Love in the Age of Mechanical ReproductionTitus Books, 2005. 106pp.

Debut collection of poetry, featuring several long poems, including ‘Exciting Poses’ and ‘Love Without Bodies’. Now available as an ebook.

“These love poems are extremely beautiful with a solid intellectual base. Love and courtship are important, but more weighty themes address the elusiveness of being in a world where the virtual often provides a working synecdoche for bodily experience. […] In rich and beautifully chosen words, Love in the Age of Mechanical Reproduction offers a disquieted world of shadow, an intermediate state where reality is where you find it, not where you might feel entitled to find it.”

— Brenda Allen, Takahe (issue 56, 2005)

“Her poetry is deeply lyrical in a manner that’s not specifically tied to the printed page and which belongs to the spoken word as much as it does to its visual representation […] Best of all, though, is the totality of the experience Macassey’s poetry offers – the complex variety and subtlety of aesthetic flavours and the sensations it allows readers to share with her.”

— Alistair Paterson, Poetry NZ (issue 29, 2004)

“This poetry is useful; the voice treats itself with compassion, respects its responsiveness, lets in the chaotic complexity of the world, refuses a hierarchy of poetic value, and makes itself at home. This poetry details movement within what to me is a familiar psychic world, a particular contemporary subjectivity in which the self is the space between eclectic, vivid effects. This poetry is very beautiful, even as it constructs a pattern out of all-too-familiar and destabilizing worldly stimulants.”

— Stephanie Christie, Brief (issue 35, 2007)

Contents :

Love without bodies *
The uncanny truth about Abelard
Love in the age of mechanical reproduction:1
Love in the age of mechanical reproduction: 2
Dance of the seven veils *
Leda and the Swan **
Two fools
Exciting poses *

* These poems first appeared as 25-30 minute performance pieces at Alleluya Cafe, K Rd with beautiful assistants. [Read more…]
** This poem was first performed at the Silo Theatre, Auckland.

“a book to be noted not only for the quality of the poetry it contains but also for the initiatives and enthusiasm for poetry and unusual writing shown by Titus Books, its publisher.”
(Alistair Paterson, Poetry NZ, issue 33, 2006.)

Link to Audio: speech by Alistair Paterson at Love in the Age book launch (Percutio website)

Also by Olivia Macassey

The Burnt HotelThe Burnt Hotel
Titus, 2015

Taking the reader from inner-city Auckland to fairy-tale clearings and finally into the burnt hotel itself, these lyrical poems chart the terrain where the ordinary meets the fantastical, a vivid world of “other people’s lives” populated by lovers and rent-boys, sleep-walkers and monsters.

“I remember the night he went sleepwalking
and a hotel burned down.
He worried that he had done it,
or hoped he had….””

The Burnt Hotel plays out like a dark melody. With what one poem calls ‘the violence of dedication’, the writing returns to particular words, lines and feelings like a ballad does to a refrain…” Read more…

Client NumbersClient Numbers (chapbook)
Aotearoa Invisible Press, 2011

This chapbook was released as an e-book and downloadable DIY print chapbook. It includes the poem ‘They Say In a Healthy Economy There Should Be 5% Unemployment Or, What Has Social Welfare Ever Given You.’

and I am winding, hurried like a creek through
steep places. Catch tight the branches of belief
and feel them come away in your hands. Hope
my last luxury: pebbles rolling through
loose clay and dry gorse. But alive.

Client Numbers is available online, for free. Read more…