terrifyingly competitive great looking set of books – Serie Barford’s Sleeping with Stones, Sam Duckor-Jones’s Party Legend, Alison Glenny’s Bird Collector, my stable-mate, Siobhan Harvey’s Ghosts, Dinah Hawken’s Sea-light, Anne Kennedy’s The Sea Walks Into a Wall, Ruby Solly’s Tōku Pāpā, Tayi Tibble’s Rangikura, and Nicole Titihuia Hawkins’ Whai. I already own quite a few of them, and will be getting my hands on the rest asap.
A couple of things leap out at me. First, the list is strongly dominated by women. Which makes sense – we’re the majority of the population; we buy the most books; and most of all, we write some stonkingly good poetry. Hooray!
There’s a nice mix of publishers too – four from Te Herenga Waka University Press (formally Victoria University Press), two from Otago University Press (yay!), one from Auckland University Press, one from Anahera Press, one from Compound Press, and one from We Are Babies Press. I love seeing things like this – proof that you don’t have to go with one of the juggernauts to have your book do well. (OUP is, of course, the best of them.)
Geographically speaking, it’s heavily North Island- biased. By which I mean that I am one of only two representatives from the South. Even Paekakariki has two representatives! (Is there something in the water?!) [edited 2.2.22 to correct – Sam is also a SI poet. So that makes two of us! Yay!]
One more thing that the eagle-eyed among you may have picked up on – three of us are past winners of the Kathleen Grattan Award. (She said, smiling happily and planning KGA-based world domination …)
So. To celebrate tumble being longlisted, I’m holding a competition.
I’m looking for the best e whetu using a line taken from a tumble poem (a selection provided below, but feel free to go looking at library copies!) The prize is a signed copy of tumble. Or if you have the exquisite good taste to already have a copy of tumble, I’ll send you a signed copy of The Summer King.
The rules of e whetu are
- Seven lines long, in any meter.
- A borrowed line forms the title.
- The borrowed line is broken into three parts (phrases, words, or whatever takes your fancy).
- Each of the three parts must appear each of the first six pairs of lines – one in each couplet – in
anyreverse order. [Edited 15.2.22, after I was reminded that it’s supposed to be in reverse order, not anything-goes. Oops.]
- There is a cross-rhyme requirement, with the end of each line rhyming into the middle of each subsequent line.
Some possible lines for you to use (but feel free to use others):
with the stone of absence filling your belly
It fitted into my palm, and filled my hand
across the surface, a gleaming arc
who flock to my shepherds, who pray
wet tar became a song, and the cab
you sent me long ago, of prayer flags, a glass-blue sky
Sure as ripe fruit begets wasps. As longing
You have until midnight on February 13th to submit your entry as a comment, and I’ll announce the winner on Valentine’s Day.