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Best New Zealand Poems is published annually by the Institute of Modern Letters, and aims to introduce readers — especially internationally — to leading contemporary New Zealand poets. The poems are chosen to show the vitality and range of current writing. We have explicitly modelled this online project on the successful US paperback anthology, The Best American Poetry. Each year we publish 25 poems from recent literary magazines and poetry collections, whenever possible providing notes about and by the poet, as well as links to related publishing and literary websites. In this way we hope that readers will be able to follow up fresh discoveries. There are plenty to be made.

The editorship of Best New Zealand Poems changes annually. This year’s editors are Anne Kennedy and Robert Sullivan, New Zealand writers who currently live in Hawai‘i. Earlier editors were Andrew Johnston (2005), Emma Neale (2004), Robin Dudding (2003), Elizabeth Smither (2002) and Iain Sharp (2001). The 2007 editor will be Paula Green.

Best New Zealand Poems is supported by a grant from Creative New Zealand, whose assistance we gratefully acknowledge. Creative New Zealand’s grant goes entirely to contributors and editor.

Many thanks to Ralph Hotere, whose drawing for the first edition of James K Baxter’s Jerusalem Sonnets (Bibliography Room, University of Otago, 1970) we have used on our opening page.

Bill Manhire

Institute of Modern Letters


March, 2007

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