Left of the Equator Press

Books from Aotearoa for a world beyond capitalism and colonialism.

Splendid Bush

Splendid Bush

Queer poetry by Clare Havell-Shufflebotham.

Splendid Bush is a queer reckoning with love, its warpath, motherhood and ghosts (of capital, of violence, of sweet lemon trees). Part protection spell, part map of self-dissolution, this collection is an ode to hookgrass and an offering of dirt.

The works are at times ruthless, at times tender nano-essays on the rebound, queer haunting, the parties you should have left, and all that you want to stay. This is not a break up album, although the greatest hits do make an appearance. Rather, it takes the wounds that motherhood lays bare, and produces queer nature magic as antidote and as mirror.

Written in the crucible that is suburbia with young children, Splendid Bush questions the spaces between ourselves and ‘nature’, macho colonial bodies, violent bodies of the state, and our own. Above all, it is about the power of Bush.

Havell-Shufflebotham arrived home to Aotearoa not long before the pandemic hit, after a decade in London and Berlin. She has a Masters in Documentary Practice and is currently writing up her PhD thesis on experimental strategies of anonymity in documentary film.

Published December 2022. ISBN 9780473662639

"This collection of poetry brings out the best in me. It makes me remember ways of seeing and feeling that suit me. Such efficiency in the telling of them is satisfying. They are witty and sometimes snide. They manage to face the hard things in life and also describe beauty and strength with grace." - Marion from Unity Books

Buy Splendid Bush.

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