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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!

Your Being

David Kārena-Holmes

Your being is

a blazing star

that turns and burns

like Achenar,

like Fomalhaut

or Betelgeuse,

in my darkling


A voyager

in time and space,

toward that light

I set my face.

from Genesis
(Maungatua Press)

David Kārena-Holmes

David Kārena-Holmes was born in Lower Hutt in 1938. His writings have appeared in journals, newspapers and anthologies in New Zealand, Australia, England, India and Canada. A collection of short poems, Genesis, was printed in 2009. He has also authored two books on the grammar of te reo Māori (and a third is in preparation). Currently, however, his central preoccupation in writing is “a poem of some length” which was begun with From the Antipodes: Prologue to a Work in Progress (first published in 2002).