Jack Ross's latest book, A Clearer View of the Hinterland: Poems & Sequences 1981-2014 (Wellington: HeadworX, 2014), is his fifth full-length poetry collection. His other publications include three novels, a novella, and two books of short fiction. He has also edited a number of anthologies, books and literary magazines, including (from 2014) Poetry NZ. He blogs at The Imaginary Museum and works as a Senior Lecturer in Creative Writing at Massey University's Albany campus.
It's hard to account fully for my obsession with the TV reality show Ice Road Truckers. I suspect, at times, that it's as much to do with the ice as the actual trucking. Nevertheless, I have a persistent fantasy of myself as an Ice Road Trucker, driving endlessly across the barren tundras of Alaska or the wilds of Northern Canada. Hence the title of the first poem in this selection. I think it gives a certain flavour of longing to the rest, too: the dream of doing something useful in the world, and the suspicion that this might not always – necessarily – be a dream. I've added a few recent adaptations / translations – from Pasternak, Dante, and Chinese poet Liu Ke Zhang – at the end.
The following poems appeared in A Clearer View of the Hinterland: "New Zealand's Next Top Model Speaks," "The Darkness," "Mayday," "Last Conference before Passchendaele," "The Jay Poems," "Thinking of My Father," "12-12-12," "The Other Side," "Howard," "Leaving Town" (pp. 146, 149, 152-53, 154, 155-69, 177, 178-79, 180-82, 183-84 & back cover blurb). Thanks to Mark Pirie for permission to include them here.
‘Trying to Write' was included in the anthology Essential New Zealand Poems: Facing the Empty Page. Ed. Siobhan Harvey, James Norcliffe & Harry Ricketts (Auckland: Godwit, 2014): 232.
‘Our Lady' was collected in my Social and Cultural Studies monograph To Terezín (Massey University, 2007): 70.