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Poetry  (for details on the availability of Lynley's publications click on BOOKS above)



'A poet can survive everything but a misprint'.

                                                                                                                    Oscar Wilde



Essays, pen sketches and poetry describing a personal journey in the remote Catlins of New Zealand’s South Island from the Nuggets at Kaka Point to Awarua Bay in the deep south.


Published by Morepork Press



'Poetry, information and delightful drawings of the Catlins . . . the facility for drawing us in without condescension makes Lynley's poetry so easy to read'.

                                                                                                                  Mataura Ensign


'The poems, an amalgam of the natural and human worlds, evoking wildlife, terrain and activities such as 'sky cycling' on Tautuku beach have inspired Christchurch jazz pianist/composer, Doug Caldwell, to compose The Catlins Suite'.

                                                                                                                  Southland Times


This book inspired New Zealand jazz pianist Doug Caldwell to write a suite of music entitled The Catlin's Suite.  Here is one track from the collection. 

Catlins Sketch - Doug Caldwell
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'There's no money in poetry, but then there's no poetry in money either'.

                                                                                                                                                 Robert Graves


REACH FOR A POEM: Fifteen Years of Scanning the South, 2008

In response to many requests over the fifteen years of my Scanning the South poetry column in The Southland Times, I compiled this collection. I once wrote a poem about the real possibility of my newspaper poems being wrapped around fish & chips, so it’s nice, from time to time, to give them a more permanent home.


The poems are chosen from more than three hundred so these are the ones that really resonate with me and, I hope, with you. Pied Piper Day, Erebus the Ice Dragon and Bottled Up are among those which have been frequently copied for readers. It’s so good to strike an answering chord of experience and feeling. I do hope that, through these poems, you might see the familiar in a new way.


Published by Morepork Press.




'Here are seventy poems selected from fifteen years of the poetry column, 'Scanning the South'. The book is arranged in nine sections, including 'Up Central', 'Fiordland', 'Seasons', World Events', and memory tugs in the section 'Were You There?'. There are in Dear's book of art and poetry some truly lovely pieces the reader can pick up at leisure and return to. When she writes about a place, she distils its essence.’

                                                                                                                           Southland Times


‘Initially the brief for Scanning the South was that these poems would be about Invercargill and Southland landmarks . Then the subject matter widened, and not just geographically. Seasons, creatures great and small, events as monumental as 9/11 and the Erebus disaster – or less-than-monumental as the Rotary book sale, all found expression. The distilled collection, Reach for a Poem, carries a reassurance; ‘When you reach for one of these poems, you won’t fall off the ladder’ .                                                                                                                                                                     Southland Times

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