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Wednesday 8 March 2017 10:12am

Joanna Preston

Winner of the 2022 Mary and Peter Biggs Award for Poetry, Ockham New Zealand Book Awards

The book

Tumble cover for NTIShe gripped lightly
with her knees, as she'd been taught. She didn't
want wings. She wanted to fly on the thunder of hooves,
feel muscles surging beneath her. The word
in her head, matching stride –
free-ee-dom, free-ee-dom – as she bent low
over the withers, pressing her cheek
against the finial's neck, her own hair
a mane, streaming wild in the wind.

– From the poem 'Silks'

In tumble, Joanna Preston's bold and original voice swoops the reader from the ocean depths to the roof of the world, from nascent saints, Viking raids and fallen angels to talking cameras and an astronaut in space.

This beautifully crafted collection traverses the lyric, free verse and traditional forms. It's earthy and embodied, while at the same time woven through with myth and magical realism. Always, the human heartbeat is at stake, as Preston explores love, loss, longing and lust – how we stumble, how we soar.

There is a spell-binding quality to these poems which makes Joanna Preston's much anticipated second collection a wonderfully memorable and evocative read. – Majella Cullinane

tumble twists and turns with an airy intensity; one poem shadows another to create the depth of field that gives this collection heft. Preston's invigorating precision lets her deliver the new and, more importantly, the true. – David Howard

The author

Joanna Preston is an Australian-born poet, editor, and freelance writing tutor, who lives in a small rural town in Canterbury. In 2008 she won the inaugural Kathleen Grattan Award for Poetry for her first collection, The Summer King (OUP), which went on to win the 2010 Mary Gilmore Award for the best first poetry collection by an Australian author. Preston has edited/co-edited seven poetry anthologies; and has been co-editor of Kokako magazine and poetry editor for takahē magazine.

Reviews and Interviews

Review: Robert McLean for Landfall Review Online Read
Review: Sophie van Waardenberg for Academy of New Zealand Literature Read
Interview: Joanna Preston on Bookenz with Morrin Rout Listen
Review: Joanna Preston speaks to Good Books Wellington about tumble Read

Publication details

Paperback, 210 x 148mm, 88pp
ISBN 9781990048197, $27.50

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