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The 20/20 Collection

To mark the 20th anniversary of Phantom Billstickers National Poetry Day, we asked 20 acclaimed Kiwi poets to choose one of their own poems – a work that spoke to New Zealand now. They were also asked to select something by another poet they saw as essential reading in 2017. The result is the 20/20 Collection, a selection of forty poems that reflect the diverse and vibrant range of voices in our contemporary literature.

The final, complete collection is available below, or you can download the free electronic version via this link: The 20/20 Collection. Follow this additional link for our Teachers' Notes.

The 20/20 poets, paired with their choice, are as follows: Jenny Bornholdt/ Ish Doney, Diana Bridge/ John Dennison, David Eggleton/ Leilani Tamu, Paula Green/ Simone Kaho, Michael Harlow/Paul Schimmel, Kevin Ireland/ Gregory Kan, Andrew Johnston/ Bill Nelson, Bill Manhire/ Louise Wallace, Selina Tusitala Marsh/ Reihana Robinson, Cilla McQueen/ David Kārena-Holmes, James Norcliffe/ Marisa Cappetta, Vincent O’Sullivan/ Lynley Edmeades, Tusiata Avia/ Teresia Teaiwa, Richard Reeve/Michael Steven, Elizabeth Smither/ Rob Hack, C. K. Stead/ Johanna Emeney, Robert Sullivan/ Ngahuia Te Awekotuku, Apirana Taylor/ Kiri Piahana-Wong, Brian Turner/ Jillian Sullivan, Alison Wong/ Chris Tse.

Welcome to our 20th anniversary celebration!

With Words

Paul Schimmel

If I could seduce you with words
I would touch your wrist
with the word wrist, your ankle
with ankle, caress your breast
with the word breast; I would
carefully name every part of you

then with fingertips
I would touch your skin
everywhere, between all
the different parts of you
with the word love, to leave
your body complete

from Reading the Water
(Steele Roberts)

Paul Schimmel

Paul Schimmel is a psychoanalyst, writer, and fly-fisher for trout whenever he can find the time. Originally from New Zealand, he currently lives and works in Sydney. Aotearoa remains home however, and his poetry has appeared in various, mainly New Zealand, literary magazines. A first collection of poems, Reading the water, was published by Steele-Roberts, Wellington, in 2016. His psycho-biographical study Sigmund Freud’s discovery of psychoanalysis: conquistador and thinker, was published by Routledge UK in 2014.