Claire Orchard


210mm x 148mm
Publication date:
13 July 2023

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any home boils down to one of two options:
the place you’re on your way back to
or the place you’re leaving.

In Liveability, Claire Orchard places us vividly in the lives, pasts, futures and homes of others: A young farmer obsessively photographs snowflakes in wintry Vermont. A pair of geckos named Romeo and Juliet live out their lives in an ice-cream container. A CPR manikin contemplates their resuscitator, Leonard Nimoy peers through the TV screen into a family living room, while a girl reaches her own conclusion about who is bravest of them all.

An ode to the eccentricities and occasional sorrows of the everyday, Liveability is also a joyous and witty celebration of the otherworldly.

‘These poems take us from the ordinary to the extraordinary and vice versa. Claire Orchard’s eye tilts the world and shows how the extraordinary is actually all around us.’ —  James Brown, author of The Tip Shop

'a lively, likeable book; both engaging and fun. It is intriguing in its premise, establishing the essential simplicity of the many characters and the curious yet familiar circumstances in which they find themselves. The many day-to-day situations around youth, families, relationships, school and religion are presented with a slight twist, an askance look. What seems ordinary, everyday, is often revealed to be more than that.' —Piet Niewland, Landfall Review Online

Claire Orchard studied English and history at Massey University and completed an MA in Creative Writing at the International Institute of Modern Letters. She lives in Te Whanganui-a-Tara and is the author of two poetry collections: Cold Water Cure (2016) and Liveability (2023).

Cover: Deb Fuller

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