Monday, April 6, 2009

A collection of animal poems

Our Own Kind: 100 New Zealand Poems about Animals, edited by Siobhan Harvey ISBN: 978-186962-160-5 RRP $36.99

If you love animals and poetry - well, you are going to love this anthology of poems. From Baxter to Bland, Fleur to Frame, Hone to Hume - you will find our finest poets putting verse to animal's peculiar ways. Siobhan Harvey says, "I believe that in the animals whose barks, miaows, grunts, roars, whinnies, moos, baas, buzzing and birdsong you'll meet as you read this anthology, you'll meet echoes of yourself."
This collection is probably meant for an adult market with its sophisticated packaging and whimsical black and white photographs BUT teachers of Years 5 - 8 and English classes Years 9 -13 I recommend you buy this book for your classroom and dip into it regularly. The nature of the poems will appeal to most children and there is plenty to intellectually debate and techniques to look at closely. You will also find a generous paragraph about each poet, an index of titles and first lines and an index on poets. If you want your students to hear the artists perform the song I would also buy the 'Classic New Zealand Poets in Performance' series too.
Mark Smith's black and white photographs enhance the collection. He believes each photograph tells its own story. Mark exhibits his work regularly and his photographs feature in two books: 'Neil Finn Once Removed' and 'Swings and Roundabouts: Poems on Parenthood'.
Siobhan Harvey is the author of two poetry collections. Her poetry and prose have appeared in numerous international publications and anthologies, and have been broadcast on Radio New Zealand.
Due out in shops - April 17th.
Revewed by Maria Gill

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