Latitudes of Exile: Poems 1965-1975


Latitudes of Exile records the development of one of the most meticulous poets in the history of New Zealand literature.  That Michael Jackson is a technical perfectionist is obvious throughout this book: the control of rhythm, tempo, and assonance gives his work a formal dramatic tension that makes for musical excitement in every piece.  Considering the long period over which these poems were written, there is also a quite extraordinary sense of a mature authorial presence pervading the whole book: a stability of voice, of tone, of perspective, and of private myth.” - Howard McNaughton

“Michael Jackson writes good and effective poems, not because he is a New Zealander trying to find his identity, not because he has worked in welfare programs in Australia, England and Zaire, nor because he is a social anthropologist … but because he is a craftsman.  His way of saying is inseparably part of what is being said … such that a small miracle may occur and a scene is evoked, humanity enlarged, thoughts and feelings generated within the compass of a few lines.” - H. Winston Rhodes