from ‘Neon Daze’

Image of Amy BrownAmy Brown is a poet, novelist and teacher. In 2012 she completed a PhD in creative writing at the University of Melbourne. She is the author of The Propaganda Poster Girl (Victoria University Press, 2008), which was shortlisted at the 2009 New Zealand Book Awards, and The Odour of Sanctity (VUP, 2013), a contemporary epic poem. She is also the author of a series of children’s novels, Pony Tales’.

Brown comments: The circumstances of this composition were freshly post-partum; this excerpt starts twenty days after giving birth to my son. I wrote a “poem” (or something) each day to stay sane – as a kind of paperweight to keep myself in place. The footnotes were added a year later by someone less sleep-deprived, reading back over the original entries and thinking more about words and less about bodies. The whole thing was written without an audience in mind – not consciously, anyway. If I’d thought about publishing as I wrote, I probably wouldn’t have written that I despised my husband. If I hadn’t met Brian Blanchfield, who told me to read Maggie Nelson’s The Argonauts, then had Joan Fleming read the first version of Neon Daze and say it wasn’t the most morally and aesthetically reprehensible thing she’d ever seen, then I wouldn’t have published it. They are to blame/thank.’

​Poem source details >


Amy on writing Neon Daze (The Spinoff, 11 November 2019)

Victoria University Press author page

Academy of New Zealand Literature profile 

Photographer credit: Erin Scudder