AUP New Poets 10

Tessa Keenan, romesh dissanayake and Sadie Lawrence

Author: Tessa Keenan,
Author: romesh dissanayake and
Author: Sadie Lawrence
Edited and introduced by: Anne Kennedy
Format: Paperback, ebook
Pages: 100
Published: 9 May 2024
Specs: 22.4cm x 16.4cm
ISBN: 9781776711239


Three poets explore race, indigeneity, gender, history, neurodiversity, love and loss.

Distinctive, fresh and compellingly present, AUP New Poets 10 features three exciting new voices.

Looking out from today at a landscape peopled with her tūpuna, Tessa Keenan (Te Ātiawa) writes poems filled with quiet rage and remarkable lyricism. Meanwhile romesh dissanayake plays with language to explore food, family and edgy romance, from post-war Sri Lanka to Aotearoa. And, at just 20, Sadie Lawrence reveals the excitement and anguish of being young in a complicated world: ‘My love stands in the laundromat, Sunday best with blistered hands.’



Tessa Keenan (Te Ātiawa) is from Taranaki and is now based in Pōneke. You can find her writing in various Aotearoa publications including Starling, Poetry Aotearoa Yearbook, a fine line, and Pūhia.

romesh dissanayake is a writer from Te Whanganui-a-Tara Wellington. His work has appeared in The Spinoff, The Pantograph Punch, Enjoy Contemporary Art Space and A Clear Dawn: New Asian Voices from Aotearoa New Zealand (edited by Paula Morris and Alison Wong). His first novel, When I open the shop, was the winner of the 2022 Modern Letters Fiction Prize and is forthcoming from THWUP in 2024.

Sadie Lawrence is a second-year university student of creative writing and media studies. Like Human Girls / all we have is noise was written from ages seventeen to nineteen. Her autism screening was inconclusive.



Anne Kennedy is the author of three novels, a novella, four books of poetry, and many anthologised short stories. Her first book of poetry Sing-song was named Poetry Book of the Year at the 2004 Montana New Zealand Book Awards. The Darling North won the 2013 New Zealand Post Book Award for Poetry and Moth Hour was a poetry finalist at the 2020 Ockham New Zealand Book Awards. Anne has also won the BNZ Katherine Mansfield Short Story Award and has held fellowships at the University of Auckland, the IIML, and at the University of Hawai‘i at Mānoa. She has taught creative writing for a number of years in Hawai‘i and Auckland. Most recently she edited Remember Me: Poems to Learn by Heart from Aotearoa New Zealand.



‘This is an exciting new collection of poems in the AUP New Poets series. Tessa Keenan writes poetry as a kind of lyrical essayist with the work moving between a very contemporary moment and a powerful sense of history and place that gives these moments depth and resonance. romesh dissanayake offers a different soundscape, palate and set of visual references, dropping in and out of a social media register with a very effective performativity. And Sadie Lawrence’s poems are full of movement and surprise, as adjectives become verbs, patterns are set up and broken, and details linger in the mind. She conveys the visceral, messy realities of adolescent life, along with its energy and charm, in strikingly fresh and original work. Anna Jackson