Time comes when my compass
trembles to your true absence
and I must turn you
to the third person,
whispering to the kowhai,
the patient constructions of spiders,
to the frost, he is history, gone
from this round world, he is starlight.
(Otago University Press)
Poet, performer and artist Cilla McQueen has published 14 poetry collections to date during her impressive career. She was the New Zealand Poet Laureate (2009–2011), and was presented the Prime Minister’s Award for Literary Achievement in Poetry (2010). Three-time winner of the New Zealand Book Award for Poetry, her extensive list of accolades includes the PEN/Jessie Mackay Award for Best First Book of Poetry (1983), John Cowie Reid Memorial Prize for Poetry (1982), and Queen Elizabeth II Arts Council Scholarship in Letters (1992). Her poetry, often laced with humour, explores such diverse themes as displacement, love, loss, colonisation and ideas of home, modern science and politics.
Her most recent collection, In a Slant Light – a Poet’s Memoir, was published by Otago University Press (2016).
Cilla lives in Bluff, New Zealand.
Cilla McQueen’s Choice: ‘Your Being’ by David Kārena-Holmes