Tag Archives: Best NZ Poems

Jenny Bornholdt’s choice of Best NZ Poems 2016 now live

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Looking forward to delving into this delectable poetry banquet (sorry AY but I love cooking and writing equally!) An impressive array of mostly Wellington published and Wellington based poets –  poetry must sizzling on the streets there just as it does in Ireland. It blew my poetry socks off. Extraordinary!

 

Press release:

The latest online edition of Best New Zealand Poems is now available, bringing together twenty-five poems that are rich with place and vibrating with a fierce energy.

The anthology has been published annually since 2001 by the International Institute of Modern Letters (IIML) at Victoria University of Wellington with support from Creative New Zealand.

“Best New Zealand Poems 2016 comes with a brand new look that includes author photos and a search feature,” says series editor, poet and IIML senior lecturer Chris Price.

This year’s edition represents the cream of New Zealand poetry published in 2016, as selected by poet and Arts Foundation Laureate Jenny Bornholdt.

Ms Bornholdt says she picked poems that “made me pause and put a book/pile of paper down; made me want to go to the bakery and buy a cream torpedo then make coffee; or put my gumboots on and go and inspect the compost—the things I do when I need to think”.

Internationally acclaimed and Ockham New Zealand Book Award-shortlisted writers Ashleigh Young and Hera Lindsay Bird, and the father/son duo Tim and Oscar Upperton are among the poets who have made the cut. The anthology takes flight into the past with an ancient Egyptian pharaoh, soars with an orphaned falcon named Avro Vulcan, yet always manages to return to earth in a recognisably New Zealand landscape and culture.

Place is a key theme in this year’s selection, and the poets often find themselves transported—in both senses of the word. Claire Orchard’s ‘Charms’ takes a drive through her childhood neighbourhood to examine her past life, James Brown heads for the trig in a Wellington wind and 2017 Windham-Campbell Prize winner Ashleigh Young is galloped away screaming on a frightened horse. John Dennison meditates on man’s urge to fly; Andrew Johnston travels outside of time and space at the ear, nose, and throat doctor’s; and Tim Upperton visits Kansas, well, kind of.

Other poets find their way around life’s biggest emotions and events. Bill Nelson writes a memorandum of understanding to his love; Anna Livesey examines the death of her mother, the birth of her child and cabbages; Tusiata Avia looks at a photo of her house, and watches it populate with people, spirits and history.

“The poems themselves are as fresh as this morning’s milk. There’s never been a better time to encounter new New Zealand poetry,” says Chris Price.

The new site has been designed by poet Rachel O’Neill.  (looks great Rachel!! PG)

Best New Zealand Poems 2016 can be viewed online

Best NZ Poems now live

The 2015 edition of Best New Zealand Poems was launched yesterday, introducing both established writers and new voices to the wider public.
Best New Zealand Poems 2015 can be viewed here.

The anthology has been published annually since 2001 by the International Institute of Modern Letters (IIML) at Victoria University of Wellington.

Poet and academic John Newton had the task of sifting through the thousands of poems published in books and journals last year in search of 25 that delivered what he wanted.

“I was looking for an active jolt of pleasure,” he says. “That moment of finding something that really does it for you, when you can’t wait to get on the phone or on Facebook, or better still in person, hearing it echoed in the pleasure of the person you’re sharing it with.”
Best New Zealand Poems series editor Chris Price, a senior lecturer at the International Institute of Modern Letters (IIML), says one of the contributions is from Selina Tusitala Marsh, who just last month performed for the Queen at Westminster Abbey. “Her poem describes watching The Vampire Diaries after a day spent teaching post-colonial theory,” Ms Price says.
Diverse cultures and forms of communication feature strongly in this year’s selection, demonstrating that our poetry is both rooted in the local and connected to the world. Sarah Jane Barnett’s beautiful and timely poem looks at the life of a refugee from Ethiopia.  Gregory O’Brien’s poem attempts to gain the ear of the King of Tonga, and Alison Wong tries to decipher the language of match-making in Shanghai. Kani Te Manukura remembers Te Kooti’s last stand and thinks about Aotearoa’s race-time continuum. Ashleigh Young encounters a man in Reno with the voice of ‘Death’s personal computer’.

Readers of John Newton’s top 25 poems are also able to hear recordings of several of the poets reading their work.

Ms Price says there is a playful, wry tone to much of this year’s work.
“Hera Lindsay Bird announces that ‘It’s a bad crime to say poetry in poetry’ but she does it anyway. Alexandra Hollis reminds us that Rihanna is as profound as the stars, and Bryan Walpert’s title, ‘This poem is conversational’, might be a comment on the very nature of contemporary New Zealand poetry.”

Best New Zealand Poems is published by the IIML with support from Creative New Zealand, and is hosted by the New Zealand Electronic Text Collection.

It is a great list — Best NZ Poems is now live

Our current NZ Poet Laureate, Vincent O’Sullivan, has edited Best NZ Poems 2014. It is an eclectic taste of why New Zealand poetry is so very very good at the moment. Congratulations!

Here is a taste of Vincent’s introduction:

“Last year I joked, more accurately than I realised, that there are now more publishing poets in New Zealand than there are commissioned officers in our armed forces. And that was before I considered the three thousand poems that turned out for inspection in 2014. There’s at least a clarity if we’re just noting numbers. But talk of poetry may quickly fall into generalisation and defence of a corner, when it comes to poems that interest us deeply. We are always reading towards the elitism of our own taste, whether or not we quite put it like that. Geoff Page, the editor of the excellent Best Australian Poems 2014, wryly picks up on this when he writes, ‘Our time on earth is finite, and we are invariably hierarchical.’ It’s not a big step from there, of course, to the necessary corrective that we are always teetering on the verge of possible error.

Inevitably then, the discomfort other editors too have felt with that title, ‘Best Poems’. I wish it weren’t called that, because I have never heard a compelling argument to take it seriously. As a philosopher might say, it is a ‘category error’. Instead, what you have are twenty-five poems that I admired when I first came on them, continue to admire as I read them again, and am fairly certain that next time round they will still attract me with the particular kind of attention they give to how something is said, or for their technical elegance, or for the finally indefinable lift that good poetry provides. But let’s not make out that anything more definitive than personal choice is going on. One reader’s shortlist may be another reader’s rejects. Yet what a privilege, and a celebratory one, to be handed the chance to invite readers, ‘Look at these, look at their variety, their elan, their vigour—isn’t that something?’”

Full introduction here

Contents here

Submission Guidelines for Best NZ Poems 2015

Submission guidelines (see here for full page)

Submissions for Best New Zealand Poems 2015 are open from 1January 2015 and must be received by 15 December 2015.

What to submit

  • Only poems or books of poems by New Zealanders published within the calendar year of the current collection are eligible for consideration. (Unpublished poems may be submitted to our other annual online collection, Turbine.)
  • Poems or collections published in print or in online journals, and in local or international publications, are eligible provided the publication date falls within the calendar year.
  • While online journals are an acceptable publication source, blogs will generally not be eligible.
  • Publishers may submit books, magazines, journals or links to online journals that meet these criteria.
  • Individual poets may also submit published poems or books directly.
  • Please note the specific guidelines about electronic submissions under ‘How to Submit’ below.

When to submit

  • You may send submissions for Best New Zealand Poems 2014 at any time during the calendar year, provided they reach the IIML by 15 December 2015.
  • Receipt of email submissions will be acknowledged. Postal submissions will be acknowledged if an email address or SSAE is included with the submission.
  • Publishers and / or authors of selected poems will be contacted by February of the following year. For all accepted material, copyright remains with the author (or in some instances the original publisher) upon publication. Due to the volume of submissions, we are unable to
  • The editors are unable to engage in correspondence regarding individual submissions.

How to submit

Postal submissions should be directed to:

BNZP editor
c/o International Institute of Modern Letters
Victoria University
PO Box 600
Wellington
New Zealand

Email submissions of individual poems or a small selection of poems should be submitted, preferably as attachments, to: modernletters@vuw.ac.nz.

  • Please put ‘BNZP submission’ in the subject line.
  • Include contact details, preferably an email address, in the body of the email.
  • Include name and contact details on each page of your submission.
  • Mac users sending MS Word attachments should save them first in Rich Text Format and add a “.rtf” suffix to each filename.
  • We do not accept whole manuscripts in electronic form. Submissions of e-book-only publications should be made in the form of a printed pdf copy, and include a link to the publication site.

Whether posting or emailing, please include the following information with each individual submission:

The place and date of publication of each poem submitted (including web links if relevant).

Best NZ Poems 2013 is now live and the list is a cracker!

Here is a list of the poets in the latest edition of Best NZ Poems edited by Jane Stafford and Mark Williams. Poetry Shelf has featured many of these poets to date and I can’t wait to work my way through the poems. This is a terrific line up — imagine it as a poetry reading!

Fleur Adcock Hinemoana Baker Amy Brown Sarah Broom Kate Camp Mary Jane Duffy Murray Edmond Johanna Emeney Cliff Fell Bernadette Hall Dinah Hawken Caoilinn Hughes Anna Jackson Anne Kennedy Michele Leggott Therese Lloyd Selina Tusitala Marsh John Newton Gregory O’Brien Rachel O’Neill Vincent O’Sullivan Elizabeth Smither Chris Tse Ian Wedde Ashleigh Young

Check out the 2013 page here