Poetry  |  Gleam  |  Tigers at Awhitu  |  Contemporary British and Irish Poetry  | Tigers at Awhitu Carcanet Press    


Buy this book in leading bookshops or order online.

I’ve never more strongly suggested people go out and check this book out...She’s good.
Sam Hunt, Kiwi FM

An immensely powerful debut collection.     
Catherine Vidler, NZ Books



Against a backdrop of many times and landscapes, the poems in Tigers at Awhitu, the first, luminous book by Sarah Broom, chart the drifts and tides of intimate relationships, the physical extremes of illness, the complexities of motherhood. Here a refugee family walks north on a frozen road; a solitary figure sleeps in the desert outside a fabular city; a mother watches a child’s first gesture.

With tough, deft attention to language and its emotional power, Sarah Broom asks us to consider our relationships with the world and with words. Hers is an unflinching and original new voice in New Zealand poetry.


Sarah Broom's book opens beautifully ... from here the element of threat
and its counterweight, the tenderness of maternal love, is subtly developed.
W. N. Herbert, Poetry London




It was as the snow started falling
that she blurted it out,
so they were all
just standing there gazing up, knee-deep
in snow, the little one thigh-deep,
when they heard it, the news that slipped
out like a necklace from a sleeve,
not meant for the kids, not meant for here,
for the snowwoman with her pink hat
and old carrot nose, for the creaking
pines, the cracked plastic sled, the neat

rabbit tracks that shied all over the white
field. So they stood there, the little one
lost in any case in this too-white world,

his too-cold hands stiff in his wet wool
gloves, his feet stuck somewhere
miles down below. And once it was out
she wished she could call it back in,
like a dog you could whistle to,
but it wouldn’t, you couldn’t,
so they stood there in the snow,
and the big one asked, of course,
‘what’s that?’ and his dad just looked
straight back at her, his clove-brown eyes
soft with fear, the hound’s sour breath
hot on the nape of his neck.