Poetry Aotearoa Yearbook 2024 reviewed for NZ Booklovers


Chris Reed reviews Poetry Aotearoa Yearbook 2024 edited by Tracey Slaughter for NZ Booklovers: 

‘For over half a century, the Poetry Aotearoa Yearbook has served as an annual showcase of the finest contemporary poetry from New Zealand, featuring both luminaries and rising talents in the genre. This year’s editor, Tracey Slaughter, has assembled a characteristically vibrant collection for the 2024 edition, her selections radiating with emotional power and insight. In just over 100 new poems curated from widespread submissions, readers will discover sharp observations, arresting images, wry wit, and much to ponder.

Esteemed poet Carin Smeaton stands out as the issue’s featured artist. Smeaton’s vivid free verse explores family ties and the passage of time with nostalgia and admiration for the everyday. Vignettes of this accomplished poet reveals quiet depths and the splendour of mundane moments. Her subtle yet stirring poems prove a highlight.

The Yearbook intersperses Smeaton’s offerings among an exploratory range of styles and subject matters. Some works tackle heartache and disillusion unflinchingly, while others brim with irreverent humour. Landscapes both external and internal come alive in scintillating detail. The collection conveys both sweetness and rawness, hope and grief, while rewards close reading with layered resonance.’

Read the full review here.