This month we publish the first collection of Len Lye’s poetry. Mostly known around the world for his experimental films and kinetic sculpture, it’s arguable that Lye’s largest creative undertakings were literary. We published Lye’s 1941 essay ‘Individual Happiness Now: A Definition of a Common Purpose’ in 2017 and decided it would be suitable to follow up with a collection of Lye’s poetry.
Lye’s poetry was published in various places during his lifetime, including Life and Letters Today and the Tiger’s Eye. Unknown to most of his audience, poems accompanied many of his paintings and were often written on the back of the work.
Thanks to the work of Lye’s biographer, Roger Horrocks, the artist’s poetry has been available to contemporary audiences, notably at the NZEPC. Working with Roger to produce the first printed collection of Lye’s poetry has been a highlight of my time at the Govett-Brewster Art Gallery/Len Lye Centre.
You can purchase Poems here for only NZ$12.