new zealand electronic poetry centre

Jenny Bornholdt



A selection of book covers

Most of my book covers have been done by friends or family, or people who have since become friends. I like working this way, I like the connections, the understanding and the ease of it.


Moving House

uses an image by the Chilean/Hungarian photographer Mari Mahr, who lives and works in London. I’d seen an exhibition of her photographs at the George Fraser Gallery in Auckland, and, after she sent us a catalogue of an earlier show, I wrote asking if I could use a work from the series ‘A Few Days in Geneva’. I find her work an on-going inspiration.



Waiting Shelter

takes its title from the sign inside an old bus shelter outside Wellington’s Botanical Gardens. Greg O’Brien did a drawing of the structure and placed it in a landscape photograph by his brother Brendan (taken from a car travelling at speed through Cornwall).


How We Met

Australian artist Noel McKenna is an old friend of Greg’s. They washed dishes together at The Basement (a jazz restaurant) in Sydney, in the early 1980s. Greg’s brother, Brendan, was chef there at the time. I asked Noel if he’d do some drawings for this book and sent him the manuscript. He said he thought the poems had a ‘sinister undertone’ – an observation I was very pleased with.



Miss New Zealand

Designer Sarah Maxey did this one. I love the fabric on the back cover. Sarah was always going to screenprint me some curtains – she claimed when this book came out, that she’d finally got around to it.




These Days

Brendan O’Brien collaged and drew the cover design. The book is like a journal – it chronicles life at home in a Wellington suburb with one small child and another due to arrive very soon. The cover seems perfect to me – a woman cooking, concentrating, tending to things in daily life.





Sarah Maxey again. She made the title using offcuts from her father’s workshop floor. John Maxey said that if only she’d asked, he could have made some much neater ones.



© Jenny Bornholdt


Last updated 4 August, 2009