Our People

Dame Fiona Kidman — Patron


One of New Zealand’s best-loved poets, Dame Fiona has been a long-standing and valued supporter of the New Zealand Poetry Society.

Visit Dame Fiona Kidman’s website to find out more about her work.

Vincent O’Sullivan — Patron


Vincent O’Sullivan served as New Zealand Poet Laureate from 2013-15. He was awarded the Creative New Zealand Michael King Writer’s Fellowship in 2004, and the Prime Minister’s Award for Literary Achievement in 2006.

Read about Vincent O’Sullivan on the Book Council website.

Shane Hollands — President


Shane Hollands is principally a performance poet. He is well-known for his innovative work with poet-centric music of differing genres from jazz to electronica to metal. Shane established the performance poetry collective The Literatti, the national celebration of beat poetry The Kerouac Effect and is the front-man and poet for the Wordcore band, Freaky Meat.

He has recently published his fourth book of poetry The Atomic Composition of the seeming solid (Backshed).

Michael Subritzky — Vice President

Mike Subritzky is one of New Zealand’s best known war poets. He has an international reputation and his work appears in numerous books, CDs, and anthologies. His poetry and verse is often read on New Zealand National Radio on ANZAC Day (New Zealand’s National Day of Remembrance).

Ivy Alvarez — Editor, a fine line


Ivy Alvarez is the author of Disturbance (Seren, 2013) and several shorter collections, including Hollywood Starlet (Chicago: dancing girl press, 2015) and The Everyday English Dictionary (London: Paekakariki Press, 2016). Her work is widely published and anthologised, with selected poems translated into Russian, Spanish, Japanese and Korean.

Ivy is the editor of a fine line, New Zealand Poetry Society’s magazine. You can contact her at editor@poetrysociety.org.nz and visit her website.

Emma Shi — Editorial Assistant, a fine line

Emma Shi

Emma Shi was the winner of the National Schools Poetry Award 2013 and the Poetry NZ Prize 2017. She was also included in Best New Zealand Poems 2017. Emma’s work has been published in literary journals such as Landfall and Starling. In 2017, she self-published her own chapbook titled Elsewhere.

Laurice Gilbert — Treasurer

Laurice Gilbert image

Laurice Gilbert (President from 2006–2014) has had poems published in many New Zealand journals and anthologies, as well as in Australia, USA, Canada, UK, and Israel. In June 2016 she was interviewed for a Spanish magazine which didn’t, however, publish any of her poems, thus foiling her desire to add another country to the list.

She published her first collection, My Family & Other Strangers, in 2012 and her second, Aotearoa rocks!, a joint collection with Portuguese poet Hugo Kauri Justo, in 2015.  She administers our annual competition, and edited the accompanying anthology in 2015 and 2016. She previously edited our magazine, a fine line, from 2006 until 2015.

E Wen Wong — Committee Member


E Wen Wong began writing poetry with the help of Paula Green and Kerrin P. Sharpe at ten years old. Now, six years later, her work has featured in numerous publications and anthologies including Printable Reality (NZ, 2015/16), Rattle (US, 2014/15), Starling (NZ, 2018), Meniscus (Australia, 2015) and Brief (NZ, 2017). E Wen also placed in the 2018 Guernsey International Poetry, Metro Poems on Buses and Poetry New Zealand Yearbook Student Poetry Competitions and gained a silver award in the From the Bowseat Ocean Awareness Poetry Contest.

E Wen is currently in Year 11 at Burnside High School where she has taken a particular focus towards youth engagement

Lonnard Dean Watkins — Committee Member


Lonnard Dean Watkins lives in Upper Hutt, New Zealand and is the editor of Bent Ear Review, Muse-Pie Press Spoken Word Journal. He is also the web master for all Muse-Pie Press’s websites including the Fib Review and Shot Glass Journal.

His haiku has appeared in journals including Heron’s Nest and Acorn, and his poetry has been published in numerous international journals and anthologies. In 2010 Lonnard became involved in Spoken Word and helped launch Poetry in Motion, a spoken word group in Wellington, New Zealand and in 2012 was a finalist in the New Zealand Poetry Slam Championships.

From 2014 to 2016, Lonnard was the President of the New Zealand Poetry Society. He was also instrumental in organising the 2015 New Zealand Poetry Conference held at the National Library of New Zealand.