PLC English teacher and poet, Roland Leach has released his latest work, ‘Obliquity’ – a collection of poems about fathers and fishing, coastlines and Captain Cook.

Roland Leach has been inspiring PLC students for more than 30 years, instilling in them a love of literature.

1992 PLC graduate, Jo Hocking recently expressed her appreciation for Mr Leach on a Facebook post, writing…

‘Mr Leach has had a major influence on my career path and at the time I did not realise how lucky I was. He perfected my writing for which I am forever grateful!’

As well as being a teacher and writer, Mr Leach set up a poetry publishing company, Sunline Press, in 2000, with the aim of publishing Australian poets ‘in hardback, elegant editions’.

We sat down with Roland to find out more about his love for poetry and his new book, Obliquity.

What do you love so much about poetry? 

It is a form that allows us to write things that may not be expressed as subtly or nuanced as other forms.

What/who inspires your poems?

I love to write about the ocean, or at least use the ocean as a setting for poems or as a metaphor. Sometimes as kids running along the beach or surfing; as a setting for early sailors crossing the world; as metaphors where the water and earth meet to express change or adaptation.

I like the idea of its fluidity, where we defy gravity, and where we might become something different from the earth-bound self.

Who are your favourite poets? 

Ted Hughes, John Burnside, Anne Michaels… they change from month to month!

Why did you call the collection of poems ‘Obliquity’? 

Obliquity refers to the 23-degree tilt on the Earth’s axis. The book was going to be titled ‘Tilt’ but two poetry books in Australia have been called that in the last five years. The first poem in the collection is called ‘Tilt’ and the image of ‘angles’ and ‘tilts’ appear throughout the book. It suggests the different angles we see the world.

 

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