“Poetry has a magic and heft to it that other writing doesn’t.”
Why do you think poetry is so hot right now?
At the moment, the major university presses and some of the smaller presses are doing a brilliant job of publishing fresh and dynamic work. It seems like there’s more risk taking amongst both poets and publishers and that definitely makes for exciting reading!
We grow up with poetry in our lives. How does poetry shape us?
There’s a reason people always want poems read at weddings and funerals. Even people who never read poetry have a need for it. Poetry has a magic and heft to it that other writing doesn’t. For me, I think I was shaped by poetry sonically before anything else. The rhythms and sounds of words were what drew me to poetry when I was young, even before the content.
How can poetry break its ‘hierarchical chains’ and reach new communities?
I think it’s kind of funny that poetry is still so often perceived as fiction’s difficult, awkward cousin. Poets all know that that’s not the case of course, but old ideas take a long time to shift. I wonder if those hierarchical chains are symptomatic of bigger issues? I blame capitalism. There you go, smash capitalism, that’s the answer!
Who are some NZ poets you think more people should be reading?
Tracey Slaughter, Michael Steven, Stephanie Christie, Anahera Gildea, Amy Brown.