Tomorrow I am launching a new season on Poetry Shelf. I have invited a number of readers to pick a handful of Aotearoa poems they love. No easy task! I have trouble reducing all the poems I love to an anthology, so I know assembling a tiny gathering is a challenge. Over the coming months you will see the choices of Tara Black, Victor Rodger, Emma Espiner, Peter Ireland, Claire Mabey, Foodcourt, a crew from AWF, Sally Blundell, Rebecca K Reilly and Francis Cooke, among others. I am both excited and moved by this season – especially because these readers have put in their own time and enthusiasms to share a connective love of poetry.
This photograph is as close as I get to the ocean at the moment. The blurry photo is standing in for my blurry mind. Me walking up and down the road to gaze out to the Tasman Sea. For so many of us in Tāmaki Makaurau, we get to the ocean at the moment by reading, by dreaming and finding new and old ways to be and stay at home. Music helps. Cooking comfort food definitely helps. Poetry too can be such a connecting delight, reaching across the divides to fingertap warmth, ideas, feelings, music, whether soothing or spiky.
I am grateful to the readers, poets and publishers who have contributed so generously with writings, cartoons, permissions and choices.