This selection, like its predecessor Spirit in a Strange Land, comprises approximately 100 poems. It is divided into six sections - these sections are frames around the notion of New Zealand identity and the hotly contested debates about who we are: * Iconic Kiwis * Waitangi and beyond * Anzacs * Wealth, welfare, wharfies * Imports and expats * Pacific voices The selection presents a wide range of work by well-known and lesser-known New Zealand poets, including Fleur Adcock, Peter Bland, James Brown, Albert Wendt, Robert Sullivan, Les Cleveland, Alistair Te Ariki Campbell, James K Baxter, Allen Curnow, Charles Brasch, Kapka Kassabova, Jenny Bornholdt, Lauris Edmond, Hone Tuwhare, Janet Frame, Keri Hulme, Glen Colquhoun, Kate Camp, ARD Fairburn, Ian Wedde, Anne French, and CK Stead. These poems explore the struggles at the core of attempts to articulate our identity on foreign battlefields, in London and Sydney, Wellington and Auckland, and Cape Reinga to Bluff. While some poets have discovered the heart of our collective consciousness in affluent suburbs, others have located our soul amid bachs on beaches, and in the bush and the back-blocks.
Others again have found it on the roads to Parihaka and Bastion Point. New voices from our Pacific are becoming heard alongside even newer Asian ones; these voices challenge and celebrate our ever-increasing diversity. The volume concludes with a substantial essay on the contours of our changing identity. In no other arena is our identity so resonantly deliberated, challenged, and played out than in the eloquent spirituality of our poetry.
Shortlisted for Montana New Zealand Book Awards: Reference & Anthology Category 2005.