Joanna Preston


Otago University Press, 2021
Paperback, 210 x 148mm, 88pp
ISBN 978 1 877372 69 8
rrp: NZ$27.50

Winner of the 2022 Mary and Peter Biggs Award for Poetry
at the 2022 Ockham New Zealand Book Awards

From the back cover:

This remarkable second collection by award-winning poet, Joanna Preston, charts a course for the journey from child to woman. Her bold and original voice swoops the reader from the ocean depths to the roof of the world, from nascent saints, Viking raids and fallen angels to talking cameras and an astronaut in space. Always, the human heartbeat is at stake, as Preston explores love, loss, longing and lust – how we stumble, how we soar.

tumble is a beautifully crafted collection that traverses traditional forms, the lyric and free verse. It is earthy and embodied, woven through with myth and magical realism.

Available wherever good books are sold.
Or direct from the author– see contact form below.

What people are saying about tumble …

Tumble is a celebration of poetry and the long tradition that has led to this moment. Through her layering of art, re-imagining of historic moments and firm nods to poets past, Joanna Preston reminds us of Louise Gluck with her precise, evocative narratives, chiselled out of stone to reveal what was always there. Preston writes with pristine imagery and adept command of vocabulary while crafting her poetry to deeply satisfying musicality, rhythm and cadence. Simply written, yet dramatic and powerfully eloquent, each poem in this book is a banger. tumble is an exhilarating read that hurls us across time and space giving us the sense that all of it – from Lucifer’s fall to Christchurch’s earthquake – is part of the same powerful play.

– Judges’ citation, 2022 Ockham New Zealand Book Awards

A really well-crafted poem is like a precious stone that you can slip into your pocket to reach for when you need reassurance or to connect with something beyond time and space. Joanna Preston’s rich and rewarding collection tumble is a basket of precious stones, each a representation of the steps and missteps taken through life. Tackling the world around us with hungry eyes, a full heart and sparkling feminist streak, Preston’s collection is one many readers will keep returning to as they accumulate their own stories.
Chris Tse, The Spinoff, 11 May 2022


Robert McLean in Landfall Review Online, May 2022

Sophie van Waardenberg for The Academy of New Zealand Literature, May 2022

Sile Mannion for A Fine Line, August 2022

Interviews, Articles, Commentaries

Interview with Lynn Freeman, Standing Room Only (Radio NZ)

Interview with Morrin Rout pre-Ockhams, Bookenz (Plains FM),

Interview with Morrin Rout post-Ockhams, Bookenz (Plains FM), 24 May 2022

Interview with Charlie Gates, The Press, 16 May 2022

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