new zealand electronic poetry centre




Penny Somervaille

Recorded 8 June 2018 at the University of Auckland, Faculty of Arts Sound Studio.
Tim Page, sound engineer.

Brian Flaherty
 Photo credit: Jan Robertson

Penny Somervaille grew up and was educated in England, coming to NZ in 1957 where she met and married a New Zealander. She has three adult children and two adult grandchildren. Penny has written what she calls ‘stuff’ for a long time, but only took it more seriously in 2000 when she enrolled at the University of Auckland and completed a BA some years later. She mostly reads her work as opposed to publishing it: ‘I write to find out what I think, or to comment on what I read or hear.’ She has a longstanding association with Poetry Live in Auckland, and in 2014 Pennyroyal Press published her collection Small Decisions.

Poem notes

This selection of my work reflects the range of what I write. Something like ‘Eruptions’ is a spontaneous reaction to circumstances, while a poem like ‘Dear David Malouf’ responds to a person or an event. I have recently written more Memory poems. Perhaps as I grow older and older memories occupy more head space as the future dwindles. Some works swirl around in my head for weeks, others just emerge very quickly.


Last updated 14 August, 2018