It has always been true that in dealing with the dilemmas of ordinary life - the inescapable moral, personal, spiritual, even practical decisions that are constantly to be made - people turn to poetry ...They look for refreshment, for illumination, insight, pleasure,relief. Thus Lauris Edmond stated her views on the role of poetry when she began work on this anthology in 1998. She and fellow editor Bill Sewell believed poetry should be part of our everyday experience, addressing us directly and powerfully - with immediate impact. But as well as appealing instantly to the heart and the ear, it should be memorable, making us want to return to it over and over again. Essential New Zealand Poems brings together over 200 outstanding and accessible New Zealand poems from a generous range of poets - from Hone Tuwhare to Elizabeth Smithers, from Emma Neale to Chris Orsman, intended for the widest possible audience - for every New Zealand home and classroom it is a broad and satisfying picture of the achievements and promise of New Zealand poetry at the end of the millennium.
Shortlisted for Montana New Zealand Book Awards: Reference & Anthology Category 2002.