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Edited by Janet Newman and Robert SullivanKoe: An Aotearoa ecopoetry anthology cover

Koe invites readers to explore human connections with nature through a selection of over 100 poems composed in Aotearoa New Zealand from pre-European times to the present day. Including a substantial introduction and editors’ notes, Koe is the first anthology to provide a comprehensive overview of ecopoetic traditions in Aotearoa and to locate these traditions as part of the global ecopoetry scene.

In Koe, editors Janet Newman and Robert Sullivan reveal the genesis, development and heritage of a unique Aotearoa New Zealand ecopoetry derived from both traditional Māori poetry and the English poetry canon. Organised chronologically into three sections—representing the early years (poets born in or before the nineteenth century), the middle years of the twentieth century, and the twenty-first-century ‘now’—each segment presents a diverse array of voices. Across all these time frames, speaking from the conditions of their era, the poets delve into themes of humility, reverence and interconnectedness with the nonhuman world. They challenge traditional Eurocentric perspectives, highlight the significance of indigenous narratives, and wrestle with the impacts of European colonisation.

With more than 100 poems of celebration, elegy, apprehension, hope and activism, Koe gives us the history that holds our future.


Janet Newman lives at Koputaroa in Horowhenua. She has a PhD from Massey University for her thesis ‘Imagining Ecologies: traditions of ecopoetry in Aotearoa New Zealand’ (2019). Her essays about the sonnets of Michele Leggott and the Romantic ecopoetry of Dinah Hawken won the Journal of New Zealand Literature Prize for New Zealand Literary Studies in 2014 and 2016. She won the 2015 New Zealand Poetry Society International Competition, the 2017 Kathleen Grattan Prize for a Sequence of Poems and was a runner-up in the 2019 Kathleen Grattan Awards. Her first collection of poems, Unseasoned Campaigner (OUP, 2021), won the 2022 New Zealand Society of Authors Heritage Book Award for Poetry.

Robert Sullivan (Ngāpuhi, Kāi Tahu) is the author of 10 books of poetry, a graphic novel and an award-winning book of Māori legends for children. His most recent poetry collections include Tūnui | Comet (AUP, 2022) and Hopurangi—Songcatcher: Poems from the Maramataka (AUP, 2024). Robert is the co-editor of anthologies of Polynesian poetry in English, Whetu Moana (AUP, 2002) and Mauri Ola (AUP, 2010), alongside Albert Wendt and Reina Whaitiri. He’s also the co-editor of an anthology of Māori poetry, Puna Wai Kōrero (AUP, 2014), with Reina Whaitiri. Among many awards, he received the 2022 Lauris Edmond Memorial Award for a distinguished contribution to New Zealand poetry. He is associate professor of creative writing at Massey University and has taught previously at Manukau Institute of Technology and the University of Hawai‘i at Mānoa.

Publication details

Paperback with flaps
170 x 220mm, 315pp 
RRP $50
Release date: 22 August 2024

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