Friday, October 31, 2008

The Rocky Shore
Jenny Bornholdt - VUP - $25.00

Jenny Bornholdt's new book, The Rocky Shore, is a collection of long(ish) poems, and was launched at the wonderful Unity Books, Wellington last evening.

It was a great big warm occasion with VUP’s publisher Fergus Barrowman doing the honours preceded by a lovely welcome from Unity’s Tobias Buck. Jenny spoke about her time at Unity as a shop girl and also said that it was our duty to support poetry publishing and independent bookshops by buying lots of poets’ work from Unity. She then delighted the large crowd with an extract from the title poem “The Rocky Shore”.

In her talky poems in The Rocky Shore, she ranges over a wide variety of territory - love, death, children, illness, bread-making, and the garden. All the big themes.

Jenny Bornholdt is a poet and anthologist. Born in Lower Hutt in 1960, she holds a BA in English Literature and a Diploma in Journalism. She attended Bill Manhire’s original composition course at Victoria University of Wellington in 1984.

She is the author of a number of collections of poetry including Summer (2003) and These Days (2000) and Miss New Zealand: Selected Poems, which was published in 1997.
She has, with her husband, poet Gregory O’Brien, edited a collection of New Zealand love poetry My Heart Goes Swimming (1996) and they, with Mark Williams, edited An Anthology of New Zealand Poetry in English (1997) which won the 1997 Montana New Zealand Book Award for Poetry.
Jenny Bornholdt spent six months of 2003 in Menton, France as the 2002 Meridian Energy Katherine Mansfield Fellow. She was New Zealand's Te Mata Poet Laureate 2005–2007.

Praise for Summer:
Jenny Bornholdt is one of New Zealand's best-loved poets. She allows her poems to immerse themselves in marvellous details of everyday life. Constantly through the years she has served up poems rich in anecdote and incident. . . . Jenny writes about all the important things in life: love, sex, family and memories. Otago Daily Times

Les Belles Etrangéres

Each year, with great generosity, the French government promotes the literature of one country. Last year, New Zealand was chosen.
French journalists visited New Zealand and wrote articles about New Zealand literature for publication in France.
A documentary film was made about the 12 writers who were chosen to tour France as part of Les Belles Etrangéres. (It means The Beautiful Strangers).
A number of publications also appeared in France, with the work of the touring writers, and a special edition of the journal EUROPE, dedicated to the work of New Zealand writers, was published.
Writers were Fiona Kidman, Albert Wendt, Vincent O’Sullivan, Owen Marshall, Elizabeth Knox, Chad Taylor, Geoff Cush. Sia Figiel, Allan Duff, James George and Dylan Horrocks. Jenny Bornholdt was selected but unable to tour because of ill health. With the organisers agreement and support she is going this year and is about to head off with husband Gregory O'Brien.

Congratulations Jenny on another fine collection, bon voyage and au revoir.
And my thanks to Louise Wrightson of NZ Books Abroad for alerting me to this Wellington event.

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