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'terrifically strong poetry' - Radio NZ

A superb collection of poetry from one of New Zealand's top writers.

Fiona Kidman’s exquisite and adroit poetry invites the reader into her life, introducing us to her family, friends and places she has loved. In turn it touches our own experiences, offering universal relevance and insight.


. . . tightly curated and unified . . . The collection covers The Big Things: the arrival of grandchildren, immigration to a new country, a friend dying, the wedding. "Shelter with Me" deserves to become the default poem to be read at New Zealand weddings. . . . At the centre of the collection is a series of "10 sonnets for my mother" under the umbrella title "How I Saw Her". They are formally strict, but the impressive technical control never distracts from the emotions at their centre. Near the end are two almost unbearably moving poems about the experience of having a child with cancer. This brief account merely scratches the surface of a mosaic of poems whose impact is out of all proportion to the size of the book in which they appear.

North & South

These are terrific . . . nuances of detail, flickers of humour . . . little shards of story . . . a touching final poem . . . terrifically strong poetry.

Harry Ricketts, Radio NZ

. . . of family, travels, milestones, things happening to a woman growing old, and a literary woman . . . a very beautiful book . . . a keepsake . . . a very lovely book . . . its lyrical writing . . . ultimately about love.

Mary McCallum, Radio NZ

The old adage, don’t judge a book by its cover, is tricky to abide by when confronted with such an aesthetically charming book. A sunny, kaleidoscopic front cover, with coloured inserts interspersed with black and whites. . . . Kidman has a range of voices, and can shift between lights and darks. There is indeed a ‘Change in the Light’; there is chiaroscuro here, shadows amongst the flowers

Elizabeth Morton, Booksellers News

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Formats & editions

  • Hardback


    March 28, 2016

    RHNZ Godwit

    128 pages

    RRP $35.00

    Online retailers

    • Abbey's Bookshop
    • Angus & Robertson Bookworld
    • Booktopia
    • Boomerang Books
    • Collins Booksellers
    • Dymocks
    • Books Kinokuniya
    • The Nile
    • QBD
    • Readings
    • Robinsons Bookshop

    Find your local bookstore at booksellers.org.au


Also by Fiona Kidman

All Day at the Movies
The House Within
Songs from the Violet Cafe
The Best of Fiona Kidman's Short Stories
The Infinite Air
The Book of Secrets
Paddy's Puzzle
A Needle in the Heart
Ricochet Baby
A Breed of Women
The Trouble With Fire
True Stars
Where Your Left Hand Rests
Beside The Dark Pool
At the End of Darwin Road
The Captive Wife


New Zealand: Eyewitness Travel Guide
The Cleaner
John Key: Portrait of a Prime Minister
Sir Henry Parkes: The Australian Colossus
The Whale Rider
The Ode Less Travelled
The Denniston Rose
Once Were Warriors
Gabriel's Bay
Catch Me When You Fall
Doctor Who: Now We Are Six Hundred
Maori at Home
Sleeps Standing
Decline and Fall on Savage Street
Night Sky with Exit Wounds
The Suicide Club
Flight Path
The Earth Cries Out
The Severed Land