Kate Camp is literate yet hip, culturally attuned and funky... This poet skips easily through various fields of reference, medical, economic, anthropological, literary, pop-culture, collecting and bringing home specimens as good poets do. (Cath Kenneally LANDFALL)

Kate Camp is a Wellington-born poet, prose writer and reviewer who completed a BA Hons in English at Victoria University of Wellington.

Her first collection of poetry, Unfamiliar Legends of the Stars, won the NZSA Jessie Mackay Award for Best First Book of Poetry at the 1999 The Montana NZ Book Awards, and was highly praised by reviewers.

Her poems have appeared in many magazines and journals in New Zealand and internationally including LandfallNZ ListenerSport, and Heat (Australia), Brick (Canada), Akzente (Germany) and Qualm (England). She was the voice of "Kate's Klassics," monthly conversations on classic literature with National Radio's Kim Hill. 

Realia, Kate’s second collection of poetry, was published in July 2001 by Victoria University Press. Kate was appointed Writer in Residence at Waikato University in 2002.

Kate published her third collection, Beauty Sleep in November 2005.

The Mirror of Simple Annihilated Souls (2010) won the 2011 NZ Post Book Awards Best Book of Poetry category.

Kate's poetry has featured many times in the annual publication Best NZ Poems, and in the anthology The Best of Best New Zealand Poems. She was twice shortlisted for the International Prize in Modern Letters (2003, 2006). In 2011 Kate was the recipient of the Creative New Zealand Berlin Writers' Residency.

Kate's fifth collection of poetry, Snow White's Coffin (2013), was written while she was in Berlin. She wrote about her time in Berlin on the VUP blog. Snow White's Coffin was a finalist in the New Zealand Post Book Awards 2013.

Kate is the first recipient of the Katherin Mansfield Menton Fellowship under the Arts Foundation. Kate travelled to Menton in April 2017 to spend seven months writing at Villa Isola Bella. 


The internet of things, Victoria University Press, 2017 (upcoming)
Snow White’s Coffin, Victoria University Press, 2013
The Mirror of Simple Annihilated Souls, Victoria University Press, 2010
Beauty Sleep, Victoria University Press, 2005
Realia, Victoria University Press, 2001
Unfamiliar Legends of the Stars, Victoria University Press, 1998


Women of Letters 7, (Australia) Penguin Books, 2016, essay “Rock bottom” (upcoming)
Griffith Review 43, (Australia) Text Publishing, 2014, essay “Whale Road”
Kate’s Klassics, Penguin, 2006, collection of essays on classic literature
On Kissing, Four Winds Press, 2002, non-fiction

Reviews of works by Kate Camp:
Snow White’s Coffin

A wild, imaginative energy flares throughout the collection. Kate Camp is a fearless writer. We loved seeing her at full strength, pushing the boundaries of her art. Judges’ comments, 2013 New Zealand Post Book Awards.

These poems are the best Camp has produced… clear, intelligent, deep and quirky. Hamesh Wyett, Otago Daily Times.

The Mirror of Simple Annihilated Souls

...mesmerizing... memorable... an exceptionally fine poet who deserves an international readership... there’s humour and invention, but also a committed attention to the odd ways in which regular people speak that at times approaches virtuosity...  Camp’s voice is undeniably her own: wry, sympathetic, affable, deadpan...  aware that her poems must exist within a continuum of thoughtful, civilized art and philosophy while remaining loyal to the eccentricity and value of lived experience...  an exceptional collection. Kevin Connolly, Brick (Canada).

The hallmarks of Camp’s earlier writing are still present: irreverent humour, the tough springy style, the swift changes in viewpoints. But one senses a sea-change is taking place. With a more sombre atmosphere, a steadier pace and an increasingly confident linguistic control, this is poetry of true maturity. Sarah Quigley, NZ Listener.

Beauty Sleep

Revelling in the strange juxtapositions of her poetic quanta, with an acute sense of the resonances they create, Kate Camp engages with ideas in the joyful spirit of the thought-experiment... Defying the gravity of conventional exposition, they do not lack humility, humanity or food for thought, but offer a keen wit, a sense of fun and the words essential to any honest research: “I don’t know.” Cilla McQueen, Dominion Post.


Camp is GenX grown up. The world reflected in her showcase of "real things" is cool, funny, touching, urban, and consumerist — chairs are vinyl, the best gallery at the Tate Modern is the shop, and TV documentaries are about sex. What I like about Camp's poems is their light but not weightless touch — her observations on the world we live in are recognisable, immensely enjoyable, comic but never pointless. Lydia Wevers, NZ Listener.

Unfamiliar Legends of the Stars

Unfamiliar Legends is a first book from a bustling, healthy talent... The poems are unleashed upon us. They may not always be in politically good taste, but they do contain a surprising radicalism and power... One can't help admiring the verve, the adrenalin, the argumentativeness... This is a brave book, which points directly to the next one. Bill Direen, NZ Listener.

Best First Book of Poetry Award, Montana New Zealand Book Awards, "Unfamiliar Legends of the Stars"
Creative New Zealand new work award
Writer in Residence, Waikato University
Shortlisted for the International Prize in Modern Letters
Shortlisted for the International Prize in Modern Letters
Best Book of Poetry Award, New Zealand Post Book Awards, "The Mirror of Simple Annihilated Souls"
Creative New Zealand Berlin Writers Residency
Shortlisted for Best Book of Poetry Award, New Zealand Post Book Awards, "Snow White’s Coffin"