Poetry New Zealand's longstanding poetry magazine set to launch in Devonport

The 51st edition of Poetry New Zealand Yearbook is gearing up for its Devonport launch, March 14.
LAINE MOGER/FAIRFAX NZ

The 51st edition of Poetry New Zealand Yearbook is gearing up for its Devonport launch, March 14.

Proof it is no longer a prerequisite to be old and wise to write poetry can be found printed in the pages of 2017's poetry yearbook.

In fact, with short poems fitting nicely into the palms of a new screen-gazing generation, poetry is having a renaissance.

The Poetry New Zealand Yearbook 2017 is in its 51st edition, and Massey University Press is gearing up for its launch at Devonport Library, March 14.

The current edition is the first to be published by Massey University Press.
LAINE MOGER/FAIRFAX NZ

The current edition is the first to be published by Massey University Press.

Editor Jack Ross said this year's publication features many more younger poets, because their work was simply the best stuff.

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This change in demographic is due to the fact that Ross now accepts poems digitally, as well as in print by post.

As editor or "cultural gatekeeper", he says his job is to listen to what people are saying. 

Poetry is having a renaissance, outside of books, says editor Jack Ross.
LAINE MOGER/FAIRFAX NZ

Poetry is having a renaissance, outside of books, says editor Jack Ross.

"In this regard, I am happy to just monitor the emails when they come in."

Submissions are accepted for a limited three-month period, and only a third of submissions make the final cut.

There is no magic checklist for what works, the one's that "demand to go in, go in", he says.

Ross also maintains that, for those who want to get a point view across, particularly political views, write a poem. 

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"People in power don't understand poetry. So, the witty poem is the last weapon we have left to puncture power."

"The real world says poetry is a waste of their [young people's] time. But, it's the only thing that isn't wasting their time," he says.

Submissions for 2018, will open from May till July.

Attend the book launch March 14, from 7.30pm at Devonport Library. Koha appreciated. 

The launch will feature readings by 10 poets, as well as announcing the editor's choice of top three poems.

 - Stuff

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