Villon in Millerton


James Norcliff


‘Norcliffe is full of delightful surprises and striking imagery.’ – Peter Dornauf, Waikato Times


Villon in Millerton is an impressive collection, the sixth by Christchurch-based poet James Norcliffe, which presents vivid lyrics anchored by three sequences.

The title sequence imagines a fifteenth-century French poet, Francois Villon, fetching up in the isolated and deserted West Coast town of Millerton; another sequence brilliantly evokes the mysteries of the Indian rope trick; while a concluding group focuses on the contradictory character of the nineteenth-century missionary Samuel Marsden.

The range of subjects – from the red admiral butterfly to the attack on Baghdad – and tones – from meditation to satire – along with the poet’s acute ear and sharp eye make this book always unexpected and illuminating.



A well-established poet, James Norcliffe has received the Burns Fellowship, a Hobart residency, and is currently the New Zealand writer in the Iowa International Writing Program. He is the poetry editor of Takahe and his work has twice appeared in the annual online anthology Best New Zealand Poems.


June 2007, 210 x 148 mm, 80 pages, Illustrations
Paperback, ISBN 9781869403836, $24.99