freepost per copy – national & international

price NZ$28.00

Cold Hub Press ~ John Gibb

Early one morning, a writer begins to grow feathers and wings,

and may eventually be able to zoom off to work without taking the executive jet. A traveller visiting Porto, in northern Portugal, notices an angel in mid-air, high above. A newcomer to Berlin sits in an airport cafe and reflects on predictions about the future made nearly 50 years ago. After a trip to Docklands, Melbourne, a visitor is haunted by the dockside jellyfish ‘Opening and closing themselves like sinister/ white umbrellas’. And when a man wakes on a beach, memories are revived and he is summoned back to childhood, and to ‘something loved,/ something full of the promise of salty air, as if/ he were a lost and circling seagull, or

a lump/ of flying paper whirled up in a glassy tide of wind’.

On John Gibb’s previous collection Waking by a River of Light:

‘. . . incredibly accessible, combining Romantic conventions of emotionalism, subjectivity and reverence for nature’s constant

presence with the sense of something keenly personal and at times distinctly New Zealand.’ ––Peri Miller, Poetry New Zealand Yearbook 2018

‘ . . . a poet who reaches out for both the salve of humour and for whatever shimmer of light there is to be discovered in life’s rough

and shady patches.’ ––Kay McKenzie Cooke, Landfall Review Online


On Surprised by Hope:

‘I’d like to put myself up for the “Gauche World Championships”

and celebrate the lyricism of “Green”, the “cathedral of air”, the beautifully rendered haunting of Earls Court and, of course, “an estranged rainbow”, among so many others. Powerful, resonant language, memorable too.’ ––Tony Beyer

Surprised by Hope is the third book of poetry by Dunedin writer

John Gibb, an English honours graduate of Otago University and former crime reporter at the Whanganui Chronicle, who recently retired after more than thirty years as a science and university

reporter at the Otago Daily Times.


Summer was endless, but he was edging into old age,  

and had greyed a little. He’d also begun to notice

a few small changes; more forgetful at this stage     

of life. At times he realised he’d lost focus,  

and lost track of time more than before.     

His daily jogging seemed just as laborious                                   

and unathletic as ever, but still he slipped outdoors,    

vanishing into the early light, beyond the house.  

Under endless green trees he ran. His shoes  

disappeared into grass or tapped on roads.  

Summer was limitless, couldn’t be refused.     

Each day a warm mystery. Early sun glowed.       

He kept running up the future’s sharply rising slope.     

At first he ran in darkness, but was surprised by hope.

© John Gibb 2022  

Publication date: 07 June, 2022


John Gibb

ISBN: 978-0-473-62735-5

Softcover, 80 pp, 210 x 148mm