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Welcome

Best New Zealand Poems is published annually by the International 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 shamelessly modeled 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, where possible including 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 Mark Williams and Jane Stafford, who are both Professors of English at Victoria University of Wellington, and co-editors of The Auckland University Press Anthology of New Zealand Literature (2012). Earlier editors were Ian Wedde (2012), Bernadette Hall (2011), Chris Price (2010), Robyn Marsack (2009), James Brown (2008), Paula Green (2007), Anne Kennedy and Robert Sullivan (2006), Andrew Johnston (2005), Emma Neale (2004), Robin Dudding (2003), Elizabeth Smither (2002) and Iain Sharp (2001).

Bill Manhire is the founding editor, and was Series Editor from 2001-2010. With Damien Wilkins, he co-edited a print anthology, The Best of Best New Zealand Poems (Victoria University Press, 2011), which offers a condensed view of the first decade.

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 editors.

We remain grateful to Ralph Hotere (1931-2013), for permission to use his drawing for the first edition of James K Baxter’s Jerusalem Sonnets (Bibliography Room, University of Otago, 1970) on our opening page.

Chris Price
International Institute of Modern Letters
Wellington
April 2014

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