new zealand electronic poetry centre




Jenny Bornholdt

Recorded 10 March 2016 at the National Library in Wellington by University of Auckland digital media support specialist Tim Page.

Jenny bornholdt
 Photo credit: VUP / Robert Cross

Jenny Bornholdt has published ten books of poems, the most recent of which is The Hill of Wool. Her previous collection The Rocky Shore was a collection of six long poems which won the Montana New Zealand Book Award for Poetry in 2009. Jenny has been New Zealand Poet Laureate, has held the Meridian Energy Katherine Mansfield Fellowship in Menton, France, and was Victoria University’s Writer in Residence in 2010.

With her husband, poet Gregory O’Brien, she has co-edited two anthologies: My Heart Goes Swimming – New Zealand Love Poems and An Anthology of New Zealand Poetry in English (Oxford University Press). Her poems have appeared on ceramics, on a house, on paintings, in the foyer of a building and in letterpress books alongside drawings and photographs. She has also written a children’s book titled A book is a book.

Jenny lives in Wellington, New Zealand.

Poem notes

I wrote the poems in The Hill of Wool when I was the Writer in Residence at Victoria University in 2010. My previous book, The Rocky Shore, was made up of six long poems and I wanted this new work to be different from those talky, narrative poems. I’d got so inside that form that it felt important to break from it. I wanted these poems to be sharper, pricklier and to come at things sideways, rather than head-on. Being up at the university in a new work space helped shift me to a different way of working.


Last updated 12 December, 2016