Through Slip Stream, Paula Green is interested in how to balance a challenging experience against the continuation of everyday life, and proposes small distractions and coping strategies solving cryptic crossword puzzles, for example, the mock-clues of which are scattered through the poems. Making up a fluid, intensely felt narrative, these poems are untitled and mostly short, charting time passing and seasons turning by procedures done, books read, appointments made, food cooked and dreams dreamed. The language used is deceptively simple, but the poems speak to each other by these links, tricks and coping games. Though clearly deriving from Green's own experiences of surviving breast cancer, the sequence is not a simple, therapeutic record of true happenings but a carefully crafted collection after the fact, 'she doesn't try to make poetry out of her experience' against 'but keeps a diary like a scrap basket, just in case'. Slip Stream is both a moving but uplifting book about a experience with cancer and a writer's thoughtful exploration of how life may (or may not) be expressed in words.
Paula Green is a writer, reviewer and teacher who lives on Auckland's west coast. She has published four solo collections with AUP as well as the illustrated anthology she wrote with 50 children, Flamingo Bendalingo. She has also published children's books including Aunt Concertina and her Niece Evalina and Macaroni Moon. Green edited 2007 Best NZ Poems, was a judge of the 2008 NZ Post Secondary School Poetry Competition and is the poetry reviewer for the NZ Herald.