National Poetry Day 2019 made for a busy Friday at Unity Books Wellington as a roster of NZ women poets lined up to recite their work in celebration of the day, the women, the poetry, and the publication of a comprehensive new survey: Wild Honey: Reading NZ Women’s Poetry by Paula Green. Illustrated throughout by Sarah Laing and featuring the work of 195 poets (with biographies and full bibliographies), Wild Honey has been called a landmark volume and an incredible achievement.
Paula, a highly regarded poet herself, was excited to be joined by a group of the poets featured in the book including, carina gallegos, Stefanie Lash, Therese Lloyd, Maria McMillan and Manon Revuelta, as well as musician and actor Moana Ete who gave a moving reading of a poem written specially for the occasion by Maraea Rakuraku. Each of the poets, including Paula, gave readings of several poems with subject matter ranging from the immigrant experience, to reclaiming the ‘C’ word, to Christchurch in the 80’s, to love poetry, to toxic masculinity and beyond. A packed audience was kept enthralled throughout by the breadth, depth and quality of the work shared and were keen to meet with the poets and have their books signed before heading home to get lost in the pastures of Wild Honey.