The Millerton Sequences by Leicester Kyle


ISBN: 978-0-9922453-5-1

Selected and introduced by Jack Ross. Including the poem ‘Instead Of, In Memory’ by David Howard

The Millerton Sequences represent the very best work from the second half of ex-Anglican minister Leicester Kyle’s writing career: the Millerton period, dating roughly from his departure from Auckland in April 1998, after the death of his first wife Miriel, to his own death in Christchurch in July 2006.

Beginning with a short sequence founded in Leicester’s expert knowledge of Botany, ‘Five Flowers at Millerton Mine’; the selection moves on to ‘Picnic In The Mangatini,’ which is probably as close as Leicester ever got to a straightforward set of “nature” poems; thence to a meditative evocation of place, ‘Rain,’ then to a work of ecological protest against the proposed strip-mining of the Millerton plateau, ‘Death of a Landscape’; then a searching personal confession, written towards the very end of his life, ‘The Catheter Club’; and lastly to ‘Rain Poems,’ which, in aggregate, sound like a bittersweet farewell to the West Coast and its weather.


The Rev. Leicester Kyle (1937-2006) was born in Christchurch, where he trained as an apprentice at the Botanical Gardens before, in his twenties, entering the Anglican church. He took early retirement in 1995, shortly before the death of his first wife Miriel from cancer. He spent the last seven years of his life living in the tiny hamlet of Millerton, on the west coast of the South Island, before his own untimely death from cancer at the age of 69.
Having specialised in fiction and short stories in middle life, he turned to poetry in his fifties, and compiled a large body of work of high quality, equally informed by his strong interests in ecology and poetics. All of Leicester’s twenty-odd books of poetry, together with a substantial selection of unpublished work, are now available on the website