Congratulations on your short-list placing!
What poetry books have you read in the past year?
Say Something Back – Denise Riley
The Bonniest Companie – Kathleen Jamie
Dark Sparring – Selina Tusitala Marsh
Citizen – Claudia Rankine
Deep River Talk Hone Tuwhare
What other reading attracts you?
Fiction – La Rose Louise Erdrich; Parable of the Sower Octavia Butler; A Girl Is a Half-Formed Thing Eimear McBride; Sleeps Standing Moetu Witi Ihimaera with Hemi Kelly; Foreign Soil Maxine Beneba Clarke
History – Tuai Alison Jones and Kuni Kaa Jenkins; Inglorious Empire: What the British Did To India Shashi Tharoor
Journalism and Essays – Feel Free Zadie Smith; False River Paula Morris; The Best and the Brightest David Halberstam
Name some key starting points (or themes) for your collection
wāhi, places, the ambience and etymology of words, kupu kōtuitui
Did anything surprise you as the poems come into being?
Yes, the thematic intensity and interconnections as the collection e-merged.
Find up to 5 individual words that pitch your book to a reader.
negotiating, rerenga, ecoconscious, beò, karadow
Which poem particularly falls into place for you?
What matters most when you write a poem?
What do you loathe in poetry?
I don’t loathe anything or nothing in poetry.
Where do you like to write poems?
What are strengths and lacks in our poetry scenes?
Te reo writing and performance is a strength – there should be more promotion of it.
The performance and publishing scene is quite inclusive and can be more so.
More consistent newspaper reviews of poetry and media outlets paying to publish poems.
Have you seen a festival poetry session (anywhere) that has blown you off your seat (or had some other significant impact)?
Performances at hui for Te Hā ki Tāmaki – Contemporary Maori Writers by Whaitiri Mikaere and Te Kahu Rolleston pass on their energy and aroha for te reo with an integrated intensity.
If you could curate a dream poetry session at The Auckland Writers Festival which poets would be there and who would mc or chair it?
Any of the poets could mc or chair it.
Te Kahu Rolleston
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