Ashleigh Young

How I Get Ready

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Shortlisted for the Mary and Peter Biggs Prize in Poetry at the Ockham NZ Book Awards in 2020

In her new poetry collection How I Get Ready, Ashleigh Young fails to learn to drive, vanishes from the fossil record, and finally finishes writing a book.

'An Ashleigh Young poem is a world: hospitable, strange, a little off kilter. The poems in How I Get Ready bristle with humour and curiosity; they are idiosyncratically observant and keenly empathetic. That empathy is extended to the reader – the poems confide and beguile, providing access not just to the speaker’s travails but also to those of lives remote in history: the compulsive disorder of a sensitive young man living in the early 20th century, for example, or the emotional anguish of the late medieval mystic, Margery Kempe.' —Judges' comments, Ockham NZ Book Awards

‘Every poem catches me! Some books you pick up, scan a few pages and then put down because you just can’t traverse the bridge into the poems. Not this one. It is as exhilarating as riding a bicycle into terrain that is both intensely familiar and breathtakingly not.' —Paula Green, NZ Poetry Shelf 

Ashleigh Young is the author of the poetry collection Magnificent Moon (VUP, 2012) and the essay collection Can You Tolerate This? (VUP, 2016) which won a Windham-Campbell Prize from Yale University and the Royal Society Te Apārangi Award for General Non-Fiction in 2017. She works as an editor and lives in Wellington.

Cover: Sam Duckor-Jones

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