Poetry Shelf Spring Season -poetry fans make picks




This year I have hosted four seasons on Poetry Shelf, and I am tempted to do it again next year with four new themes.

For Spring Season 2017, I invited poetry fans from diverse fields to pick a New Zealand poem they loved and write a brief note about it.


As I am reading my way through New Zealand women’s poetry for my big book, I keep rediscovering poems that strike me in new ways and I immediately want to share with the world. I am sitting in my kitchen, and I just shout out to the bush: This is so skin-pricklingly GOOD!

I have just read my way through Jenny Bornholdt’s collections and found my old favourites, poems like ‘The Rocky Shore,’ still resonate so surely. At the moment, I am rereading Emma Neale, and her very best poems are extraordinary occasions that draw upon the wide reach of the world along with the more intimate alcoves of mother and poet.

What difference does a poem make in a disgruntled world precariously on edge? I don’t know! I just know that it gives voice to the ordinary and to the astonishing. You can read a poem with a cup of tea like a kick-start gingernut – and it is the most wonderfully satisfying ritual.

Thanks to all the poets and publishers who gave permission and to all the poetry fans who picked the poems and wrote the notes.

Over the next two weeks I am posting 16 poems.








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