Ōrongohau | Best New Zealand Poems

Ōrongohau | Best New Zealand Poems aims to introduce readers to leading contemporary New Zealand poets.

Welcome from Chris Price

Ōrongohau | Best New Zealand Poems is published annually by Te Herenga Waka | Victoria University of Wellington's International Institute of Modern Letters. It aims to introduce readers—especially internationally—to leading contemporary New Zealand poets. The poems are chosen to show the vitality and range of current writing. We have shamelessly modelled this online project on the successful US paperback anthology, The Best American Poetry. Each year we publish 25 poems from recent literary magazines and poetry collections, where possible including notes about and by the poet, as well as links to related publishing and literary websites. In this way we hope that readers will be able to follow up fresh discoveries. There are plenty to be made.

Our thanks to Dr Mike Ross from the University’s Te Kawa a Māui for gifting us a te reo Māori name for the journal. As Dr Ross explains: 'Ōrongohau is a "new" word combination that attempts to convey a Māori perspective. It can be translated in different ways: your news/views/thoughts/feelings/ are heard; your fame [is carried] on the wind. It doesn’t make subjective judgements about quality, the wind can blow in from anywhere.'

Ōrongohau | Best New Zealand Poems continues to cross linguistic borders. Following on from Chinese, Italian, Samoan, Persian and French editions, our colleagues at Wai-te-ata Press are working on a Russian edition of the 2019 collection.

Our Ōrongohau | Best New Zealand Poems 2020 editor is David Eggleton; New Zealand Poet Laureate for 2019-2021.

Earlier editors were Hera Lindsay Bird (2019), Fiona Farrell (2018), Selina Tusitala Marsh (2017), Jenny Bornholdt (2016), John Newton (2015), Vincent O'Sullivan (2014), Mark Williams and Jane Stafford (2013), Ian Wedde (2012), Bernadette Hall (2011), Chris Price (2010), Robyn Marsack (2009), James Brown (2008), Paula Green (2007), Anne Kennedy and Robert Sullivan (2006), Andrew Johnston (2005), Emma Neale (2004), Robin Dudding (2003), Elizabeth Smither (2002) and Iain Sharp (2001).

The 2021 editor will be Kate Camp.

Bill Manhire is the founding editor, and was Series Editor from 2001-2010. With Damien Wilkins, he co-edited a print anthology, The Best of Best New Zealand Poems (Victoria University Press, 2011), which offers a condensed view of the first decade.

Ōrongohau | Best New Zealand Poems is published by the International Institute of Modern Letters and is supported by a grant from Creative New Zealand, whose assistance we greatly appreciate. We remain grateful to the late Ralph Hotere (1931-2013) for permission to use his drawing for the first edition of James K Baxter's Jerusalem Sonnets (Bibliography Room, University of Otago, 1970) on our opening page.

Chris Price
Series Editor
Te Whanganui-a-Tara | Wellington
March, 2021

Read Ōrongohau | Best New Zealand poems online

Please visit our dedicated Ōrongohau | Best New Zealand Poems website to browse the current issue or any previous issue.

Submission guidelines

If you would like to submit a poem, selection or collection of poems published in the calendar year of the current collection, please visit our submission guidelines page.