KATE CAMP was born in Wellington in 1972. Her first collection of poetry,
Unfamiliar Legends of the Stars (1998) won the Jessie Mackay
Award for Best First Book of Poetry at the 1999 Montana New Zealand
Book Awards. Her second volume, Realia, was published by Victoria
University Press in 2001. She was the University of Waikato writer-in-residence
for 2002. Camp has also contributed to the Montana Essay Series in 2002
with an essay entitled ‘On Kissing’.
Camp comments: ‘In 2002, while I was Writer in Residence at the
University of Waikato in Hamilton, I wrote a series of poems about a
woman who is an insomniac. Maybe I was tempting fate, as I’ve
always been an excellent sleeper. I think it was just a way of writing
about a kind of inner night, a place of darkness and privacy.
‘As it is in many of my poems, the detail here is pretty autobiographical.
The house is the cottage I lived in in Hamilton. Living inland, the
difference between daytime and nighttime temperatures can be extreme.
I would lie in bed at night listening to the sounds of the house as
it cooled off.’
Poem: The Insomniac Learns a Lot