Best New Zealand Poems 2002
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ANDREW JOHNSTON has published three collections of poetry with Victoria University Press: How To Talk (1993), which won the New Zealand Book Award for Poetry and the NZSA Best First Book award; The Sounds (1996); and Birds of Europe (2000). A selected poems, The Open Window, was published for the UK market by Arc in 1999. Johnston now lives in Paris, where he works for the International Herald Tribune.

Johnston comments: ‘“Great Aunt” was discovered down a side-road from a long, obsessive poem called “Roundabout” (forthcoming in Landfall.) I was thinking about how a roundabout looks like a star from above – that’s the star part. How my great aunt came into it, I’m not quite sure. Actually there were two, on my father’s side, who lived together in a house with high ceilings, dark curtains and a cuckoo clock. There was a family story that they had both been engaged to men who didn’t come back from World War I. Their names were Noel and Bede, men’s names, and when I was a small child I heard them as one name, run together, Noelanbede, so perhaps that’s why in the poem they blur into one.’



Victoria University Press

New Zealand Book Council


International Herald Tribune

Turbine 2002

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