Poetry Aotearoa Yearbook 2024 reviewed on Poetry Shelf


Paula Green reviews Poetry Aotearoa Yearbook 2024 edited by Tracey Slaughter for Poetry Shelf: 

Poetry Aotearoa Yearbook 24 is again edited by Tracey Slaughter. It features poetry by Carin Smeaton, reviews of 29 books, includes two essays (one by Erena Shingade and one by John Geraets) and 123 new poems. You’d be hard pressed to find greater review attention paid to local poetry books from a range of reviewers.

Tracey’s introduction is the perfect introduction to a selection of poetry that is eclectic, acidic, honeyed. She discusses the first poem she ever wrote, aged twelve, in a house and with a patriarch she loathed. Her internal wounds flooded into the lines, sparking, fierce, non-deferential, and it seems that this first poem propelled her into the complicated, necessary and wonderful currents of writing. She is placing the personal before us, inviting us to reassess what a poem ought to be, and whether navigating the dark, the pain, or personal trauma is to be dismissed, or whether various forms of bleeding on the page can be vital facets of poetry, avenues into ‘feeling deeply’, for both reader and writer. She makes poignant reference to the loss of Paula Harris and Schaeffer Lemalu. For all kinds of reasons, I found the introduction a source of light, a reason to pick up my pen, to open another book, to let ideas simmer.’

Read the rest of the review and listen to eight readings by poets here.