Former leading New Zealand publisher and bookseller, and widely experienced judge of both the Commonwealth Writers Prize and the Montana New Zealand Book Awards, talks about what he is currently reading, what impresses him and what doesn't, along with chat about the international English language book scene, and links to sites of interest to booklovers.
Best New Zealand Poems presents a diverse bouquet of voices
latest edition of the online anthology Best New Zealand Poems is now live,
featuring 25 poems chosen by New Zealand Poet Laureate, Dr Selina Tusitala
The International Institute of Modern Letters (IIML) at Victoria University of
Wellington has published the anthology annually since 2001, with support from
Creative New Zealand.
Dr Marsh says that New Zealand poetry is
flourishing to such an extent that anthologising proved to be strenuous.
“Selecting 25 poems from around 3000 published in books, print and online
journals, websites and zines in 2017 was not an easy task,” she says.
“As a Pasifika poet-scholar, I wanted a more
egalitarian way to judge the best. I wanted to do something different,
more collaborative, more epistemologically Pasifika,” says Dr Marsh. In
addition to selecting poems she personally liked, she sought feedback from a
range of other readers, including fellow runners, real estate agents, book club
members, students, teachers, family members, people at the bus stop she saw
often enough to bug. “And if I remembered any part of the poem, it made my top
25,” she says.
The 2017 selection showcases a wide range of
poetic voices, from established figures such as Maualaivao
Albert Wendt and NZ Book Award winner Janet Charman, through to emerging
writers, many of whom make their first appearance in Best New Zealand Poems
Series editor and IIML Senior Lecturer Chris
Price says, “The word ‘anthology’ comes from a Greek word that means ‘gathering
of flowers’. Dr Marsh has given us all a bouquet that reflects the flowering of
the many different voices that make up the current poetry scene, and
contemporary New Zealand society.”
Dr Marsh dedicates her selection to Victoria
University Professor the late Teresia Teaiwa, who passed away in March 2017.