The Dangerous Country of Love and Marriage

Amy Leigh Wicks

A collection of sharp, sensory poems that build a narrative of love and marriage, migration and isolation.

‘. . . Tonight marks a thousand dry nights and I want
to show you something. It’s a little cave
hollowed out by my thirst, a place for you to live.’

In this powerful collection, Amy Leigh Wicks takes the reader on a literal journey from New York City to Wellington and Kaikōura, and on an emotional journey from youth into ‘the dangerous country of love and marriage’. Wicks produces sharp, sensory poems that circle around love and commitment, migration and isolation. With a powerful narrative and emotional arc, this collection introduces us to an important new voice in New Zealand poetry.

‘The dark ocean from the window is still,
the waves are sparkling as in photographs
and all I can think is how I want
to cut through the sun setting on the purple horizon
with a pair of big scissors.’

About the Author

New York poet Amy Leigh Wicks was on a road trip when she met a man in Wyoming and fell in love. The two eloped after she completed her MFA at The New School University, and rode motorcycles to California. They sold their bikes for plane tickets to Wellington, New Zealand, and began to build a life together, eventually moving to Kaikōura. After the 7.8 earthquake in 2016 caused unprecedented damage along the east coast of the South Island, Amy Leigh joined the recovery and rebuild project as a communications advisor, while completing her PhD at Victoria University’s International Institute of Modern Letters. She is the author of Orange Juice and Rooftops and her poems have appeared on The Best American Poetry blog, in Sport, Ora Nui, and Ika Journal.


Praise for The Dangerous Country of Love and Marriage

‘. . . an intricate weave of themes, motifs, forms and sound effects that builds tension between dark and light, home and out of home, the personal and the distant.’ – Paula Green

‘These poems are very successful, lighting each other up and building an involving sense of the poet trying to adapt to new and different worlds.’ – Harry Ricketts

June 2019, 215 x 160 mm, 88 pages
ISBN 9781869408978, $24.99