- Publisher: Godwit Press
- Edition: Paperback, 124 pages
- ISBN: 1869621093
- Published: September 3, 2004
Diane Brown combines a lyrical style with remarkable candour and an eye for the absurd: Ironing boards left in strange places, possums falling out of trees, screams in the park, men who throw everything out the door and much more. Readers will recognise the dreams, dilemmas and domestic scenarios explored here.
Learning to Lie Together is a collection of Diane Brown’s recent poetry, dealing with relationships and with questions of time and place. In particular, it deals with relocation from one city and island to another, and physically leaving one’s teenage children at the same time as they are leaving the parent in an emotional sense.
My favourite book of poems for the year was Diane Brown’s witty and risky Learning To Lie Together.
Review by Karl Stead, Dominion Post
At their best, Brown’s apparently simple poems can be disarmingly good.
Review by John Horrocks, NZ Books
A rich and wide-ranging collection from a skilled and experienced writer.
Review by Gail Pittaway, Waikato Times
Following last year’s travel memoir, Liars & Lovers, Diane Brown has produced a second collection of poems charting the unknown territory of middle age, as she leaves her beloved Auckland to set up house in Dunedin with her new man, writer Philip Temple, to whom the book is dedicated.
These are wonderfully accessible poems, and nothing escapes the poet’s eye. Brown tackles every human emotion, riding the alarming rollercoaster of a new relationship, negotiating, talking, writing, dealing with her homesickness and the longing for her children — and the sea in Auckland: “Missing the blueness/the sparkling/promise of it all/always the paradox”. Brown views her new life with something approaching a tender astonishment. But these well-crafted, witty, satisfying poems are about love, above all, and on this subject, Brown speaks with ineffable wisdom.
Review by Penelope Bieder NZ Herald, 1 December 2004
(Penelope Bieder is a freelance writer)