In August, part of my 2011 Rugby World Cup poem was included at the start of Chapter 14 in Ron Palenski’s new definitive history of New Zealand rugby published by Auckland University Press.
It was great to see my poem quotation included but it was equally fine to see the number of historical New Zealand poets included in the book, giving a sense of New Zealand’s poetic contribution to their national game.
This may come as a surprise for some (unlike rugby songs) but as was shown with my 2010 cricket poetry anthology, there has long been a newspaper tradition in New Zealand of sports writing and commentary on games through the medium of poetry.
In academic histories or anthologies of New Zealand literature, sporting poetry is not often recognised.
It’s good that Ron Palenski has recognised this facet of the rugby game in New Zealand.
Here’s the link to the book on the publisher’s website: