Best New Zealand Poems 2018

Edited and introduced by Fiona Farrell

1.   ‘A poem’? ‘Something made’. That’s all it means. As if the Greeks simply gave up on finding a better word for it. Something made, like a cake. A thing made from the words that are our species’s woof and oink and squeak. A thing made from Heaney’s line and circle. 

2.  ‘Best’? That’s vague too. There were hundreds. I gave up counting around 1100. They arrived by courier from the IIML, or in the post or by email from individual poets, they turned up in periodicals or in the paper or online as the Monday poem, the Friday poem, the Saturday poem. Some I heard at readings and followed up, for only published poems that had passed some independent editorial scrutiny were eligible.  

Personal taste was unavoidable. I’m aware of limitation and prejudice. I like structure, for example, but not laborious constrictionI like technical bravura. I enjoy seeing a poet step out onto the skinny blade of reason, juggling words while maintaining perfect balance.   Read the full introduction >