Petry Shelf connections: ‘The view from here’ series on Poet Laureate blog

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Peter Ireland introduced ‘The view from here’ series on April 14th on NZ Poet Laureate blog:

It is a time of the view from here, where each of us is, ensconced in our bubble, and so this seemed like a good peg to suggest to former poets’ laureate, on which to hang a few poems. The response to the invitation was generous and diverse in range. With poems came email conversations and further views, ‘of this place, this time of year, new footsteps overlaying the old ones’ from Michele Leggott. This view of Bluff port from Cilla McQueen: ‘In my study looking out at the port. The cranes immobile, little movement on the wharf, occasional trucks across the bridge. Log piles, woodchips, containers, pale blue sky, bright sun, slanting shadows, misty horizon. It feels like a solemn public holiday.


Over a number of days in April, former New Zealand Poets Laureate posted a poem from lockdown:

Vincent O’Sullivan  ‘In these troubled times’

Ian Wedde  ‘The view from here’

Elizabeth Smither ‘Cilla, writing’

Michele Leggott ‘h e l l o   a n d   g o o d b y e’

Cilla McQueen ‘Breach’

Brian Turner ‘Between Shingle Creek and Fruitlands’

Bill Manhire  ‘Takahe’


This is a terrific suite of poems that take you travelling. I got to hear the Laureates in Wellington read togther and it was a memorable occasion. This is a taste of that.

You can read the poems here.








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