Briar Wood

ANZL Member

Briar Wood (Ngapuhi Nui Tonu) is an Aotearoa New Zealand writer, poet and academic who was born in Taumarunui, and grew up in South Auckland. She gained an MA in Literature at the University of Auckland, and at the University of Sussex in the UK she was awarded a PhD in 1990 for her research on women’s writing of the modernist era. Briar lived in London, teaching literature and creative writing for many years.  Returning to Northland in Aotearoa New Zealand, she now combines travel, occasional lecturing and a focus on writing.

Briar’s poetry embraces multiple languages (particularly Te Reo Maori and English), and deploys multifarious, international fauna and flora references. Her poetry has been widely published and anthologised in national and international journals and anthologies. Her collection Welcome Beltane (Palores Press, 2012) which made poetic links between family histories and contemporary places, was awarded the 2013 Holyer An Gof prize for poetry. Her next collection Rāwāhi (Anahera Press, 2017) was short listed for the 2018 Ockham New Zealand poetry prize. Rāwāhi is centred around Northland places where her Te Hikutū ki Hokianga, Ngāpuhi Nui whakapapa resonates with ecological concerns. It has been translated into Ukrainian by Krok publishers.



Anahera Press: Briar Wood

Poetry Archive poet page

Youtube: Interview and reading for National Poetry Day (Aug, 2018)

Landfall review of Rāwāhi (April, 2018)

NZ Poetry Shelf – 12 Questions for the Ockham NZ Book Awards Finalists (March, 2018)

‘One World’ in Best New Zealand Poems (2017)




Bibliography: Briar Wood



Rāwāhi (Anahera Press, 2017)

Welcome Beltane (Palores Press, 2012)



Ora Nui (2017)

Ora Nui (2011)

‘Lightfast’ and ‘Blue House Garden’ in Stand Magazine Vol.9. [2] (2009)

Australian Studies Vol. 15, No.2., Winter 2000.



Pūrākau: Māori Myths ([ed. Witi Ihimaera and Whiti Hereaka],Vintage Press, 2019)

Puna Wai Kōrero: An Anthology of Māori Poetry in English  ([ed. Reina Whaitiri & Robert Sullivan], Auckland University Press, 2017)

Wave Hub: New Poetry From Cornwall  ([ed. Alan Kent], 2014)

‘Between the Flags’ in Wildes Licht (ed. Dieter Riemenschneider Tranzlit, 2010)

Whetu Moana: Contemporary Polynesian Poems in English (Albert Wendt, Robert Sullivan and Reina Whaitiri (eds.), Auckland University Press, 2003)



‘Solstice Dolphins’ from Rāwāhi, selected for a poster and reading for Phantom Billstickers National Poetry Day (2018)

 Shade House Poems, recording installation at Whangarei Art Museum with Maureen Lander and Robert Sullivan (2004)


‘Science in the Poetry of Oceania’ Dreadlocks in Oceania Conference publication (2011)

‘Freedom and Responsibility: Narrating Maori Women’s Lives in Patricia Grace’s Cousins’ Hecate Vol. 34., No.1 (2008)

‘The Words Are There Before Us’:  A Reading of Twentieth Century Anglo Cornish Poems Written by Women Cornish Studies 14 (2006)

‘In Spirits’ Voices: An Interview With Steven Winduo’ Journal of Postcolonial Writing 42:1, May 2006

‘From the Sublime to the Pacific: the poetry of Alistair Campbell’ New Literatures Review 38, Winter (2002)

‘Back on the Road Again: After Glorified ScalesMoving Worlds (2002)

‘Abjection and Nationality in Patrick White’s A Fringe of Leaves’ (2000)

‘Shamanism in Oceania: The Poetry of Albert Wendt’ Reading the  ‘New’ Literatures in a Postcolonial Era ed. Susheila Nasta  (Boydell and Brewer, Suffolk, 2000)

‘Heka He Va‘a Mei Popo: Sitting on a Rotten Branch of the Breadfruit Tree: Reading the Poetry of Konai Helu Thaman’ Women’s Studies Journal 1998, 14:2 (1998)



Leave To Stay ([ed. Joan Riley and Briar Wood], Virago, 1996)

'My readers turn up...and I meet them as human beings, not sales statistics on a royalty statement.' Fleur Adcock

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