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Exhibition Archive

Poetry Archive





Each poet will read a selection of poems from recent and past collections.

At the reading the finalists of the 2019 NEW VOICES – Emerging Poets Competition will also be announced by the judge, Elizabeth Welsh, and the winners will be invited to read their selected poem.

Celebrate National Poetry Day and join us for this evening event.


RAEWYN ALEXANDER is a poet, fiction writer, reviewer, essayist, blogger, non-fiction writer, editor, publisher, performer, and visual artist, who also teaches these skills. Three novels have been published: FAT 1996 followed by Concrete 1998 (Penguin) and Glam Rock Boyfriends 2014. Her poetry's appeared in AUP New Poets 1, Museum of Lost Days 2008, A Bee Lover's Poetry Companion 2010, (both from Earl of Seacliff), Essential New Zealand Poems (Random House): Facing the Empty Page edited by Siobhan Harvey, Harry Ricketts and James Norcliffe, Poetry NZ, Landfall, Bravado, Takahe, Printout, nzepc (online) (NZ); John Tranter's Poetics Research Number Five, Ulitarra (Australia), Jacket, Atlanta Review, Last Night’s Dream Corrected, and Short Fuse: The Global Anthology of New Fusion Poetry, Obsession: Sestinas in the 21st Century (USA), in Artist Books and zines, and Auckland Poetry Live publications. She sometimes performs there and at One2One's Writers' Night, Tamaki Makaurau Auckland. The Overload Poetry Festival, Melbourne invited Alexander to read in 2006 and 2007. In 2017 she returned to Melbourne to perform her poetry on radio and at Tago Mago, then the Dan O'Connell and she took part in The Festival of the Photocopier.

Alexander is also an artist, illustrates work, designs book covers, and her handmade books have been exhibited locally and in Sheffield, UK.

Then brightspark books published: Grey Lynn Land of Bright Stars, poetry chapbook 2007; Family of Artists, chapbook and poems set to music on a CD, 2012; Staples - recipes, hints, poetry inspired by her online blog, 2013; Our Mother Flew Unassisted a poetry collection, 2016. In 2017 Bright Comics published an ebook, 68 page full colour prose poetry comic, Nothing and Nowhere (but Love); re the three stages of love.

Alexander's the director of Blue Haven Writing Workshops, est. 2011. Students are eligible to enter NEW VOICES – Emerging Poets Competition.

A new website's being constructed for writing and art information, or do try https://www.bookcouncil.org.nz/writer/alexander-raewyn/

She's currently producing A Grimm Punk Story which had a Toi o Tamaki Auckland City Art Gallery play reading 2019.

Samoan born, poet and novelist, MAUALAIVAO ALBERT WENDT has been an influential figure in New Zealand and Pacific literature since the 1970s.

In 1988 he was appointed Professor of New Zealand and Pacific literature at Auckland University. Today as Emeritus Professor of English he continues to play a key role in fostering literature among Pacific nations and communities in New Zealand and abroad.

He has published numerous novels, collections of poetry, short stories and edited a number of important anthologies of Pacific writing.

Wendt and his work has been the recipient of many literary prizes. Awarded the Prime Minister’s Award for Literary Achievement in Fiction in 2012. He received New Zealand’s highest honour, the Order of New Zealand in 2013. The Arts Foundation of New Zealand made him an ICON, in 2018. Only 20 artists can hold this at any time.

Peter Biggs says, “Albert is one of New Zealand’s most renowned writers and, as a pioneering Pasifika writer in New Zealand, he has been the inspiration for our country’s wonderful flowering of Pasifika literary talent. He has opened up the Pasifika experience to all New Zealanders.”

Image: David White/NZ Listener.


HELEN RICKERBY is a poet, writer, editor and publisher from Wellington. She has had three collections and one chapbook of her poetry published, most recently Cinema (Mãkaro, 2014). Her new collection, How to Live, is forthcoming from Auckland University Press in early August. In recent years her work has been exploring the boundaries of poetry, and where it intersects with other forms, such as film criticism, biography and essay.

Her work has appeared in numerous journals and anthologies, including Essential New Zealand Poems: Facing the Empty Page, edited by Siobhan Harvey, Harry Ricketts and James Norcliffe (Godwit, 2014), Best New Zealand Poems 2014, selected by Vincent O’Sullivan, and New Zealand Writing: The NeXt Wave, edited by Mark Pirie (Otago University Press, 1998).

Since 2004 Rickerby has single-handedly run Seraph Press, boutique but increasingly significant publisher of beautiful literary books, mainly poetry. Her most recent publication was The Grief Almanac: A Sequel by Vana Manasiadis in May. In 1995 she was part of the group that founded JAAM literary journal, of which she was co-managing editor, with Clare Needham, from 2005 to 2015.

She has co-organised conferences and events, including Truth and Beauty: Poetry and Biography (2014), Poetry and the Essay: Form and Fragmentation (2017) and the Ruapehu Writers Festival (2016). With Anna Jackson and Angelina Sbroma, Rickerby edited Truth and Beauty: Verse Biography in New Zealand, Canada and Australia (Victoria University Press, 2016), and they are currently editing a collection of essays about poetry and the essay.

Rickerby lives with her partner, Sean Molloy, in a cliff-top tower in Aro Valley. She earns a crust as a web editor.


VANA MANASIADIS is a second generation Greek poet and translator, creative writing teacher and editor. Her second collection of poetry, The Grief Almanac: A Sequel, was launched at this year’s Auckland Writers Festival, and follows her earlier collection Ithaca Island Bay Leaves: A Mythistorima (2009) in experimenting with hybridity, pluralism and code-switching between Greek and English.

Manasiadis is also the co-editor of the Seraph Press Poetry in Translation Series. In 2016 she edited and translated Shipwrecks/Shelters a selection of contemporary Greek poetry which was launched locally and then in Athens during the 2017 Documenta International Exhibition of Contemporary Art. This was the first of a series of bilingual poetry collections for which Manasiadis also co-edited a bilingual volume of poetry, Tatai Whetu, Seven Mãori Women Poets in Translation, with poet and playwright Maraea Rakuraku.

She has called Te Whanganui-a-Tara home as well as Athens, Crete, Bologna and is now living in Tãmaki Makaurau.

In 2016 she judged the NEW VOICES emerging poets competition.


essa may ranapiri (Ngãti Raukawa ki te Tonga | takatãpui; they/them/ theirs) is a poet from Kirikiriroa. They are a graduate of the International Institute of Modern Letters 2017 Masters in Creative Writing course at Victoria University. They have words in Mayhem, Poetry NZ, Brief, Starling, Mimicry, Oscen, Aotearotica, Landfall, THEM and POETRY Magazine. They are part of the local writing group Puku.riri|Liv.id that has been meeting weekly for about three years. They are a firm believer in collaboration and have produced multiple zines with other artists and writers.

essa may ranapiri’s first collection of poems, ransack, was published July 2019 by Victoria University Press. Stephanie Burt, who is described by The New York Times as “one of the most influential poetry critics of [her] generation” has read the collection and written “This is a significant body of work by a seriously talented writer. It’s moving, sometimes startling, and a pleasure to read. And, for many of us – but especially for those of us whose experience reflects ransack’s larger themes – it’s a book in which those of us who have rarely done so can also manage to see ourselves.”

Image courtesy of Loren Thomas.


SIOBHAN HARVEY is the author of five books, including the 2013 Kathleen Grattan Award winning poetry collection, Cloudboy (Otago University Press, 2014), and co-editor of Essential New Zealand Poems: Facing the Empty Page (Penguin Random House NZ), which was shortlisted for the 2015 PANZ Book Awards.

Recently, her poetry, fiction and creative nonfiction have been published in Arc (Ca), Asia Literary Review (HK), Burnt Pine Magazine (US) Cordite (Aus), Griffith Review (Aus), Landfall and Poet's Republic (UK) as well as the recent anthologies, Feminine Rising: Voices of Power and Invisibility (Cyren US, 2019) and More of Us: New Zealand Poems by Migrant Authors (Landing, 2019).

Winner of the 2016 Write Well Award (Fiction, US), she was longlisted for the 2019 Australian Book Review Peter Porter Prize (Aus), shortlisted for the 2015 Janet Frame Memorial Award, runner-up in 2014 New Zealand Poetry Society International Poetry Competition, 2012 Dorothy Porter Poetry Prize (Aus), 2012 Kevin Ireland Poetry Competition and 2011 Landfall Essay Prize. She is a Lecturer in Creative Writing at The Centre for Creative Writing, Auckland University of Technology where she is currently studying a PhD in Creative Writing, and as a New Zealand Book Council writer in schools.

The Poetry Archive (UK) holds a ‘Poet’s Page’ devoted to her work.


BOB ORR was born in the Waikato. Moving to Auckland, he worked as a seafarer on the Waitemata Harbour and Hauraki Gulf for thirty-eight years. He now lives in a cottage on the Thames Coast.

Reviewing Orr’s previous book, Odysseus in Woolloomooloo (2014), Iain Sharp concluded ‘… when I ask myself why in the end I love this book rather than merely like it, it’s because I see Bob Orr’s bigger theme as being how to carry yourself in the world, particularly in regard to your fellow citizens.’

In 2016 he was the recipient of the Lauris Edmond Memorial Award for Poetry. In 2018, One Hundred Poems and a Year, was published by Steele Roberts Aotearoa. It is Orr’s ninth collection and was mostly written when he was Writer in Residence at the University of Waikato in 2017.

Image Geoff Hoey courtesy of SteeleRoberts.co.nz


2019 MC for the Evening

We are delighted to welcome back MICHAEL GIACON as MC for this year’s reading.

Michael Giacon was born and grew up in Auckland in a large Pakeha-Italian family. His passion is poetry. In 2016 he graduated with a Master in Creative Writing from AUT. That year he was awarded the Kathleen Grattan Prize for a sequence of poems, 'Argento in no man land’, based on a section of the Masters. He has been published in Fast Fibres and Fresh Ink, and a number of times in brief and A Fine Line. His long association with the University continues with mentoring in the Centre for Creative Writing, and lecturing on English language and academic literacies. He is part of Isthmus Poets with alumni from the Masters.

2019 JUDGE - NEW VOICES - Emerging Poets Competition

ELIZABETH WELSH is a poet, short fiction writer and academic editor. Her debut poetry collection, Over There a Mountain, was published by Makaro Press in 2018 as part of the Hoopla series. She has been an academic editor for university presses for the past ten years. In addition to this, she has been creative editor and founder of The Typewriter - an online poetry magazine for emerging poets – as well as co-editor of Flash Frontier. Her poetry has been published in Landfall, Takahe, Poetry NZ, Hue & Cry, JAAM, Sweet Mammalian, Turbine, Magma and South Bank Poetry. In 2012, she was the winner of The Divine Muses – NEW VOICES – Emerging Poets Award. She has called both London and Auckland home and now lives in Titirangi with her husband and daughter.

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