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The Dangerous Country of Love and Marriage

  • The Dangerous Country of Love and Marriage by Amy Leigh Wicks
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A collection of sharp, sensory poems that build a narrative of love and marriage, migration and isolation.

‘. . . Tonight marks a thousand dry nights and I want
to show you something. It’s a little cave
hollowed out by my thirst, a place for you to live.’

 In this powerful collection, Amy Leigh Wicks takes the reader on a literal journey from New York City to Wellington and Kaikōura, and on an emotional journey from youth into ‘the dangerous country of love and marriage’. Wicks produces sharp, sensory poems that circle around love and commitment, migration and isolation. With a powerful narrative and emotional arc, this collection introduces us to an important new voice in New Zealand poetry.

‘The dark ocean from the window is still,
the waves are sparkling as in photographs
and all I can think is how I want
to cut through the sun setting on the purple horizon
with a pair of big scissors.’


Amy Leigh Wicks was a New York poet on a road trip when she met a man in Wyoming and fell in love. The two married in New York after she completed her MFA at The New School University, then rode motorcycles to California. They sold their bikes for plane tickets to Wellington, New Zealand, and began to build a life together. In New Zealand, Wicks completed a PhD at Victoria University’s International Institute of Modern Letters. Amy Leigh Wicks is the author of Orange Juice and Rooftops and her poems have appeared on The Best American Poetry blog, in Sport, Ora Nui, and Ika Journal. She lives with her husband in Kaikōura. After the 7.8 earthquake in 2016 caused unprecedented damage along the east coast of the South Island, she joined the recovery and rebuild project as a Communications Advisor, while completing her PhD.



‘. . . an intricate weave of themes, motifs, forms and sound effects that builds tension between dark and light, home and out of home, the personal and the distant.’ – Paula Green

‘These poems are very successful, lighting each other up and building an involving sense of the poet trying to adapt to new and different worlds.’ – Harry Ricketts

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