new zealand electronic poetry centre

Cilla McQueen

 Capital of the minimal  


Born in 1949, Cilla McQueen is a multiple winner of the New Zealand Book Award for Poetry. She has held the Burns Fellowship (1985-86), a Fulbright Visiting Writers Fellowship (1985), and the Scholarship in Letters (1991). While closely associated with Dunedin, she now lives in Bluff. Her work is characterized by an irreverent tenderness that inhabits (it squats in and on) the particular, as evidenced here:

Charles and Rodney are standing on the spine of the peninsula, facing north. Rodney is puffing and his eyes are bright. In one hand he has a stout stick and in the other the map of Charles Brasch. Charles is tall and thin. He has bushy eyebrows. He is dressed in khaki shorts and shirt. In his rucksack he carries a compass, a pair of binoculars, a water bottle, a green pullover, a battered Auden, two notebooks and several pencils.

Running due south, the centre fold line passes through the graceful font of the word 'Dunedin' at the top of the paper, through Aramoana township and across the narrow harbour heads, through the marae at Otakou, the church and the graveyard and the cockle beds, across the peninsula and the tidal flats at Papanui inlet, through Mount Charles and out over the cliffs of Allan's Beach, towards Antarctica. [Map]


  • Homing In (McIndoe, 1982)
  • Anti Gravity (McIndoe, 1984)
  • Wild Sweets (McIndoe, 1986)
  • Benzina (McIndoe, 1988)
  • Berlin Diary (McIndoe, 1990)
  • Crïkey: New and Selected Poems (McIndoe, 1993)
  • Markings (University of Otago Press, 2000)
  • Axis (University of Otago Press, 2001)
  • Soundings (University of Otago Press, 2002)

NZ Literature File at AU


Cilla McQueen 2004

Last updated 11 July, 2004