Bob Orr (Williams 1963 – 1967), one of New Zealand’s greatest poets and a boatman working on Waitemata Harbour, has published his eighth poetry collection, Odysseus in Woolloomooloo.
The collection is made up of metaphorical lyrics that take you on a journey, gifting you with a vivid picture of the person or place Orr is writing about.
His writing seems effortless but with his collections taking years to produce, it is something that has taken him great dedication and patience. Odysseus in Woolloomooloo is made up of six years of work, writing during his spare time or when out at sea.
His love for poetry started when he was a teenager. In fact, some of his early work was published in school magazines while at St Paul’s. “It’s just something that got into my blood from an early age,” says Orr.
“I had a very good English teacher called Rodney Hamel (staff 1963-2000). He may have contributed towards my interest in poetry. He taught people to appreciate language.”
Orr has another book planned for the future, a ninth collection. The centenary of the war has brought up a lot of emotion for him and has created a stimulus for his next assemblage of poems.
“My grandfather was a Gallipoli veteran in the battlefields of France and I am starting to write some stuff
centered around him. …It is my way of honoring his life.”
Nothing is set in stone for Orr’s next book; he isn't working towards a particular deadline but says a new release is definitely in the pipeline.