Monday, 31 March 2008

2007's Best New Zealand Poems online today

You have been warned: the 2007 Best New Zealand Poems collection could make you laugh, weep or even want to write your own poem.

Best New Zealand Poems is an online anthology of the finest poetry by New Zealand writers in the preceding year. It is published annually by the International Institute of Modern Letters (IIML) and hosted by the New Zealand Electronic Text Centre, both based at Victoria University.

This year's editor, poet Paula Green, says the task of selecting 25 poems in a year "rich in good poems" was difficult.

"A good poem has the ability to lift us out of the mundane and make us laugh, weep, reflect and wonder, to entice us to re-read it again and again, or to write poems of our own," she says.

A NZ Listener review by Gerry Webb describes Ms Green's poetry as "musical, sensuous, tender, quick witted…she sketches subtle emotional shapes that only real writing talent can bring to light".

IIML director Bill Manhire says the aim of the Best New Zealand Poems is to introduce readers to leading contemporary New Zealand poets. He says poems are chosen to show the vitality and range of current writing, and over half the site's readers come from beyond New Zealand.

"This year we stretched the contributor rules slightly to include a poem by the visiting US writer Dora Malech. It's a lovely riff on her habit of mishearing certain parts of the New Zealand accent."

Other poets published this year include Alistair Te Ariki Campbell, Jenny Bornholdt, and C K Stead.

Best New Zealand Poems is supported by a grant from Creative New Zealand which goes entirely to the contributors and editor.

The 2007 edition, of 25 poems, can be viewed online at: http://www.victoria.ac.nz/bestnzpoems.

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