creating beautiful journals and books

New Zealand Poetry alive and well

The Next Word: Contemporary New Zealand Poetry National Library, Wellington New Zealand.

Last week I spent some time at the National Library of  New Zealand in Wellington, meeting the people there who collect my artist’s books. More about that in my next post.

While I was at the Turnbull Gallery on Level One, I had the pleasure to view a small but delightfully vibrant exhibition titled The Next Word: Contemporary New Zealand Poetry. I was fortunate to catch this exhibition as it ends this weekend.


Curated by poet Hannah Mettner and respected hand press printer and book maker Brendan O’Brien, The Next Word is described in the publicity as:

‘An exhibition showcasing the many-faceted voices of New Zealand poets, encompassing the oral tradition of Maori as well as the poetic traditions of Pakeha and Tauiwi. This exhibition chronicles the development of New Zealand poetry not as a single unified voice, but as a cacophony of voices with a multitude of stories to tell.’

The exhibition focuses on New Zealand poetry over the past thirty years and also features  artisan printers and book artists, with broadsheets by Elizabeth Sergeant of Green Bay Press, Tara McLeod of Pear Tree Press and limited edition prints adorning the walls including letterpress by O’Brien and Shona Gow from Magpie Press in  Auckland.

I was thrilled to watch New Zealand Poet Laureate Selina Tusitala Marsh perform her work on screen in the exhibition room. And I loved meandering through the words of familiar poets such as Sam Hunt, James K. Baxter, Harry Ricketts, Ian Wedde and Fleur Adcock as well as many poets unfamiliar to me. I made my first (and certainly not last) acquaintance with the fascinating and original young poet Hera Lindsay Bird.

Congratulations to everyone involved in putting this exhibition together. To come upon it unexpectedly was, for me, a pure delight.

Refer to the National Library website for future events.


2 comments on “New Zealand Poetry alive and well

  1. greengaze
    March 25, 2018

    Lucky you! It sounds like a wonderful exhibition.

  2. Pearl Button
    March 26, 2018

    I wish we could have an exhibition like that here.

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