Sarah Jane Barnett
Gleam, by Sarah Broom (Auckland University Press, 2013), 52pp., $24.99
The Baker’s Thumbprint, by Paula Green (Seraph Press, 2013), 98 pp., $25.00
Sarah Broom was a New Zealand academic and poet who was born in Dunedin but grew up in Christchurch. Broom did her postgraduate study in England including a doctorate on contemporary British and Irish poetry. She went on to lecture at Somerville College, Oxford, before returning to New Zealand in 2000. Broom’s debut collection, Tigers at Awhitu, was published by Auckland University Press in 2010.
In 2008 Broom was diagnosed with late-stage lung cancer, and in 2013 passed away. Gleam is the collection that she worked on after that diagnosis and before her death, so invariably the poems are about the experience of having a terminal illness and of facing one’s own death.