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10 Best Poetry Books of 2016

AS THE VERB TENSES by Lynley Edmeades (Otago University Press)

Tender, rhythmic poems glance off and into the ­historical and ­personal.

BACK WITH THE HUMAN CONDITION by Nick Ascroft (Victoria University Press)

Erudite, witty and wry reflections on what ails the human condition.

BESIDE HERSELF by Chris Price (Auckland University Press)

Varied voices, dark humour, a seemingly reckless play with character and language.

COLD WATER CURE by Claire Orchard (Victoria University Press).

A moving debut ­collection drawing on Darwin, his voyages and nature in general.

THE COLLECTED POEMS OF ALISTAIR TE ARIKI CAMPBELL by Alistair Te Ariki Campbell (Victoria University Press)

A handsome hardback volume validating ­Alistair Te Ariki Campbell as one of our essential writers.

FALE AITU | SPIRIT HOUSE by Tusiata Avia (Victoria University Press)

Supernatural poems evoke a dreamworld landscape – ­quietly eerie and beautiful.

HERA LINDSAY BIRD by Hera Lindsay Bird (Victoria University Press)

A highly personal ­collection: sumptuous, ­challenging, blazing a hot trail on the local scene.

IN A SLANT LIGHT by Cilla McQueen (Otago University Press).

Lively, accessible, ­confessional about the ­artistic bohemia that was and the old age that is.

MEMORANDUM OF UNDERSTANDING by Bill Nelson (Victoria University Press)

A bold debut ­collection ­embracing the voice and guises of his various personas.

THIS PAPER BOAT by Gregory Kan (Auckland University Press)

Strong yet understated poetry drawing on the author’s Chinese family and his love of Robin Hyde.

This article was first published in the November 26, 2016 issue of the New Zealand Listener. Follow the Listener on Twitter, Facebook and sign up to the weekly newsletter.