Michele Leggott

Michele Leggott was the inaugural New Zealand Poet Laureate 2007–09 and received the Prime Minister’s Award for Literary Achievement in Poetry in 2013. Her collections include Heartland (2014) and Mirabile Dictu (2009), both from Auckland University Press. She coordinates the New Zealand Electronic Poetry Centre (nzepc) with Brian Flaherty at the University of Auckland, and recently co-edited Alan Brunton’s selected poems, Beyond the Ohlala Mountains (Titus Books, 2014), with Martin Edmond.

Leggott comments: ‘Almost twenty-five years ago, Leigh and Susan Davis built a family place on the headland above Whale Bay in Northland. Here, in 2009, Leigh designed and flew the thirtieth and final flag of his magnum opus Station of Earth-bound Ghosts. And here, on an orange wall in the boatshed, hangs the first flag in that magnificent series of aerial poems. Five years after Leigh’s death the place on the headland still vibrates with tangible and intangible traces of his restless, enquiring mind. To walk into it is to engage all over again with possibility, counting and measuring light, time, steps, the hoist and the fly.

‘One such possibility opened when Auckland artist and publisher Bronwyn Lloyd developed a textile response to my poem “matapouri” for the Art + Books symposium in Dunedin last year. Bronwyn’s response embodies in a different form the sewn words and flights of black and white caught from Leigh’s flags and present in my walk through the places on and around the headland.’

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