Lifeblood: A Book of Poems
"Memorable and insightful. ... Thumbs up for Hayward's work"
Evening Standard, 9 May 2003
"... as an academic, and now as a poet and fiction writer, Hayward has achieved much. This is a complex book, and deserves a much longer review. Hayward is at home with the visceral, the cut and thrust of argument, war and death, pain and revenge.... The poems are racy and innovative, a definite cut above the moderate fare currently on offer. You enter a whole new world when you read Joel Hayward's poetry."
Southern Ocean Review, Issue 27 (12th April 2003)
"Hayward's eclectic poetry reflects his enigmatic mind. ... His poems are passionate and full of rich images and exert a strong and dignified intelligence. Hayward exerts a courageous strength, rebelling against his past creative constraints, and in perhaps a flush of originality and ambitious flair, has achieved a work of art."
Chaff, 14 July 2003, p. 23.
"The author sets out to deliver poetry that is relevant and accessible to the whole community. This he achieves. ... We are treated to a fascinating "OE" from the comfort of our favourite armchair drawn up to the log fire. ... So are you going on a journey? Staying by the fire? Either way you'll find Joel Hayward's Lifeblood a useful addition to your library."
Valley Micropress, August 2003
"New Zealand poetry" is a loaded phrase often used to denote writers' heavy use of, and in some cases reliance on, specific Kiwi social and cultural motifs and poetic styling. Lifeblood: A Book of Poems does not snugly fit that description. The author is a New Zealander who has gained abundant inspiration from his experiences and observations in this picturesque and sparsely populated nation. But he has also travelled widely in Europe, America, Asia and elsewhere, and thus had haunting, frightening, frustrating, amusing, delightful and fascinating experiences within other nations and cultures. His relaxed and fluid poetry, expressed in various styles and always with verve and insight, reflects the authors breadth of experience as well as his reflections on those most mysterious of beliefs: animism and humanism.