Sam Sampson's poetry is a voyage of discovery, a celebration of things seen and sounded anew.
– Michael Palmer
Sometimes the most ambitious work is lost to sight under a mass of hobbyist writing, poetic tweets and verbal selfies; but when the real stuff comes along, as it does in Sampson’s work, then we need to give it a special welcome.
– Roger Horrocks
I see in his work the mysteriousness of poetry, its elusiveness, its pursuit of language into shadows and even darkness.
....lines that signify the denuded branches of trees—a hanging tree, a crucifix—all crucial axes within which Sampson plots his poem.
– Camilla Nelson
I just wanted to say how struck I was by Sampson's reading last night. I was interested to hear how he would read his strike-throughs and I liked what Sam said about his practice in the discussion...and I loved the migrating bird image and poem — I loved it all.
– Cole Swensen
Sampson’s poems triangulate the world by showing how speech, thought, and a lively sensorium leap, loop, lurch, and blur among one another.
– Zach Savich
He returns poetry to its primal function as ecstatic utterance: words are miraculous things, rich in resonances and echoes.
– David Eggleton
I can't think of another poet who writes quite like he does... the poems' nuanced appreciation of the natural world simultaneous with cultural intelligence, his use of ellipticism interleaving the two effortlessly.
- Carrie Etter
...delicately composed cartography / scenography / choreography, and yet such rich language. Words in flight.
– Ian Wedde
Sam has composed a symphony in parts where words are substitutes for the musical notes of melody. Breathless and breathtaking.
– Paula Green
Sampson's poems are spare and evocative. They hint and gesture towards meaning rather than laying it out blandly for consumption. There are gaps and suggestions, which call upon a reader actively to engage in the construction of meaning.
– Peter Simpson
Sampson is an unrepentant avant-gardist...He remains holed up in the Waitākeres, where he takes inspiration from the rune-like patterns flying ducks and kereru make on the evening sky.
– Scott Hamilton
...there’s an appealing richness created through this multi-layered approach, bringing together art, ritual and ecology, allowing marginal worlds to intrude on each other.
– Alex Taylor