Wednesday, February 29, 2012

New Zealand Poets on the Poetry Archive (U.K.)

In a new initiative from renowned New Zealand poet and editor, Jan Kemp, one of the foremost online poetry and teaching resources, the Poetry Archive (U. K.) ( is hosting a project which aims to draw more attention and focus to classic and contemporary New Zealand poetry and poets.
Commissioned to record a selection of her own work in 2007, Kemp joined the Poetry Archive Poet’s Pages and fellow New Zealanders Fleur Adcock, Allen Curnow, Bill Manhire and Vincent O'Sullivan (right). In November 2010 the Archive's Joint Directors, Sir Andrew Motion and Richard Carrington invited Kemp to showcase the work of another 25 New Zealand Poets on the Poetry Archive. From then on, Kemp selected the poets, set up and coordinated with them and a team of expert New Zealand literary editors, including David Eggleton, Siobhan Harvey, Professor Mac Jackson, Drs. Gerri Kimber, Dr. Simone Oettli, Professor Vincent O'Sullivan, Associate Professor Hugh Roberts and Professor Dr. Dieter Riemenschneider, and with them compiled a list of featured poets' recorded poems, analyses of their oeuvres, bios and web links. In this, Kemp and her editors were able to draw upon the invaluable New Zealand poetry resources, The Waiata Archive (1974) and the Aotearoa New Zealand Poetry Sound Archive (2004) (
The Poetry Archive (U.K.) showcases the spoken and printed works of poets from around the world, including U.K., U.S., Australia and Europe. Each poet featured on the Archive has a Poet's Page which offers a number of recorded tracks visitors to the site are able to access, as well as printed copies of each poem, and for poets online up till 2010 purchasable CDs of the recordings as teaching resources for poetry.  New poet additions to the PA will have the chance to be selected for MP3 downloads purchasable online.
Bringing such international attention to the depth and range of New Zealand poetry and poets is a wonderful and well-timed initiative given New Zealand's Guest of Honour status at the Frankfurt Book Fair, October 2012. The 25 New Zealand Poets featured on the Archive are having their Poet Pages launched in stages throughout the first half of 2012, and it's envisaged that there will be readings by a selection of the featured poets in London, Auckland and Frankfurt even as the poets go up on the Archive. Thus far classic and contemporary New Zealand poets such as M. K. Joseph, Anna Jackson, Charles Brasch, Briar Wood, Alistair Paterson and Siobhan Harvey's Poet Pages are online. Their links are:

New Zealand poets whose work is forthcoming to the Archive include Alistair Te Ariki Campbell, David Eggleton, Riemke Ensing (left), Janet Frame, Denis Glover, Kevin Ireland, Michael Jackson, Andrew Johnston, Richard Reeve Elizabeth Smither, C. K. Stead (right),  Robert Sullivan, Hone Tuwhare and others.

More information will be released as further New Zealand Poet Pages come online at the Poetry Archive.

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