The Listener's 10 Best Poetry Books of 2018

by The Listener / 07 December, 2018
RelatedArticlesModule - Best Poetry BOoks 2018

Here are our picks for the 10 best books of New Zealand verse from 2018, as chosen by Nicholas Reid.

Are Friends Electric? by Helen Heath (VUP)

The humane clear-headedness of a poet who knows what science is and asks penetrating questions about human nature.

Edgeland by David Eggleton (OUP)

A fusion of landscape poetry and freewheeling satire carried off with great brio by a master of both forms.

Figure & Ground by Robert McLean (Cold Hub Press)

From New Zealand’s most underrated poet, an intensely intellectual dissection of history and culture. Demanding but rewarding.

Luxembourg by Stephen Oliver (Greywacke Press)

The self-proclaimed “Australasian” poet takes the moral temperature on both sides of the Tasman and scores the year’s greatest satirical whack with his poem Open-Learning Workshops.

Nowhere Nearer by Alice Miller (AUP)

The most sombre poetic collection this year. The Berlin-based New Zealand poet reflects on the long reach of European history.

Poeta: Selected and New Poems by Cilla McQueen (OUP)

Great retrospective from a poet who knows that a joyful view of life doesn’t mean a trivial view of life. Complemented by her own line drawings.

View From the South by Owen Marshall (Vintage)

Another great retrospective from a poet whose style is straightforward but whose meaning is deep. Our own Robert Frost. Complemented by Grahame Sydney’s photographs.

What Is Left Behind by Tom Weston (Steele Roberts)

With copious references to Pasifika imagery, a meditation on time and the uncertainty of the future.

Whisper of a Crow's Wing by Majella Cullinane (OUP)

For sheer lyricism, this is the year’s greatest treat from an Irish expatriate who has that Celtic sense of the deep past butting into our everyday mundanity.

XYZ of Happiness by Mary McCallum (Mākaro Press)

A real find. Debut volume by a mature woman who understands that true happiness is found only when we’ve been challenged by its opposite, sorrow.

This article was first published in the December 1, 2018 issue of the New Zealand Listener.

Latest

The new robotic surgery aiding vaginal mesh removal
108377 2019-07-19 00:00:00Z Health

The new robotic surgery aiding vaginal mesh remova…

by Ruth Nichol

Women with complications caused by deeply embedded vaginal mesh are being helped by a pioneering surgical technique.

Read more
A beautiful mind: What people with Alzheimer's can teach us
108544 2019-07-19 00:00:00Z Health

A beautiful mind: What people with Alzheimer's can…

by Fergus Riley

North Auckland farmer Fergus Riley has uncovered many important lessons in caring for his father Peter, who has Alzheimer’s.

Read more
Instagram's trial to hide the number of 'likes' could save users' self-esteem
108617 2019-07-19 00:00:00Z Psychology

Instagram's trial to hide the number of 'likes' co…

by Joanne Orlando

Instagram is running a social media experiment to see what happens when it hides the number of likes on photos and other posts.

Read more
The Hawke's Bay farm producing meat of uncommon quality
108594 2019-07-19 00:00:00Z Food

The Hawke's Bay farm producing meat of uncommon qu…

by Simon Farrell-Green

Duncan Smith and Annabel Tapley-Smith weren’t satisfied with producing meat of uncommon quality. So they bought a butchery.

Read more
When biodegradable plastic is not actually biodegradable
108562 2019-07-19 00:00:00Z Planet

When biodegradable plastic is not actually biodegr…

by Isabel Thomlinson

A study on biodegradable plastic bags found they were still intact after three years spent either at sea or buried underground.

Read more
Brexit-torn England needs the Cricket World Cup more than we do
108521 2019-07-18 10:26:20Z World

Brexit-torn England needs the Cricket World Cup mo…

by The Listener

Amid the agony of defeat, we must remember that the UK is in such terrible shape politically that it deserves to cherish this flickering flame of...

Read more
Trades Hall bombing case re-opened, evidence released
108515 2019-07-18 00:00:00Z Crime

Trades Hall bombing case re-opened, evidence relea…

by RNZ

Caretaker and unionist Ernie Abbott was killed almost instantly when he picked up the suitcase containing the bomb.

Read more
Where to celebrate the Apollo 11 moon landing
108504 2019-07-18 00:00:00Z What's on

Where to celebrate the Apollo 11 moon landing

by The Listener

On the big screen, the small screen, the page or the ceiling, here's where you can toast the 50th anniversary of the moon landing.

Read more