Bill Manhire and Damien Wilkins (eds)

The Best of Best New Zealand Poems

Out of print

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May 2011

Since 2000, the online anthology Best New Zealand Poems has showcased the most exciting and memorable poetry produced in this country. Here, for the first time, is a selection of this work in book form. Edited by founding publisher Bill Manhire, and writer Damien Wilkins, this anthology is an indispensable guide to the richness, strangeness, and liveliness of contemporary poetry.

With over sixty poets appearing, there is classic work by some of the best-known figures in our writing, including Sam Hunt, Allen Curnow, Jenny Bornholdt, Cilla McQueen, Elizabeth Smither, and Ian Wedde; there are also compelling poems from new writers. Each poet's own note on the selection illuminates the work and takes us inside the writer's personal workshop. The first decade of the new century comes into view as a vibrant, argumentative, restless period, with our poets unafraid of either political engagement or strong personal feeling.

The extraordinary range of forms and voices immediately makes this book the most inviting and enjoyable collection of New Zealand poetry available.

Bill Manhire is the Director of the Institute of Modern Letters at Victoria University of Wellington. He is the author of many books of poems, including Collected Poems (2001), Lifted (2005) and The Victims of Lightning (2010), as well as short stories and essays, and has edited many anthologies.

Damien Wilkins is the author of six novels, including The Miserables (winner of the NZ Book Award for Fiction in 1994) and Somebody Loves Us All (2009), as well as poetry, plays, short stories and essays. He teaches an MA workshop at the Institute of Modern Letters.

'Space doesn’t allow for sufficient of poems from this large collection to be considered in a review. The book is a great way for readers, students and teachers to read contemporary New Zealand poetry, finding gems along the way and plenty to think about.' —Patricia Prime, Takahē

Fleur Adcock
Having sex with the dead

Johanna Aitchison
Miss Red in Japan 

Michele Amas

Angela Andrews
White Saris

Tusiata Avia

Stu Bagby
The boys

Hinemoana Baker
methods of assessing the likely presence of a terrorist threat in a remote indigenous community

David Beach

Peter Bland

Jenny Bornholdt
Fitter Turner

Amy Brown
The Propaganda Poster Girl

James Brown
University Open Day

Alan Brunton

Rachel Bush
The Strong Mothers

Kate Camp
Mute song

Alistair Te Ariki Campbell

Gordon Challis
Walking an imaginary dog

Geoff Cochrane
Seven Unposted Postcards to My Brother

Glenn Colquhoun
To a woman who fainted recently at a poetry reading

Jennifer Compton
The Threepenny Kowhai Stamp Brooch

Mary Cresswell
Golden Weather (Cook Strait)

Allen Curnow
When and Where

Lynn Davidson
Before we all hung out in cafés

Fiona Farrell
Our trip to Takaka

Cliff Fell

Sia Figiel
Songs of the fat brown woman

Joan Fleming
Theory of light

Rhian Gallagher

John Gallas
the Mongolian Women's Orchestra

Paula Green
Waitakere Rain

Bernadette Hall
The History of Europe

Dinah Hawken
365 x 30

Sam Hunt
Lines for a New Year

Anna Jackson

Lynn Jenner
Women's Business

Andrew Johnston
The Sunflower 

Anne Kennedy
Die die, live live

Michele Leggott
nice feijoas

Graham Lindsay
big bed

Anna Livesey
Shoeman in Love

Cilla McQueen

Selina Tusitala Marsh
Not Another Nafanua Poem

Karlo Mila
Sacred Pulu

Stephanie de Montalk
Hawkeye V4

Emma Neale

James Norcliffe
yet another poem about a giraffe

Gregory O’Brien
Where I Went

Peter Olds
Disjointed on Wellington Railway Station

Bob Orr

Chris Orsman
Making Waves

Vincent O’Sullivan
The Child in the Gardens: Winter

Vivienne Plumb

Chris Price
Rose and fell

Kerrin P. Sharpe
like rain the thunder

Marty Smith

Elizabeth Smither
Two security guards talking about Jupiter

C.K. Stead

Richard von Sturmer
After Arp

Robert Sullivan
After the UN Rapporteur Supported Maori Customary Rights 

Brian Turner

Tim Upperton
The starlings

Louise Wallace
The Poi Girls

Ian Wedde
To Death

Sonja Yelich

Ashleigh Young
Certain Trees

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