Best New Zealand Poems 2002
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JENNY BORNHOLDT was born in Wellington in 1960. She began writing in earnest after attending the Original Composition course at Victoria University of Wellington. Her collections of verse are This Big Face (1988), Moving House (1989), Waiting Shelter (1991), How We Met (1995), Miss New Zealand: Selected Poems (1997) and These Days (2000). She is married to Gregory O’Brien, who makes occasional appearances as a character in her poems. They co-edited My Heart Goes Swimming: New Zealand Love Poems (1996) and, with Mark Williams, An Anthology of New Zealand Poetry in English (1997), which won the 1997 Montana New Zealand Book Award for Poetry. Her latest book Summer, written during her time as the 2002 Meridian Energy Katherine Mansfield Memorial Fellow, will be published by Victoria University Press in April 2003.

Bornholdt comments: ‘This poem was written as a record of happiness.While in France in 2002 as the Meridian Energy Katherine Mansfield Memorial Fellow, I read Apollinaire and admired the unashamed directness of some of his poems, their intensity. He’s pretty over-the-top – far more than I wanted to be, but I liked his drive.

During the time of the Fellowship we spent a couple of days with artists Pip and Bill Culbert. Much of the poem concerns Pip’s work – the title is from a work of hers – and she herself wore a blue shirt when we visited – that’s her, descending. Bill had a collection of tin cars, planes and buses, kept in an old brown suitcase; and our sons travelled in a 2CV in search of fossils (the 2CV’s suspension is supposedly so good that you can traverse a ploughed field with eggs on the back seat and they’ll remain intact).

Pip makes terrific works out of pockets (among other things), cutting them down to their seams and pinning them to walls. I liked this image of emptying pockets and somehow them remaining full of potential. The final image is from an installation made by Pip – three ceiling fans with skirts attached, flaring out over the room. Marvellous.’



New Zealand Book Council

Victoria University Press

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