Whistling in the Dark
by John O'Connor

Whistling in the Dark

Whistling in the Dark comprises two approximately equal section: (1) poems and (2) prose poems; both sections were written between 1994 and 2012.

The poems cover a range of topics and themes and include 'Mother and Child', the winning poem of the Poetry Society's International Poetry Competition, 2006. All poems have been previously published in magazines, journals and anthologies.

The prose poems are, more accurately, a combination of prose poems and hybrid forms of the prose poem. As such they represent a departure from the standard prose poem as found in NZ and international journals and magazines. Again, there is a range of topics and themes and most of the pieces have been previously published in magazines, journals and anthologies.

Whistling in the Dark is the 11th book of poems by John O'Connor.

Recent critical comments on John O'Connor's poetry:

Bright the Harvest Moon

The haiku display his exhilarating sense of language ... all the flash and dazzle of the ephemeral ... haiku that inevitably feel stylish, timeless, and marked by a precise lyrical grace. His is a highly speculative poetic intelligence, both philosophically elegant and lyrically charged. A collection to delight every reader. Patricia Prime, Another Lost Shark

A collection of poems that is fresh and lively, thoughtful and resonant. Sandra Simpson, Haiku NewZ

Cornelius & Co: Collected Working-Class Verse

The recent release of two magnificent retrospective volumes [by David Mitchell and John O'Connor] ... Here are two eminent New Zealand poets ... Small details, but rich in texture, colour and life, a statement which can be applied to all the poems in this collection. Siobhan Harvey, Poetry NZ

'Stan Muttering to himself' - possibly the most powerful poem I've read all year. A terrific book of poetry - Keith Nunes, a fine line

The tension [between verse and poetry] provides much of the energy crackling in these poems ... there is a fierce and committed intelligence invested in them. These poems often remind me of Oppen's concern to get at things, and to the workers and makers of things. - Robert McLean, The Landfall Review

A vividly drawn and fascinating panorama of images that often brings the neighbourhood [of Addington, Christchurch, N.Z.] vibrantly to life with all its noise and drama. Joy Green, Bravado

This book is very local, yet somehow it captures part of the universal. - Jim Consedine, The Common Good

An excellent book that gives poetic voice to people and lives which rarely make an appearance in modern New Zealand poetry. Tim Jones, Books in the Trees blog