Mel Ansell

Statue to be scattered as you wish


Mel Ansell is a poet living in Wellington. She's often annoying people by recommending them podcasts. She has previously been published in Starling, Takahē and Critic.

Jesús Castillo

from 'Variations on Adonis'


Jesús Castillo was born in San Luis Potosí, Mexico. He holds a B.A. in Literature from U.C. San Diego and an MFA in Creative Writing from the Iowa Writers' Workshop. His first book, a long serial poem titled Remain​s, was published by McSweeney's in 2016.

Ash Davida Jane

Night Pollinators


Ash Davida Jane is a poet & bookseller from Wellington. Her work can be found in Starling, Mimicry, Food Court, & -Ology, & is forthcoming in Sport, Peach Mag, & Mayhem. Her first book Every Dark Waning was published in 2016 by Platypus Press.

Sam Duckor-Jones



Sam is a Wellington artist and writer, recently returned from a six year stint in the Wairarapa - where he remains on the board of Featherston Booktown (visit FBT 2020!)  His first collection of poetry People from the pit stand up was published by VUP in 2018.  Sam is represented by Bowen Galleries and has exhibited widely across New Zealand.  

Jasmine Gallagher

Persimmon from Woolston New World

Jasmine Gallagher is a poet, essayist, art critic and doctoral candidate at the University of Otago, where she is researching landscape mythology in contemporary New Zealand art and poetry. Her work has been published by or is forthcoming in: The Pantograph Punch, Landfall, Art New Zealand, Sweet Mammalian, Mayhem, Minarets ‘ANNEXE’, brief, The Physics Room, Journal of New Zealand Literature, #500words, Food Court X Salty ‘HAUNTS’, Cheap Thrills and CIRCUIT. She also writes art exhibition catalogue texts, with the most recent being a prose poem for Tyne Gordon’s show Visitor at CoCA Christchurch.

Miriama Gemmell

FWD: photograph from the birthday


Miriama (Ngāti Pāhauwera, Ngāti Rakaipaaka) recently returned to the home fires of Aotearoa for the comedy duet of decolonisation and motherhood. When she is not studying Te Reo, Miriama can be found drawing rainbows in street chalk with her toddler.

Chris Holdaway


Chris is a poet and bookmaker from Northland. He's the author of HIGH-TENSION/FASHION (Greying Ghost, 2018), and a co-founder of both Compound Press and Minarets journal.

Amanda Hunt

Echo Lake


Amanda Hunt is a poet and environmental scientist from Rotorua.  Her work has been published in Landfall, Takahē, Mimicry, Poetry NZ, Ngā Kupu Waikato and more.  She has been commended in several New Zealand Poetry competitions.  In 2016, she was shortlisted for the Sarah Broom Poetry Prize.

Eleanor Rose King Merton

Night swimmers


Eleanor Rose King Merton is a poet and editor living in Te Whanganui-a-Tara. Her work appears in various publications including Sport, Starling, Sick Leave (AU) and Peach Mag (US).

Anuja Mitra

The princess escapes her myth


Anuja Mitra studies Law, English and Classical Studies at the University of Auckland. She has writing published or forthcoming in Signals, Starling, Sweet Mammalian, Mayhem, Three Lamps and Poetry NZ. Her work was included in the 2017-2018 National Library exhibition “The Next Word: Contemporary New Zealand Poetry” and she is co-founder of the online arts platform Oscen.

Jackson Nieuwland



Jackson Nieuwland is a genderqueer writer, editor, and librarian. They run the zine/reading series Food Court with Carolyn DeCarlo. Their five year plan is to transform into a sexy tree.

Essa Ranapiri

Standing at the front of a room delivering a karakia


essa may ranapiri (Ngāti Raukawa | they/them/theirs) if they die before the end of the settler colonial nation state of NZ you owe them a revolution [their first book of poetry ransack is out now from VUP]

Ruby Solly

Kā Ikoa


Ruby Solly is a Kai Tahu writer and musician living in Pōneke. She has been published in journals such Landfall, Starling, Oscen and others. She tries to get her things into journals as much as possible because not enough little brown girls from Turangi get published and she's had e-bloody-nough.

Luisa-Tafu Tauri-Tei

Teine lelei


'I've always felt attached to the narratives of the Pacific and I've always felt attached to my roots in the 267, Rewa, Auckland. Being a daughter of powerful speakers, I always feel like an orator before I a writer, so my poems are always written to be said aloud and it feels more comfortable that way, mainly because there's an exchange of emotions when performing so I don't always feel the magnitude of my vulnerability. This poem is rooted in my homes; the Pacific, Soufside, and my nana Falelima Tuiloma. A thank you to all the Sāmoan daughters who grew to be the backbone of a family, our mothers.'

Rhegan Tu’akoi

Coconut heart


Rhegan Tu'akoi is a Tongan Pākehā and is currently doing her honours in English. She only ever meant to write for a password-protected document, but has previously appeared in Oscen, Mayhem Literary Journal and Ia Literary Journal.

Sophie van Waardenberg

Poem in which I am good


Sophie van Waardenberg is a poet from Auckland and first-year MFA candidate at Syracuse University, New York state. She is a poetry editor for Salt Hill and associate editor of Geometry. Her first chapbook-length collection was published in AUP New Poets 5 (2019). 

Rebecca Hawkes

Issue 6 cover art and editor


Rebecca Hawkes is a high-country farm lass from Canterbury, now living a hyphenated life as a painter-poet-slash-corporate-communicator in Te Whanganui-a-Tara. She writes about beastliness and weeds, with work scattershot through journals like Starling, Sport, and (soon) Rust + Moth. Her debut chapbook Softcore Coldsores launched August 2019 in AUP New Poets 5. Find more of her words and work through

Nikki-Lee Birdsey

Issue 6 editor


Nikki-Lee was born in Piha. She holds an MFA from the University of Iowa Writers' Workshop and a BA from New York University. She has over 30 publications of poetry and prose in the US, UK, Canada and New Zealand including the chapbook Free That Hooker (Aero Press 2012). She is currently a PhD candidate at the International Institute of Modern Letters. Her first book Night as Day was published by VUP in 2019, work for which received a Pushcart Prize nomination in the United States.