Monday 6 December 2021

John Gallas, "Aotearoa/Angleland: 30+30 Tankas"


John Gallas was born in New Zealand in 1950.  He came to England in the 1970s to study Old Icelandic at Oxford and has since lived and worked in York, Liverpool, Upholland, Little Ness, Rothwell, Bursa, Leicester, Diyarbakir, Coalville and Markfield, as a bottlewasher, archaeologist and teacher. He is the editor of two books of translations – 52 Euros and The Song Atlas – and eleven collections of his own poetry, all published by Carcanet.  He is a Fellow of the English Association and was 2016 Orkney St Magnus Festival poet.

About Aotearoa/Angleland: 30+30 Tankas, by John Gallas

A life, a heart, a soul – and a book – divided.  Happily divided.  In this pamphlet, John Gallas wanders the corners of his two homelands: Aotearoa (the Maori name for New Zealand) and England. The heart doesn’t bleed, the soul doesn’t yearn to be one, and Life can always get on a plane. As Misuzu Bonchō wrote, when she moved to Dodge City:

          A thing with two roots
          Will grow to embrace the earth
          With both arms.  Read on …

From Aotearoa/Angleland: 30+30 Tankas


From here the hedgerows
roll down to Bree across the
careful corduroy
of two farms. In each a tree,
enisled, tears its windy hair.

Date lines

Everything comes first
to the good folk of Tonga,
from where it proceeds
west in a Mexican Wave
to the world’s less happy lands.

Invitation to Public Reading and Q&A at the University of Leicester

John Gallas will read from and answer questions about his new pamphlet at 4pm on Thursday 9 December 2021 in Belvoir City Lounge, 2nd floor, Charles Wilson Building, University of Leicester. THE EVENT IS FREE AND ALL ARE WELCOME!

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