AUP New Poets 9
Sarah Lawrence, harold coutts and Arielle Walker
Longing, fragility, romance and other tidal forces collide in AUP New Poets 9.
In poems by Sarah Lawrence, harold coutts and Arielle Walker, three fresh, vivid voices arrive.
In ‘Clockwatching’, Sarah Lawrence hurtles us into a world full of friends and homes and things, and wonders what they all might leave behind: ‘If it’s toothache or budget / margarine or perhaps / another world altogether.’ harold coutts’ ‘longing’ reflects on gender (‘if gender is a taste i am cutting out my tongue’), bodies (‘pubelessness’) and the rest (‘there isn’t a manual on when you’re writing someone a love poem and they break up with you’). And in ‘river poems’ Arielle Walker steps right into the water – because ‘a poem is a fluid thing all wrapped up in fish skin’ – and finds stories of sealskins, harakeke and thistle, kānuka and mānuka, alder and elder.
Brimming with vivid beauty, the contemporary and the inflections of memory, AUP New Poets 9 shows just what new writing can open up.
Sarah Lawrence (she/her) is a Pōneke-based poet, performer, musician and pizza waitress. She recently dropped out of law school to study acting at Toi Whakaari: New Zealand Drama School. Her parents are thrilled. She won the Story Inc Prize for Poetry in 2021, and you can find her writing in Starling, Landfall, A Fine Line and The Spinoff.
harold coutts is a poet and writer based in Te Whanganui-a-Tara. They have a hoard of unread books and love to play Dungeons & Dragons. Their work can be found across various New Zealand literary journals such as bad apple, Starling, Ōrongohau | Best New Zealand Poems, Poetry New Zealand Yearbook, and in Out Here: An Anthology of Takatāpui and LGBTQIA+ Writers from Aotearoa edited by Chris Tse and Emma Barnes (Auckland University Press, 2021).
Arielle Walker (Taranaki, Ngāruahine, Ngāpuhi, Pākehā) is a Tāmaki Makaurau-based artist, writer and maker. Her practice seeks pathways towards reciprocal belonging through tactile storytelling and ancestral narratives, weaving in the spaces between. Her work can be found in Stasis Journal, Turbine | Kapohau, Tupuranga Journal, Oscen: Myths and No Other Place to Stand: An Anthology of Climate Change Poetry from Aotearoa New Zealand (Auckland University Press, 2022).
‘These new poets write with brilliant urgency and originality on the issues facing contemporary society. Arielle Walker’s poignant voice explores history, land and belonging, while harold coutts both disrupts and claims gender identity with grit and playfulness, and Sarah Lawrence weaves a startling amalgam of the everyday and the existential.’
New Poets 9 takes the very best risk there is in poetry publishing: entering into poetry’s essential trailblazing.’
— Anne Kennedy
'Each poet is immersed in the contemporary world, peering at it through their own lens which they also use to interrogate the past. As always in the best poetry, there’s a determination to bring spiky cultural problems to the fore.'
— Erica Stretton, Kete Books
'AUP New Poets 9 underlines the refreshing engagements a new generation of poets is producing in Aotearoa. And yes, altogether dazzling!'
— Paula Green, NZ Poetry Shelf