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I’m very excited to have a poem included in this fine anthology from Random House: Essential New Zealand Poems: Facing the Empty Page (eds Siobhan Harvey, James Norcliffe & Harry Ricketts). It’s in a lovely-to-hold cloth binding and has a great range of NZ poets – from the well-known and well-loved (such as Fleur Adcock, Sam Hunt, Hone Tuwhare, James K Baxter, Jenny Bornholdt, Bill Manhire, Greg O’Brien and Janet Frame) to more recent poets like Chris Tse and Joan Fleming.

Any anthology is subjective and no doubt three different editors would have come up with a different selection. (Personally, I would have included Richard von Sturmer, Tim Jones, Helen Lehndorf and a bunch of others, but then again there’s no-one in the collection I’d want to leave out). Overall though, this feels pretty representative of New Zealand poetry as a whole, and New Zealand poets in general. And it’s good to see the smaller presses represented, like Headworx and Seraph Press. Well worth reading, I reckon!

I’m also very pleased to find myself rubbing shoulders with Bill Manhire on the Best American Poetry blog in a series about New Zealand poetry curated by Greg O’Brien. I’m looking forward to future instalments and seeing what Greg has to say about New Zealand poetry & poets.

 

US-based literary magazine Shenandoah (Vol 6 No. 2) features a selection of poems by New Zealand poets, including Hinemoana Baker, Emma Barnes, James Brown, Kay Cooke, Natasha Dennerstein, Nicola Easthope, Cliff Fell, me (Janis Freegard), Rob Hack, Bernadette Hall, Siobhan Harvey, Anna Jackson, Selina Tusitala Marsh, Frankie McMillan, Maria McMillan, Emma Neale, Bill Nelson, Chris Price, Maraea Rakutaku, Harry Ricketts, Sandi Santorelli, Alice Te Punga Somerville, Tim Upperton, Sugar Magnolia Wilson and Sue Wootton.  You can listen to audio versions of the poems too.

You can also read an essay on NZ poetry by editors Lesley Wheeler (who visited New Zealand on a Fulbright scholarship last year), Max Chapnick and Drew Martin, and enjoy additional poems by Robert Bense, Roy Bentley, James Brasfield, Nancy Naomi Carlson, Melissa Dickson, Richard Foerster, Brandan Galvin, Jeff Gundy, Jared Harel, Ben Howard, Luke Johnson, Susan Ludvigson, Tom Reiter, Austin Segrest and Corrie Williamson.

There is also flash fiction by Grazie Christie, Michael Devens, Trudy Lewis, Ryan Rising, Evelyn Somers , Melissa Wyse and Julian Zabalbeascoa.

My favourite poem so far is Emma Barnes’ poem Ohio

Over and out.

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