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Congratulations to Poet Laureate

11 March 2005 Media Statement

Congratulations to Poet Laureate

Associate Arts, Heritage and Culture Minister, Judith Tizard today congratulated Jenny Bornholdt on her appointment as Te Mata Estate's fifth Poet Laureate.

"Jenny is a well known poet and anthologist and a true master of her craft. This is a position of honour and a fantastic achievement,” said Judith Tizard.

Poets Laureate are appointed for a two-year tenure and receive a grant of money and wine from the Estate, as well as an individual tokotoko (a ceremonial carved walking stick), which symbolises their achievement and status. The poets have no obligations except to produce a book of poems in their two-year tenure.

Te Mata Estate has also joined with Victoria University’s International Institute of Modern Letters to enhance the public profile of New Zealand poetry through a range of laureate visits to secondary schools and public engagements.

“The role of laureate really boosts the profile of poetry in New Zealand. I am pleased that Te Mata Estate supports this appointment, and think it is highly appropriate given that the English Poet Laureate was traditionally paid with wine,” said Judith Tizard.

“Poetry is the most demanding and often the poorest paid of the literary arts. Te Mata's awards have shown the breadth and depth of poetry in New Zealand and the art form is being encouraged and well supported by New Zealanders.

"Brian Turner, the current Poet Laureate, has set a high standard to follow ƒ{ I look forward to reading his collection of poetry Footfall, which was published last week. Indeed, the previous Poet Laureates have produced some stunning works of literature and I also look forward to reading the volume that Jenny Bornholdt will produce.

“Congratulations to Jenny Bornholdt and I wish her all the best for her tenure,” said Judith Tizard.

ENDS

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