The New Zealand Poetry Society International Poetry Competition 2022 is open!

I edited the 2021 New Zealand Poetry Society anthology Kissing a Ghost, with the invaluable assistance of Anne Harré who did the design and production work – and I’m also going to edit the 2022 anthology.

Cover of poetry anthology Kissing a Ghost

Each year’s anthology includes all the winning, placed, highly commended and commended poems from the four categories of the NZPS’s International Poetry Competition, which means around half the poems in the anthology are chosen by the judges. My job as editor is to go through all the remaining competition entries and select those that I like most and that will make for a rounded anthology that works as a book.

Check out the competition info below from the New Zealand Poetry Society and start putting your competition entry together! The competition closes on 31 May 2022.

The New Zealand Poetry Society Competition for 2022 is open for entries!

Our competition is open to all members and non-members, worldwide, with members receiving an entry fee discount.

There are cash prizes to be won in each category, and all entries are eligible to be published in our anthology. Our annual anthology includes all placed and commended poems, as well as a selection of other favourite poems from the competition.

Poets can enter one of these four sections:
Open verse for adults (18 years and over)
Open verse for juniors (17 years or younger)
Haiku for adults (18 years and over)
Haiku for juniors (17 years or younger)

Class teachers can enter multiple poems from their students, using the school group form. There is also a discount for entering multiple entries as a school group.

Entry forms for all categories including school groups are now available to download on our website. Remember to read through the guidelines and rules for the section you’re submitting too, we’d hate to see your work disqualified. Since this international competition is open to all, forward this email to any and all friends, family, co-writers and fellow poetry enthusiasts, get the word out there!

Entries must be received by 31 May 2022.

Keen to enter? Click here for submission guidelines and entry forms!

Due to COVID-19, our competition is running solely online this year. If you have previously entered by post and would like guidance in entering online, we are happy to help. For this and any other queries, please email the Competition Coordinator, Georgia Wearing, at competition@poetrysociety.org.nz

Three New Poetry Books: Shelter, Up Flynn Road…, and Kissing a Ghost

One of my writing ambitions for 2022 is to get cracking on a new collection of poetry – my last few years have been very much about climate activism and, when I’ve been writing, climate fiction. Poetry is my first love as a writer and one I’m always keen to return to.

As a herald of what I hope will be more focus on reading and writing poetry in 2022,* here’s a review of a new poetry collection by Kirsten Le Harivel plus news of an anthology I contributed to and one I’ve edited.

*There is that idea for a sequel to Where We Land, though…

Review: Shelter, by Kirsten Le Harivel

Shelter is a collection of precisely observed poems that traverse cities, countries and places important to the poet: Glasgow, Ahmedabad, Kāpiti, and many others: a Tuapeka sheep truck, the Isle of Bute, Hiroshima, the corner of Cuba and Manners.

Kirsten Le Harivel has a sharp eye for people, places and the ways they interact, piling up words into pictures – that’s especially the case for the many fine prose poems in Shelter. There are many memorable lines here, and for much of the collection, the effect of the poems is cumulative rather than immediate. Helen Lehndorf says in her endorsement of the collection, “Le Harivel writes elegant, restrained poems which will soothe you, move you and ultimately, shelter you.”


Cover of poetry collection Shelter

It was the less restrained poems in Shelter, those with a clearer path through the elegant surface to the thoughts and feelings within, that appealed to me most. In her endorsement, Lynn Jenner comments that “Shelter contains the best poem about sex that I have ever read,” and it was the poems about sex and love that really stood out for me: funny, passionate, pissed off, or all three. I won’t quote “Bedroom”, but you’ll remember it once you’ve read it!

I will quote “Pillow talk” (p. 62):

“If you were here
the motes would float out
the upper window,
the breeze would linger,
there would be no interruptions.
I would ride your bed

and the smell of us would mingle…”

A beautiful poem about love, sex and recollection – but even better is “Writing conversations”, a love poem brought to you by the letter F where desire and The Oxford English Dictionary lose out to the Olympics: love as a sprint, not a marathon.

Shelter is powerful, controlled, and often smooth – yet it’s the sharper edges I’ll remember most.

New Anthology: Up Flynn Road, across Cook Strait, through the Magellanic Crowd

My poem “Interrupted Journey” is included in this new anthology of travel poems, edited by Norman P. Franke and published by Orplid Press. It’s a lovely production and there are some excellent poems here – find out more and buy your copy from Poppies Bookshop, Hamilton.

Cover of poetry anthology Up Flynn Road...

New Anthology: Kissing a Ghost

With Anne Harré, who did the design and production work, I edited this year’s New Zealand Poetry Society anthology Kissing a Ghost, which contains all the winning, placed, highly commended and commended entries from the NZPS International Poetry Competition 2021 plus additional poems I chose from among all the entries. Check out the lovely cover Anne designed!


Cover of poetry anthology Kissing a Ghost

This anthology contains a lot of fine contemporary poetry and haiku from Aotearoa and abroad. If you’d like to buy a copy, here’s how:

For New Zealand Orders:
https://buy.stripe.com/5kA7sP65zatkfoA5km

For Australian Orders: https://buy.stripe.com/cN23cz3Xr1WO90c3cf

For Rest of the World Orders:
https://buy.stripe.com/cN2eVh1PjdFwa4g9AE

Year’s Best Aotearoa New Zealand Science Fiction & Fantasy, Volume III

Cover of Year's Best Aotearoa New Zealand Science Fiction & Fantasy Volume III

I’m really pleased that my climate fiction story “The Double-Cab Club”, first published in Stuff’s Forever Project in January 2020, was selected for inclusion in this excellent annual anthology from Paper Road Press, edited by Marie Hodgkinson. Check out the Table of Contents – lots of fine writers and stories included! – and get your print or ebook copy.

Year’s Best Aotearoa New Zealand Science Fiction & Fantasy: Volume 3, edited by Marie Hodgkinson

The third volume in our annual anthology series celebrating the strength and diversity of local SFF writing.

Cover by Rebekah Tisch.

Buy the paperback here, or the ebook at all major ebook retailers.

Table of Contents:

New Zealand Gothic, by Jack Remiel Cottrell
Synaesthete, by Melanie Harding-Shaw
Kōhuia, by T Te Tau
Death confetti, by Zoë Meager
For Want of Human Parts, by Casey Lucas
How To Get A Girlfriend (When You’re A Terrifying Monster), by Marie Cardno
Salt White, Rose Red, by Emily Brill-Holland
Florentina, by Paul Veart
Otto Hahn Speaks to the Dead, by Octavia Cade
The Waterfall, by Renee Liang
The Double-Cab Club, by Tim Jones
Wild Horses, by Anthony Lapwood
You and Me at the End of the World, by Dave Agnew
The Secrets She Eats, by Nikky Lee
How To Build A Unicorn, by AJ Fitzwater
Even the Clearest Water, by Andi C. Buchanan
You Can’t Beat Wellington on a Good Day, by Anna Kirtlan
The Moamancer (A Musomancer short story), by Bing Turkby
They probably play the viola, by Jack Remiel Cottrell
Crater Island, by P.K. Torrens
A Love Note, by Melanie Harding-Shaw
The Turbine at the End of the World, by James Rowland

Year’s Best Aotearoa New Zealand Science Fiction & Fantasy: Volume 3
Edited by Marie Hodgkinson
ISBN 978-1-99-115030-1

More Favourable Waters: Aotearoa Poets Respond to Dante’s Purgatory

I’m very pleased to be one of the 33 poets included in More Favourable Waters, a new anthology published by the Cuba Press, which is being launched on Thursday 25 March at Unity Books from 6-7.30pm:

https://www.eventfinda.co.nz/2021/double-book-launch-more-favourable-waters-quantum-of-dante/wellington

Much to my frustration, I can’t attend the launch, but I’d love to be there.

Here’s more info about the book. Writing a poem for this anthology which incorporated a fragment of Dante’s poem, in Clive James’ translation, was a formidable challenge, but one I enjoyed! I’m very much looking forward to reading the anthology.

About the book

More Favourable Waters, edited by Marco Sonzogni and Timothy Smith, is an anthology of contemporary poets from Aotearoa New Zealand commemorating one of the world’s great poets, Dante Alighieri (1265–1321), 700 years after his death.

Each of the 33 poets has written a poem of 33 lines inspired by and including a short passage from one of the 33 cantos of Dante’s Purgatory, the second part of his epic The Divine Comedy.

Airini Beautrais • Marisa Cappetta • Kay McKenzie Cooke • Mary Cresswell • Majella Cullinane • Sam Duckor-Jones • Nicola Easthope • David Eggleton • Michael Fitzsimons • Janis Freegard • Anahera Gildea • Michael Harlow Jeffrey Paparoa Holman • Anna Jackson • Andrew Johnston • Tim Jones • Elizabeth Kirkby-McLeod • Hugh Lauder • Vana Manasiadis • Mary McCallum • Elizabeth Morton • Kōtuku Titihuia Nuttall • Vincent O’Sullivan • Robin Peace • Helen Rickerby • Reihana Robinson • Robert Sullivan • Steven Toussaint • Jamie Trower • Tim Upperton • Sophie van Waardenberg • Bryan Walpert • Sue Wootton

https://thecubapress.nz/shop/more-favourable-waters/

A Vase and a Vast Sea

Adrienne Jansen and Jenny Nimon talking about the new anthology "A Vase and Vast Sea", which is also pictured

I’ve very happy to say that my poem “Tuesdays” is included in the new anthology from Escalator Press, A Vase and a Vast Sea.

Pre-sales are now open for this anthology – get in quick, because it’s a limited print run.

From the Escalator Press blog:

Escalator Press is pleased to announce an upcoming publication, A Vase and a Vast Sea. You may have heard that the Whitireia Creative Writing Programme and its journal, 4th Floor, were brought to an end last year when the polytechnic discontinued almost but not all writing courses. The news was a blow to many of us in the literary community, who valued the support the Programme gave to the writing community of Aotearoa.

To mark the 27-year legacy of the Creative Writing Programme, Escalator Press is publishing A Vase and a Vast Sea – a collection of poetry and short prose selected from 4th Floor.

This collection is a reunion of writers such as Renée, Maggie Rainey-Smith, Barbara Else, Rata Gordon, Alison Glenny, Tim Jones and Adrienne Jansen, and is an essential keepsake of New Zealand literature and a much-loved writing course.

Watch the video: