Wednesday 14 March 2018

Radio NZ: Jesse Mulligan 1-4 [14/3/18]

2018 New Zealand Poetry Yearbook

From Jesse Mulligan, 1–4pm, 1:31 pm today

The upcoming 2018 Poetry Yearbook includes 130 new poems from 87 poets. It has a skew for 2018 towards younger writers including those who are still in their teens. It also features the 2018 Poetry Prize Winner's work. That was won by an Otago University Medical student, Fardowsa Mohamed. The Yearbook's editor Jack Ross talks to Jesse about the quality of this year's book and the talent of the country's younger poets.

Jack Ross

Short Story Club

Every Thursday after 3pm Jesse and a guest discuss a New Zealand short story, and read feedback from listeners.

On Thursday 15th March we will discuss the poem Us, by Fardowsa Mohamed.

We brought in an overseas expert to discuss her poem. Poet, editor and fan of New Zealand, Matthew Zapruder.

He has an excellent book called Why Poetry, which is a great place to start for somebody wanting to enjoy poetry more.

Fardowsa Mohamed

for my sisters


Mother, you did not expect to find yourself
in this forest of strange trees.
This ground does not taste
of the iron your tongue knew.
in the velvet of the night we heard you sob
in the room next door, our ears pressed to the peeling paper.
we locked fingers and prayed. someone next door
saw braided-head girls in a circle
praying to a peculiar god
and snapped their curtains shut.


Everyone congratulates me
on the scholarship. Your parents
who have suffered can finally exhale

said the white man at the ceremony.
But I think I hate this degree.
I want to do good and make a difference
but I have no idea
how to be in this foreign land.


the world broke & crumbled today
— there you go — trying to tape her back
into a perfect sphere,
trying to spit water
on the raging fire.


know that this earth is your body. your words are
the Pacific Ocean tides that wash & purify
your legs are the Mountains that anchor, your heart —
the Land that gives. every where you stand is your home.
Earth is the African Woman
who gave birth to the first Man.


We were watching late night Al Jazeera, shaking our heads,
when uncle called. A pregnant cousin we have never met has died.
The TV breaks to a Red Cross appeal.
You hold me on the sinking couch
as we mourn those whom we never knew.

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