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ACTIONS & TRAVELS 4 Helen Rickerby. Since I live in New Zealand, I am familiar not only with poets like James K. Baxter and Bill Manhire, well known locally and internationally, but also with the younger poets whose readings see audiences often spilling out onto the footpaths outside overcrowded bookshops or bars, who make their own zines and publish more often on the internet than in print – among them, Hera Lindsay Bird, whose poem ‘Monica’ went viral around the world in 2016, Rebecca Hawkes and Tayi Tibble. New Zealand readers may be interested in the connections I trace between these poets’ work and the work of more established poets, while readers from outside New Zealand will, I hope, be pleased to be introduced to poets whose work they may not have heard of. A list of poems is given at the start of each chapter for those who would like to read and think about them before reading the chapter, forming their own sense of the poems that can be com- pared with mine. Links to all the poems can be found on my website, www.annajackson.nz/actions-and-travels. If the book is read from cover to cover, you will have read or reread one hundred poems. There is no better preparation, I believe, for reading poetry than reading poetry. As Robert Frost rather dauntingly put it, ‘A poem is best read in the light of all the other poems ever written. We read A the better to read B (we have to start somewhere; we may get very little out of A). We read B the better to read C, C the better to read D, D the better to go back and get something more out of A. Progress is not the aim, but circulation. The thing is to get among the poems where they hold each other apart in their places as the stars do.’ If it is never possible to have read every poem ever written, it is always possible to expand our understanding of poetry with every additional poem we encounter. At the end of this book is an appendix of writing suggestions for readers who write or might like to write poetry. Reading poetry often leads to writing poetry, as the American poet and essayist Brian

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