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  • lost-and-gone-away

  • lost and gone away

    A search always starts at the Point Last Seen. That is what they say in the search and rescue business.

    I am surprised and a bit embarrassed to say that I have had more than one experience of someone seeming to disappear on my watch. Once I called the Police. That time our kitchen was the Point Last Seen.

    More than a year ago a friend, who speaks five languages and reads several more, told me it would not be possible to write about the Holocaust from New Zealand. There’s so little to say here, she said. Europe is the Point Last Seen.

    But this is where I am, I said. That is the problem. This is where I am from, this is who I am, and this is where I am. So this is where I start….

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    Lost and gone away

    A search always starts at the Point Last Seen. That is what they say in the search and rescue business.

    I am surprised and a bit embarrassed to say that I have had more than one experience of someone seeming to disappear on my watch. Once I called the Police. That time our kitchen was the Point Last Seen. More than a year ago a friend, who speaks five languages and reads several more, told me it would not be possible to write about the Holocaust from New Zealand. There’s so little to say here, she said. Europe is the Point Last Seen.

    But this is where I am, I said. That is the problem. This is where I am from, this is who I am, and this is where I am. So this is where I start….

    I looked for the owner of a wooden container of ashes from Auschwitz. Someone knew someone who knew someone who knew the man. Then I heard him tell his story.

    I found Bruno Schulz in a film, Sigmund Freud in a book and Kurt Vonnegut in a box car. I found the Warsaw Ghetto in New Plymouth, Holocaust survivors in Wellington, Poland in the Wellington Botanic Gardens and a Holocaust museum in the shape of a tree in my street in Raumati South.


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    Reviews

    Susanna Andrew, Books Editor of Metro Magazine, chose Lost and Gone Away as one of the best books of 2015. In the December 2015 issue she says,

    ‘Many write about loss,but few with such skill as New Zealand writer Lynn Jenner in Lost and Gone Away. A collection of pieces centred on loss, absence and things mislaid and gone,it spans different cities and centuries and evolves into a profound,philosophical and wholly original inquiry into the nature of the Holocaust.’

    Mary McCallum, publisher (Maakaro Press), author (Blue) and blogger (Oh Audacious Book), reviews Lost and Gone Away on Jessie Mulligan’s show on Radio New Zealand

    May 9 2016. Mary, you read The Muttering Poem beautifully!

    Louise O’Brien, co-editor of New Zealand Books, reviews Lost and Gone Away on Radio New Zealand
    August 5 2015

    David Herkt reviews Lost and Gone Away in the Sunday Star Times
    July 19 2015

    Pip Adam briefly reviews Lost and Gone Away on Radio NZ
    July 27 2015





  • dear-sweet-harry

  • dear sweet harry

    Certain historical figures seem to me to emit pink light. This can take the form of a soft glow with no discernible moment of beginning. It can also be loud and vulgar, accompanied by fairground music, like a pinball machine.

    Houdini first began to light up for me when he ended his upside down straight jacket escape with ‘Then I am entirely free’… (from Dear Sweet Harry)

    ‘Teasing, funny, mysterious, impressionistic, utterly impossible to classify or to characterise by quotation or analogy – it is simply exhilarating to read, and I can’t wait to see what Jenner does next. This is poetry that is pushing at the boundaries of what we think poetry can be, or do; poetry that is unafraid to tackle difficult and important issues.’ Hugh Roberts, University of California Irvine, NZ Listener 2010.

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    dear sweet harry

    Certain historical figures seem to me to emit pink light. This can take the form of a soft glow with no discernible moment of beginning. It can also be loud and vulgar, accompanied by fairground music, like a pinball machine.

    Houdini first began to light up for me when he ended his upside down straight jacket escape with ‘Then I am entirely free’…

    When Houdini hired seven men to sit outside a left bank café in Paris, each with one letter painted on his bald head

    HOUDINI noggins
    at the Trocadero
    more lights came on. . .
    (from Dear Sweet Harry)

    Dear Sweet Harry, a collection of poems, prose, found text and images showing the activities of Harry Houdini, Mata Hari and Lynn’s grandfather Harry, won the NZ Society of Authors Jessie MacKay Prize for Best First Book
    of Poetry in 2010.