Andrew Johnston and Robyn Marsack (eds)

Twenty Contemporary New Zealand Poets: An Anthology

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Twenty Contemporary New Zealand Poets showcases the freshness and vitality of current New Zealand poetry. Starting in 1986, it captures turning points in the work of Allen Curnow and Bill Manhire, and charts the wave of major poets who started publishing in the late 1980s, like Jenny Bornholdt and Bernadette Hall. Younger writers such as Glenn Colquhoun, Robert Sullivan and Tusiata Avia explore new ways of making art out of the bracing challenge of living in a bicultural and multicultural society.

An introduction by the editors Andrew Johnston and Robyn Marsack and reflections by the poets themselves illuminate themes and contexts. A joint publication with the leading British poetry publisher Carcanet, this anthology forms an indispensable map of New Zealand poetry for readers at home and abroad.

The Twenty Poets: Tusiata Avia, Jenny Bornholdt, James Brown, Geoff Cochrane, Glenn Colquhoun, Allen Curnow, Fiona Farrell, Bernadette Hall, Dinah Hawken, Anne Kennedy, Bill Manhire, Cilla McQueen, Gregory O’Brien, Vincent O’Sullivan, Elizabeth Smither, C.K. Stead, Robert Sullivan, Brian Turner, Hone Tuwhare, Ian Wedde.

T;his fine anthology leads us to an eclectic and electric poetry community: the poetry is graceful, muscular, lyrical, arresting, biting. Within this context, they acquire new and refreshing life.’ —Paula Green, NZ Herald

‘All in all, the anthology revels in a generous quantity of sparkling slip-skilled, tongue-in-serious-cultural-cheek poetry.’ —Lisa Samuels, Metro

‘The point of an anthology selection is hardly to shock, yet in this context many older poems take on a new resonance, or reading them here is like meeting them again for the first time. In a line-up of eight women, 12 men the diverse range of work spanned is a key strength of the collection.’ —Abby Cunnane, Capital Times

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