by the lapels

Wes Lee


These poems are raw, frank, yet exquisitely crafted. Some of the themes covered are violence — domestic and sexual — and mental health.

SKU: 9781990007057 Category: Tags: , ,


‘Raw, frank, yet exquisitely crafted’, By the Lapels is Wes Lee’s second full-length collection of poetry. An oblique narrative told in fragments, scenes half-glimpsed. The poems unfold, adopting a variety of poetic personas, interrogating the body, interrogating memory, highlighting a tenuous sense of existence, a constant negotiation with being in the world.

I was delighted by her ability to explore form and deploy a lucid, image-laden, evocative sense in her writing … I kept thinking as I read these poems what they constantly achieve is aligned with the logic of écriture féminine, and of what Irigaray promised us women writers would eventually achieve: ‘Don’t weep. One day we will learn to say ourselves.’ — Jen Webb, University of Canberra

‘The work is full of dark intimations and melancholy … One is pummelled by life and weirdly joyous at the incredibly frank state of arrival of their own being in writing.’ — Eileen Myles, the Sarah Broom Poetry Prize 2018

About the author

Wes Lee lives in Paekakariki. Her previous collections include Shooting Gallery (Steele Roberts Aotearoa, 2016), and a pamphlet Body, Remember (Eyewear Publishing, London, 2017). Her work has appeared in a wide array of literary journals and anthologies in New Zealand, Australia and the UK including The Stinging FlyPoetry New ZealandNew Writing ScotlandWesterlyThe London MagazineLandfallCorditePoetry LondonThe University of Canberra Vice-Chancellor’s Poetry Prize Anthology 2019. She has won a number of awards for her writing including The BNZ Katherine Mansfield Literary Award; The Bronwyn Tate Memorial Award; The Dan Davin Literary Award. Most recently she was a finalist in the Sarah Broom Poetry Prize 2018, and the winner of the Poetry New Zealand Prize 2019 (Massey University Press).

Additional information

Dimensions 160 × 235 mm