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

Science Fiction Author Haiku

Although I’m the co-editor of a science fiction poetry anthology, I have a great deal to learn about the many intersections of poetry and science fiction.

Scott Green, a past president of the Science Fiction Poetry Association, sent me a review copy of his ebook anthology Private Worlds: A Revised Atlas, which contains short poems – mainly haiku – about science fiction, fantasy and horror writers and performers. Some of these poems appealed to me more than others, and Scott has kindly allowed me to share a few of my favourites with you.

Le Guin’s World

Universe is a forest,
each path full of danger where treasure is sought,
each path full of treasure where danger is sought.

(This makes me think of Ursula Le Guin’s The Word for World is Forest, one of the works often cited as an influence of James Cameron’s Avatar.)

Lovecraft’s World

A cold wind moves
between suns

Leviathans playing obscure
using humanity
in hidden moves.

Sladek’s World

Eyes followed him
across the room
on tiny, padded feet.

I like the way in which these poems catch the essence of each author: Ursula Le Guin, H.P. Lovecraft and the sadly under-appreciated John Sladek. If you know your science fiction authors, then I think you’ll get quite a bit out of Private Worlds.

The eBook, which is also available in mobipocket format for handheld devices, is available exclusively at Abbott ePublishing online (, which is a publisher located in Scott’s hometown of Manchester, New Hampshire. It sells for US$2.49.