Horse with Hat
Marty Smith grew up in remote hill country between Pahiatua and the sea. Although her father and grandmother lived on the same farm, one at each end, her father never spoke to her grandmother in her living memory, and their feud is the subject of quite a few poems. They also look at the effects of the gift of silence from the men in her family who suffered the Second World War. Her father made his kids learn to ride bareback, hanging on by their knees, so the whole time she was a track-work rider in New Zealand and England, she never fell off.
Other poems look at the long relationship between horse and man and the thousands of years the horse has stood as an icon of speed, power and civilisation. She is interested in how humans invest faith in tokens and totems. Marty grew up in a time when smoking was communal and companionable, and the people she loved floated through a blue haze like mirages. She wanted to touch them back into life again. As her cousin Barbara says, the child of the most silent brother of all is telling their stories for them.
Cover and illustrations by Brendan O'Brien.
2014 NZSA Jessie Mackay Best First Book award for Poetry
New Zealand Post Book Awards 2014 Poetry Finalist
NZ POST BOOK AWARDS - NZSA best first book Winner - 2014