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Jenny Bornholdt

Jenny Bornholdt’s Biography

Last Updated:
27/08/2021, 9:01 am
Arts Foundation Laureate 2003, Katherine Mansfield Menton Fellowship 2002
Jenny Bornholdt is an anthologist and an award-winning poet. Her work has been praised for its freshness and concealed depths.

Jenny Bornholdt was born in Wellington in 1960. She is a poet and anthologist. She has published nine books of poems, including: This Big Face (1988), Miss New Zealand: Selected Poems (1997), These Days (2000), Summer (2005), Mrs Winter's Jump (2007) and The Rocky Shore (2008)

Jenny is married to fellow poet Gregory O'Brien. With Greg, she co-edited My Heart Goes Swimming: New Zealand Love Poems (1996), and with Greg and Mark Williams, she edited An Anthology of New Zealand Poetry in English (1997), which won the 1997 Montana Book Award for Poetry.

In 2002 Jenny was awarded the Meridian Energy Katherine Mansfield Fellowship. The poems in her collection, Summer, record the experiences of the poet and her family through the Mediterranean summer of that year.

Jenny was made an Arts Foundation Laureate in 2003.

In 2005 she became the fifth Te Mata Estate Poet Laureate, during which time she wrote Mrs Winter's Jump, a Godwit book for Random House which was launched in June 2007. The Rocky Shore (2008), published by Victoria University Press, is described as a book of "talky poems...ranging over a wide variety of territory - love, death, children, illness, breadmaking and the garden". The Rocky Shore won the 2009 Montana New Zealand Book Award for Poetry.

In 2010, Jenny was the Creative New Zealand Victoria University Writer in Residence. During that year she completed a book of poems, The Hill of Wool, which was published in 2011 by Victoria University Press.

At the end of 2013 Jenny was acknowledged in the New Year's Honour's list as a Member of the New Zealand Order of Merit.