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Poet shares secret he couldn’t keep

Sculptor and poet Sam Duckor-Jones. PHOTO/ EBONY LAMB

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A Featherston sculptor is embracing his “other” artistic side this weekend, as he shares poems from his first book.

Sam Duckor-Jones will share work from his first published book of poems, People From The Pit Stand Up, as part of the monthly Wairarapa Word event on Sunday.

Duckor-Jones said he had been writing for a long time, “but secretly”.

“While sculpting, my notebooks, which were supposed to be full of sketches and ideas for sculptures, were really full of poems – and one day, I had to face the truth.”

His friends often put their written works out for others to see, and eventually he wanted to do the same.

He said the two disciplines – sculpting and writing – informed each other.

“Sometimes in direct ways – for example in my book there is a sequence of poems about working with clay.

“But the fact that they’re both crafts means that they speak to each other – I’m still sculpting some kind of story, whether it’s clay or text.”

Duckor-Jones said his poems contained a yearning for intimacy.

“There’s a bunch of poems about isolation and living in Wairarapa.”

He moved from Wellington about five years ago, looking for a home with space for a studio.

There was simplicity behind his artwork.

“Basically, they’re just big clay men. Because they are quite bright and colourful, and often naked, I like to think that they’re sort of braver versions of myself.”

These days, Duckor-Jones sought any opportunity to share his work.

“I love reading poems aloud, that’s what they’re for.”

He was looking forward to reading in Wairarapa, “especially because this collection speaks to this local landscape quite a lot”.

Presented by Wairarapa Word, Duckor-Jones will be reading selected poems from his first book on Sunday 3pm at Carterton Courthouse. Koha entry.

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