Anne Kennedy


ANNE KENNEDY was born in Wellington, New Zealand, in 1959. She has written a novella, and two novels, Musica Ficta and A Boy and His Uncle, and a book of poems, Sing-song. Many of her short fictions have appeared in journals and anthologies, including ‘Jewel’s Darl’, which won the BNZ/Katherine Mansfield Short Story Award and was made into a short film by Peter Wells. Anne has worked as a screenwriter, most recently adapting Dorothy Porter’s Monkey’s Mask for film. She lives in Honolulu with her husband and two children.

Kennedy comments: ‘This poem was written in the context of a long sequence, Sing-song, which charts the domestic life of a family nursing a child through severe eczema. Among the relentless march of illness, I wanted some poems that looked outward from the main text, like abstractions, reflecting that, no matter what’s going on, our view is never simply one thing. (This is partly why I wrote this narrative as poetry, because it allows quick-change-artist shifts of voice and view.)

‘ “I was a feminist in the eighties” is one of these abstracted poems.

‘It’s also a bit of a joke about getting real. In my twenties (the 80s), I really did think putting yourself second (or indeed, last!), or looking like death warmed up from tiredness were not feminist aspirations, and certainly something that could never happen to me. On a more serious level, I suppose this poem begs the question of what it is to be a feminist.’


Poem: I was a feminist in the eighties



Auckland University Press

Trout (as editor)

New Zealand Book Council Writer File

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