Richard Langston's Poetry Book: Five O'Clock Shadows - 14th Jan 2021

We are delighted to share that Richard Langston's poetry book 'Five O'Clock Shadows' has been published by Cuba Press of Wellington and is now available for purchase.  Below are some insightful words from Richard on his writing process and muses.  Links to purchase his book are also below.

"When I start to write a poem I’m often unsure what it will be about and where it we will head. Sometimes it doesn’t work out at all – and it stays in my notebook.
 
There are also the exceptions – and the rarities –  that form in my mind all at once and come out virtually whole. All I have to do is type them out, and then make a few edits and corrections.
 
I’ve just had my sixth book of poems – ‘Five O’Clock Shadows’ published by the Cuba Press of Wellington. It was my publisher and editor, Mary McCullum,  who pointed out to me the poems were about the land and family, and finding my place within this country.
 
I hadn’t thought of the book as having an over-arching theme, but as soon as she said that I thought that she was probably right. There are poems about maps, places in New Zealand, and my family and relatives, namely those I grew up surrounded by in Dunedin’s Lebanese community.
 
When I look back through my books there are many poems about relatives and family – in my first volume  there is one about our Great Grandfather, Joseph George, and his journey by ship from Port Said to Port Chalmers in the late 19th century.
 
He also features in my fourth book standing on a hillside on his farm in the Catlins, listening to his neighbour playing the bagpipes.
 
There are others about grandmother, Katie George, and even one about how my thick dark eyebrows are a genetic gift from my father, Allan Langston.
 
And in my latest book there is a poem dedicated to my sisters, Carol and Suraya, who’ve made the journey to our ancestral village of Bsharri in  Lebanon.
 
Those family poems form a sort of backbone to my writing. Years ago when I told a friend about my colourful and spirited, and yes eccentric relatives, he said I should write about them.
 
I was not sure how I would ever do that. I’ve discovered whether I think about it or not, they seem to materialise onto the page, the alchemy of ghosts and bloodlines and memory. I’m very grateful to have such a past, family and community."

 
‘Five O’Clock Shadows’ is available from the University Bookshop in Dunedin:  https://www.unibooks.co.nz/index.php?route=product/product&product_id=134861&search=Richard+Langston

and from the publisher: https://thecubapress.nz/shop/shadows/

 

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