Wellington poet Jane Arthur is the winner of the Sarah Broom Poetry Prize 2018.
Arthur is a Wellington-based poet with a Masters in Creative Writing from IIML at Victoria University, a Whitireia Polytech Diploma in Publishing and an MA in English from the University of Auckland. She has worked as an editor and bookseller for over 15 years and co-founded The Sapling, a NZ children’s website. Her poems have appeared in numerous journals.
Stuart Airey, Wes Lee and Robyn Pickens joined Arthur as prize finalists at the Sarah Broom Poetry event at the Auckland Writers Festival on Sunday 20 May. Each read work from their prize submissions, introduced by Paula Green, who stood in for guest judge and New York poetry icon, Eileen Myers.
Myers described the quality of the entries for the prize as ‘really high’. After whittling down the list, they said ‘there’s an incredible intimacy about sharing that moment with a group of writers you’ve never met and then hunkering down finally with a small bunch of them’.
Of Arthur, Myers said that ‘poetry’s a connection to everything which I felt in all these poets but in this final winning one the most. There’s an unperturbed confident “real” here.’
The Sarah Broom Poetry Prize was established to celebrate the life and work of Sarah Broom (1972-2013), author of Tigers at Awhitu and Gleam. It is now in its fifth year, and we are pleased again to be working together with the Auckland Writers Festival to showcase and celebrate New Zealand poetry.