Janis Freegard

Janis Freegard is a New Zealand writer of fiction and poetry. She was born in South Shields, England, and spent part of her childhood in South Africa and Australia before her family settled in New Zealand when she was 12. Her latest publication is a poetry collection, Reading the Signs (The Cuba Press, 2020). Her novel, The Year of Falling, was published by Mākaro Press in 2015.

          Year of falling small

She is also the author of  poetry collections: Kingdom Animalia: the Escapades of Linnaeus (Auckland University Press, 2011), The Continuing Adventures of Alice Spider (Anomalous Press (US), 2013) and The Glass Rooster (Auckland University Press, 2015); and a co-author of AUP New Poets 3 (2008) and Meowing Part 1 (Meow Gurrrls, 2020).  Her work has appeared in many journals and anthologies, including Landfall, Out Here: An Anthology of Takatāpui and LGBTQIA+ Writers from Aotearoa (AUP), Hallelujah for 50ft Women (Bloodaxe Books), the New Zealand Listener, 100 Short Short Stories New Zealand 4 and Essential Poems of New Zealand (see the Bibliography section of the blog for a full list of publications).  She won the Open Book/Geometry Poetry Prize in 2019, held the Ema Saiko Poetry Fellowship in 2014 and is a past winner of the BNZ Katherine Mansfield Award.

Janis has degrees in science and public management and won the Prime Minister’s Award for Public Management in 2014. She lives in Wellington with an historian and works in the public service.

More Info

Wikipedia page for Janis Freegard

Academy of New Zealand Literature page

Read NZ Te Pou Muramura author page

NZ Society of Authors (PEN NZ) author page

aup new poets 3

painting by Mary McIntyre 


glass rooster cover

You can read one of her short stories here:


and some of her poems here:

Best NZ Poems


here: http://www.blackmailpress.com/JFgard13.html

here: http://www.poetrynz.net/archives/issue-27/#poem2

and here: http://nzpoetsonline.homestead.com/JF25.html

Publisher Pages:

The Cuba Press

Makaro Press

Auckland University Press

Anomalous Press


  1. I was using google to search for a list of last years NZ published Poerty. I would have been suprised to have found my self published book Sam’s Poems’ ISBN: 9780473156671 on such?
    But was interested in your search and results, and wondered where / how you made up your spreed sheet. Did it come from the National Library which issues the ISBN numbers?

    I looked to fined a contact addy for Jannis, could not see it? so have entered my message here.

    • Hi Steve
      Thanks for stopping by. I based my spreadsheet on what I found on several publishers’ websites (AUP, VUP, Steele Roberts, Seraph Press, Earl of Seacliffe Workshop, Cape Catley, Titus Books and OUP). So it’s a sample rather than a comprehensive list and it doesn’t include self-published books (only because I was using the quickest method I could think of, not because I was intentionally excluding them).

      I’ve had a quick look at the National Library Catalogue, but there were over 300 poetry-related titles published in 2009 (including anthologies and critical works), so I haven’t ploughed through them yet – maybe when I get time, I’ll do just that.


  2. Hi Janis … I see we’ve again made it onto the same “list” …. Are you going to Café Kaizen re Eat Your Words on Wednesday? Hope your novel’s coming along happily … cheers, Linda bremford

  3. Dear Janis. We thought this could be of interest to you because of your previous involvement in the works of Robin Hyde. The Iris Project: a multimedia tribute to Robin Hyde, will premiere in New Zealand during the upcoming Wellington and Dunedin Fringe Festivals in early March. Further details about the shows can be found at http://www.irisproject.nz Would be wonderful to distribute the information within your wider networks. Thanks. Wiebke (Vebka – lead vocalists)

  4. Dear Janis, I have just read your book, The Year of Falling and I am still besotted. I was born and grew in Spain and I am also a Kiwi now, after 23 year of living here. Yet, so far, nothing I ever read before by a New Zealand fiction writer made me feel that I was reading something from where I belonged to. I still feel that way, that I’m reading about home, whenever I read about most books by writers from my country of origin even after so many years of not living there. When I read books from New Zealand writers, however, I always felt I was reading literature foreign to me. Nothing to do with the language but the lack of soul of it, the story, the politics. It always tasted as a facade, a plot devised to impress someone or to get funding, something for the show or a victims story, a sorry thing or a too full of itself something. Please, do not take it as a criticism of New Zealand writers, just that the few I read made me not wanting to read more of, so I haven’t read much New Zealand literature since the few first disappointments. And then, by chance really, your book came to me and I could not put it down. I could not wait to open it again when I had interruptions. I felt home, and touched and turned inside out, caressed inside my soul. Your book said in a story everything I love about New Zealand, its people and the reason why I say I am a Kiwi too. Thanks from the bottom of my heart. Your book did this for me. I was able to feel every word as a home, finally. I can relate to a New Zealand writer that has the skill, the art and sensitivity to show the true place this is for me. I absolutely adored your book and want to read anything you ever wrote. Much admiration and kindest regards, Puri Alvarez

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