poems 2012.
In May 2020 the poem Kia Toitu He Kauri was included in an 'Ecopoetics' anthology of poetry and commentary: Poetics for the More-than-Human World alongside poets; Rae Armantrout, Rachel Blau DuPlessis, Clayton Eshleman, Jane Hirshfield, Michael McClure, Eléna Rivera, Harriet Tarlo, Cole Swensen, and many more...
To read an interview with Sam Sampson: Poetry Shelf
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