Author(s): Mary Cresswell
Fifty years after she arrived in New Zealand from Los Angeles, Mary Cresswell's focus is unchanged. As a poet with a scientist's concern for detail she is still drawn to nature and what humanity has done with it. Seascapes are rocky and forbidding, landscapes are arid and treeless, and drones keep an eye on us. The few surviving animals-one frog and two birds-speculate on 'extinction' even as it is happening to them, just as the poet describes the strange paradox of the pandemic that on one hand threatens humanity and on the other allows the planet to breathe again. Mary uses wordplay, satire and absurdity to tell her story, and puts the body politic centre stage as the cause of and agent for repairing the mess we are in.
Mary Cresswell is a Kapiti poet who has published ecopoetry in New Zealand, UK, Australian and US journals after retiring from a career as a science editor. Her 2011 book Trace Fossils was runner-up for the inaugural Kathleen Grattan Award.