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PANZA/Harvey McQueen donation | 12-Aug-11

The Poetry Library has recently received a donation from the Poetry Archive of New Zealand Aotearoa that includes books from the estate of New Zealand poet, teacher and anthologist Harvey McQueen (1934-2010).  McQueen was co-editor of two highly regarded New Zealand anthologies "Ten modern New Zealand poets" (Longman Paul, 1974) originally aimed at schools, and the "Penguin Book of New Zealand Verse" (Penguin, 1985), and was made an Officer of the New Zealand order of Merit for services to education and literature in 2002.   The books, which include anthologies such as "New Zealand verse" (Walter Scott Publishing) published in 1906 and "Recent poetry in New Zealand" (Collins) published in 1965, and individual collections by some poets not previously represented in our collection, have greatly enhanced our holdings of contemporary New Zealand poetry.

The donation also includes a couple of curiosities in two books by New Zealand poets who were published as children.  Gloria Rawlinson (1918-1995) was 14 when she published her first poetry collection in 1933, "Gloria's book".  Her second collection, "The perfume vendor" (Hutchinson), which the donation includes, was published two years later in 1935 and became a literary sensation in New Zealand selling over 7000 copies.  The other child poet is Laura Ranger who published "Laura's poems" six decades later in 1995.  The book includes poems written by her between the ages of six and nine and was shortlisted for New Zealand's Montana Book Awards.

If you would like to find out more about the New Zealand poetry scene: http://www.poetrysociety.org.nz/aboutaboutus;
and to find out about poetry readings by New Zealand poets in London see NZSN (the New Zealand Studies Network): http://nzstudies.wordpress.com/2011/07/20/august-event-dame-gillian-whitehead-with-poets-kevin-ireland-and-jan-kemp/


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