Poet 5:

[Michele Leggott (2008)]

Michele Leggott
(b. 1956)

Michele Leggott, poet, critic and editor, was born in Stratford, Taranaki, and educated at New Plymouth High School and the University of Canterbury (MA in English 1979 for a thesis on the poetry of Ian Wedde). She spent 1980–85 in Canada completing a PhD on American poet Louis Zukofsky at the University of British Columbia. In 1985 she was appointed to a lectureship at the University of Auckland.

Her first book of poems, Like This? (1988) won the PEN First Book of Poetry award. DIA (1994) won the New Zealand Book Award for Poetry. In her next collection As Far as I Can See (1999), Leggott wrote about the experience of losing her sight through macular degeneration.

Much of her critical work has been concerned with the submerged tradition of women poets in New Zealand. In line with this, she has edited Robin Hyde's The Book of Nadath (1999) and Young Knowledge: The Poems of Robin Hyde (2003).

She was the National Library's inaugural Poet Laureate of NZ for 2008-2009, and was made MNZM [Member of the New Zealand Order of Merit] in the New Year's Honours in 2008.

[Joanna Forsberg:
Michele Leggott]

Author Pages:

[NZ Book Council]


  1. Like This?. Christchurch: Caxton Press, 1988.
  2. Swimmers, Dancers. Auckland: Auckland University Press, 1991.
  3. DIA. Auckland: Auckland University Press, 1994.
  4. as far as I can see. Auckland: Auckland University Press, 1999.
  5. Milk and Honey. Auckland: Auckland University Press, 2005 / Cambridge: Salt, 2006.
  6. Journey to Portugal. Collages by Gretchen Albrecht. Auckland: Holloway Press, 2007.
  7. Mirabile Dictu. Auckland: Auckland University Press, 2009.
  8. Northland. Auckland: Pania Press, 2010.
  9. Heartland. Auckland: Auckland University Press, 2014.

  10. Criticism:
  11. Reading Zukofsky’s 80 Flowers. Baltimore: Johns Hopkins University Press, 1989.

  12. Edited:
  13. Opening the Book: New Essays on New Zealand Writing. Ed. with Mark Williams. Auckland: Auckland University Press, 1995.
  14. Robin Hyde. The Victory Hymn, 1935–1995. Auckland: Holloway Press, 1995.
  15. Robin Hyde. The Book of Nadath. Auckland: Auckland University Press, 1999.
  16. Big Smoke: New Zealand Poems 1960-1975. Ed. with Alan Brunton & Murray Edmond. Auckland: Auckland University Press, 2000.
  17. Robin Hyde. Young Knowledge: The Poems of Robin Hyde. Auckland: Auckland University Press, 2003.
  18. Alan Brunton. Beyond the Ohlala Mountains: Poems 1968-2002. Ed. with Martin Edmond. Auckland: Titus Books, 2013.
  19. nzepc [New Zealand Electronic Poetry Centre] (2003- )
  20. NZ Poet Laureate blog (15/1/08-20/7/09)

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