Janis Freegard

ANZL Member

Janis Freegard is a writer of fiction and poetry. Her fiction is mostly contemporary realism, aimed at adults, but she also writes magic realism and speculative fiction. Her most recent publication is a poetry collection, Reading the Signs (Cuba Press, 2020) a series of linked poems that are thoughtful and humorous, provocative and tender, and come together as a quiet epic about a planet that is fast running out of puff. Prior to this were her novel, The Year of Falling (Mākaro Press, 2015), and three more poetry collections, The Glass Rooster (Auckland University Press, 2015), The Continuing Adventures of Alice Spider (Poetry chapbook: Anomalous Press, US, 2013), and Kingdom Animalia: The Escapades of Linnaeus (Auckland UP, 2011).

Janis’ poetry mixes science with surrealism and frequently makes use of constraints. Of her first full-length poetry collection, Kingdom Animalia: The Escapades of Linnaeus, Emma Neale (NZ Listener) wrote ‘…the collection is as much about human follies, infringements, betrayals and tenderness as it is about the habits and habitats of our animal cousins’. In New Zealand Books, Charlotte Simmonds described The Glass Rooster as ‘a strong, mature, vivid collection of poetry with warmth and impact’. The Year of Falling was described as ‘an immediately readable book’ (David Hill, NZ Herald), and ‘a superb first foray into novel writing’ (Siobhan Harvey, Dominion Post).

In 2001, Janis won the Katherine Mansfield Short Story Award and in 2014 she was awarded the Ema Saikō Poetry Fellowship. Her work has appeared in many journals and anthologies, including Hallelujah for 50ft Women (Bloodaxe Books, UK), the NZ Listener, 100 Short Short Stories New Zealand 4 and Essential Poems of New Zealand. Several of her short stories and poems have been broadcast on National Radio. She won the Geometry | Open Book Poetry Competition and the BNZ Katherine Mansfield Short Story Award, and was the inaugural Ema Saikō Poetry Fellow in the Wairarapa. Janis also performs with the Meow Gurrrls poetry collective.

Born in the United Kingdom, Janis grew up in South Africa, Australia and New Zealand. She has degrees in science and public management. She lives in Wellington and works in the state sector.



Janis Freegard’s website (full list of published short stories & poems)

Janis Freegard’s blog


Read NZ Te Pou Muramura writer page

New Zealand Society of Authors writer page

Auckland University Press author page

Mākaro Press author page

Dominion Post review of the Year of Falling (Sept, 2015)

NZ Herald review of The Year of Falling (Sept, 2015)

Greg O’Brien’s comments on a poem on the ‘Best American Poems’ blog (June, 2014)

NZ Poetry Shelf review of The Continuing Adventures of Alice Spider (Oct, 2013)

NZ Listener review of Kingdom Animalia: the Escapades of Linnaeus (Dec, 2011)

Kingdom Animalia on NZ Listener’s 100 best books list of 2011 (Nov, 2011)

NZ Herald review of Kingdom Animalia: the Escapades of Linnaeus  (Nov, 2011)

Radio New Zealand interview with Lynn Freeman on ‘Standing Room Only’

Radio New Zealand interview on ‘Our Changing World’

Home-made video reading from Alice Spider

New releases by Janis Freegard

Reading the Signs (poetry)

Published by Cuba Press on November 9, 2020

Bibliography: Janis Freegard



Reading the Signs (Cuba Press, 2020)

The Glass Rooster (Auckland UP, 2015)

The Continuing Adventures of Alice Spider (Poetry chapbook: Anomalous Press, US, 2013)

Kingdom Animalia: The Escapades of Linnaeus (Auckland UP, 2011)



The Year of Falling (Makaro Press, 2015)



‘Cake Shop’, Poetry Bug (Parthian Press, UK, 2015)

‘Paekakariki’, Of Paekakariki (Earl of Seacliffe, 2015)

‘To the Sea’, Sunset at the Estuary (Rangitawa Publishing, 2015)

‘Trinity’ & ‘Trichotillomania’ (reprint), Hallelujah for 50ft Women (Bloodaxe, UK, 2015)

‘Sapphire’ (reprint), Essential New Zealand Poems: Facing the Empty Page (Random House, 2014)

‘Yayoi Kusama Goes to Iceland’, Rhysling Science Fiction Poetry anthology, (reprint), (2012)

‘Gator‘, Best New Zealand Poems (2011)

‘The Continuing Adventures of Alice Spider’ (an anomalous selection), Anomalous (2011)

‘Please Rush Me’, Iron Book of New Humorous Verse (Iron Press, UK, 2010)

‘The Wind and the Caterpillar’ in Moments in the Whirlwind (NZ Poetry Society Anthology, 2009)

‘Little Blue’, Big Weather (Edited by Gregory O’Brien & Louise St John: Mallinson Rendel, 2009), (reprint)

AUP New Poets 3 (Auckland UP, 2008)

‘Not Getting Any Younger’, Poetry Wall: Anthology of the Poetry Wall (Earl of Seacliff Art Workshop, 2007)

‘Proceed To Gate 17’, NZ Poetry Society Anthology (2005)

‘Ode to a Kuri’, The Collection of NZ Poetry and Prose (Media Publishing, 2001)

‘When You’re Not Here’, Eat These Sweet Words (Publishing Giant Press, 1999)

‘Tell Me When It’s Over’, Eat These Sweet Words (Publishing Giant Press, 1999)

‘Beside the Laughing Kitchen’, Voyagers Science Fiction Poetry from New Zealand (Edited by Tim Jones & Mark Pirie: Interactive Press, Australia, 2009)



‘Flotsam’, (reprint) NZ Listener North & South (2015)

‘The sound of dropped silverware’, Metro (2014)

‘A Life Blighted by Pythons’, Best American Poetry blog (2014)

‘Various Annunciations’, The North (2013)

‘Flotsam’, ‘Sand Puppy’ & ‘Exhibition’, JAAM (2013)

‘The Model’, Northwrite website (2013)

‘Cityscape’, Metro (2013)

Avalanche‘, Shenandoah (2013)

‘Cactus’ & ‘Lichen Quartet’, Landfall (2012)

‘Jumping Ship’, ‘The South Shields Town Hall is the closest thing I’ve got to a marae’, ‘Genii cucullati’, ‘Prefabricated’ & ‘Signs’ as Featured Poet, a fine lineNew Zealand Poetry Society Magazine (May 2012)

‘Manners Street’ & ‘The Ones You’ve Got To Watch’, Enamel (2011)

‘Arohata’ & ‘Three Skulls’, Poetry New Zealand (2011)

‘Yayoi Kusama Goes to Iceland’, Eye to the Telescope (2011)

‘sea change’ & ‘My Year of the Ant Gardens’International Literary Quarterly (2011)

‘Sunrise’, Etchings 9: Love & Something (Australia, 2011)

‘Prefabricated’, Magma (UK, 2011)

‘Tinakori Shimmer’ (NZSA chapbook: 2011)

‘Museum Piece’, ‘Zot and the Axolotls’, ‘The Tide Rises at Christchurch Art Gallery’ & ‘Hermit’, Trout 16 (2010)

‘The Continuing Adventures of Alice Spider’ (a selection), JAAM 28  (2010)

‘Speaking of the Balloonist’, brief 39 (2010)

‘Pectinidae’, Poetry NZ 40 (2010)

‘The Slattern’, ‘Dog-headed Girl’ & ‘Proceed to Gate Seventeen’, Viola Beadleton’s Compendium (2010), (reprints)

‘Beside the Laughing Kitchen’, Voyagers Science Fiction Poetry from New Zealand (Edited by Tim Jones & Mark Pirie: Interactive Press, Australia, 2009)

‘Easter Rising’, Blackmail Press 25 (2009)

‘Sea-Mare’, Blackmail Press 25 (2009)

‘untitled’, six little things The Glass Rooster (2009)

‘Magpie’ Poetry NZ (2009)

‘Coleoptera’, brief (2009)

‘La Fée Verte’,  JAAM 26  (2008)

‘Antirrealismos’,  JAAM 26 (2008)

‘He Has Your Eyes’,  JAAM 26 (2008)

‘City Living’, Dominion Post (Wednesday Poem, 2008), (reprint)

‘Little Blue’, Dominion Post (Wednesday Poem, 2008), (reprint)

‘A Little Learnin’,  JAAM 24 (2007)

‘America Dearest’,  JAAM 24 (2007)

‘Mr Li’s Spectacles’, Bravado (2006)

‘The Liking’, Poetry NZ 31 (2005)

‘On Reflection’, Poetry NZ 31 (2005)

‘The Skeleton Ending’, Poetry NZ 31 (2005)

‘Lament of an Old Punk’, The North (UK, 2005)

‘Genii Cucullati’, surface online (2005)

‘Trichotillomania’, blackmail press 13 (2005)

spiderhouse’, blackmail press 13 (2005)

‘Turtles’, blackmail press 13 (2005)

‘The Slattern’, blackmail press 13 (2005)

‘The Astronauts’Turbine 05 (2005)

‘The Last Great Beehive in Willis Street’, Turbine 05 (2005)

‘Lipstick Kisses’, Poetry Aotearoa (Australia, 2004), (reprint)

‘Order: Rodentia’, Glottis (2003)

‘My Life as a Pigeon’, Glottis (2003)

‘Three Hummingbirds’, Poetry NZ 27 (2003)

‘Lipstick Kisses’, Poetry NZ 27 (2003)

‘Café Tales’, Poetry Aotearoa (Australia, 2003), (reprint)

‘Café Tales’, Poetry NZ 24 (2002)

‘Barbie’,  JAAM 17  (2002)

‘Study’,  JAAM 17  (2002)

‘Dog-headed girl’,  JAAM 17 (2002)

‘The Continuing Adventures of Alice Spider’Turbine 02 (2002)

‘Tell Me When It’s Over’, Chaff  (2002), (reprint)

‘City Living’, An Exchange of Gifts (New Zealand Poetry Society, 2001)

‘Thirteen Thoughts about Toasters’Rain Dog (Manchester, UK, 2001)

‘Fair Wellington’,  Artscape Newsletter (2001)



A full list of published short stories and poems can be found here.


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