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  • Writer's pictureNZ Booklovers

Interview: harold coutts talks about AUP New Poets 9

harold coutts is a poet and writer based in Te Whanganuia-Tara. They have a hoard of unread books and love to play Dungeons & Dragons. Their work can be found across various New Zealand literary journals such as bad apple, Starling, Ōrongohau | Best New Zealand Poems, Poetry New Zealand Yearbook, and in Out Here: An Anthology of Takatāpui and LGBTQIA+ Writers from Aotearoa edited by Chris Tse and Emma Barnes. harold talks to NZ Booklovers.

Could you tell us a little about your poems in AUP New Poets 9?

So my section is titled Longing, which is a loose theme all the poems follow. Whether it be a romantic or sexual longing, or in terms of mental health, or healing. I initially found that was a common thread running through all I was writing, and decided to expand on it.

What inspired the poems in this collection?

Most of them come from personal experience. A lot of them are about people in my life, or things that have happened to me. But I take further inspiration from literature, art, and music. If it feels right, it’s right.

What was your routine or process when writing these poems?

Most of them started as scribbled ideas, whether on a crumpled piece of paper or as a note in my phone. some of them were quick to finish, whereas others took years. It’s a process you can’t rush, and I think there’s always room for improvement.

What did you enjoy the most about writing these poems?

I found writing a lot of them quite cathartic. For me, writing is the way I process emotions, so a lot of the time I didn’t realise how I was feeling until I had the words in front of me. There was a lot of healing that went into this book.

What did you do to celebrate the book being published?

I worked, and then played Dungeons and Dragons with my friends. I haven’t seen a copy of the book out in the wild yet.

What is the favourite book you have read so far this year and why?

I’m Glad My Mum Died by Jeanette McCurdy. Harrowing but really well written.

What’s next on the agenda for you?

I will always be writing. Nothing set in stone, but much to look forward to.

Auckland University Press


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