News

Information on New Zealand author and poet, Elizabeth Kirkby-McLeod

28 June 2021: Elizabeth is proud to have edited a new short story collection Lit: stories from home for OneTree House. Featuring sixteen short stories from home-grown literary heroes, established contemporary authors, and award-winning emerging writers, this new collection explores identity, activism awareness, coming-of-age, society, and family from the Aotearoa New Zealand perspective.

21 June 2021: Elizabeth had a wide-ranging discussion on Words From The Bubble with Rachel Doré on Manawatu People’s Radio, digging deep into her books World Folk Tales and Family Instructions Upon Release. Listen to the interview online here.

10 June 2021: Elizabeth spoke with Andrew about her new picture book World Folk Tales on Rhema, New Zealand’s Christian radio network. The interview is online here.

8 June 2021: Elizabeth talked about World Folk Tales with NZ Booklovers – full Q&A available on their website.

31 May 2021: Elizabeth’s new book, World Folk Tales has been reviewed on Bob’s Books Blog who said “This picture book of folk tales from fourteen different countries and cultures around the world is possibly the best collection of it’s type that I have read.” Read the full review online.

21 May 2021: Photos with Elizabeth from the ‘Purgatory Reimagined’ session of the Auckland Writers Festival this month.


13 May 2021: Elizabeth is delighted to announce the publication of her first children’s book, World Folk Tales, published by Giltedge Publishing. Introduce children to myths, legends and fables from across the globe in this movingly illustrated collection. The varied stories use a range of storytelling techniques and perspectives with full-colour, two-page illustrated spreads. More on the books page.

12 May 2021: Elizabeth with be joining Airini Beautrais, Vana Manasiadis, Helen Rickerby, Reihana Robinson, Jamie Trower and Bryan Walpert to discuss More Favourable Waters: Aotearoa poets respond to Dante’s Purgatory, at the Auckland Writer’s Festival this Sunday. See event details here.


1 April 2021: Elizabeth is thrilled to be one of the poets in More Favourable Waters: Aotearoa poets respond to Dante’s Purgatory, published by Cuba Press.

More Favourable Waters is an anthology of contemporary poets from Aotearoa New Zealand commemorating one of the world’s great poets, Dante Alighieri (1265–1321), 700 years after his death. Each of the 33 poets has written a poem of 33 lines inspired by and including a short passage from one of the 33 cantos of Dante’s Purgatory, the second part of his epic The Divine Comedy.


12 March 2021: Elizabeth had the pleasure of reading alongside poets Rata Gordon and Tracey Slaughter at a poetry event in Raglan, New Zealand.

From left: Tracey Slaughter, Rata Gordon, Elizabeth Kirkby-McLeod

11 March 2021: Elizabeth’s collection Family Instructions Upon Release was reviewed in Poetry New Zealand Yearbook 2021. Reviewer, Elisabeth Kumar, said that Kirkby-McLeod “writes with utter confidence, a master of craft and insight…”

1 January 2021: Elizabeth’s essay ‘Unspooling Threads’ was published in takahē 100. You can also read it on the “Writing+” page

1 December, 2020: Elizabeth is honoured to have two poems published in the inaugural issue of Tarot,  a free-to-access Aotearoa poetry journal, released biannually. Read her work along with work by Siobhan Harvey, Jamie Trower, and others, at the link above.

20 November, 2020: Elizabeth’s essay ‘Moonwalking’ was published in the online journal Love in the Time of Covid: A Chronicle of a Pandemic, edited by Witi Ihimaera & Michelle Elvy.

21 October, 2020: Elizabeth’s short poem features in the Heart of the City’s ‘In Your Words’ Auckland installation.

April 28, 2020: Elizabeth has had her short story Close Neighbours published in takahe 98. You can also read the story on the “Writing+” page.

April 14, 2020: an opinion piece by Elizabeth on our response to the covid-19 challenge and our need for moral courage has appeared on Newsroom. You can also read the essay on the page “Writing+”

March 27, 2020: an essay by Elizabeth on the narratives in climate change literature for children has been published on book industry website, The Sapling. You can read the essay on the “Writing+” page.

March 20, 2020: Elizabeth has received notification of the cancellation of the Auckland Writers Festival. Elizabeth was due to read in two events but is fully supportive and appreciative of the steps the AWF team is taking to protect our community.

March 14, 2020: Elizabeth appeared as guest poet at Titirangi Poets in Auckland to read from Family Instructions Upon Release and discuss the process of publishing

March 03, 2020: Elizabeth appeared as guest poet at Poetry Live in downtown Auckland alongside guest musician, Jeremy Redmore.

February 12, 2020: An essay by Elizabeth about her poetry collection Family Instructions Upon Release has appeared on Newsroom. You can also read the essay on the page “Writing+”

February 11, 2020: Family Instructions Upon Release was reviewed by Phil Vine on Radio New Zealand National who called it “an extraordinary collection of poetry … Elizabeth Kirkby-McLeod writes with such bravery, accuracy and candour about a subject which is so important to our country.” Listen to the review on the RNZ website.

December 6, 2019: Family Instructions Upon Release was number 2 in the week’s biggest-selling New Zealand books, as recorded by the Nielsen BookScan New Zealand bestseller list, reported on The Newsroom.

December 3, 2019: Elizabeth spoke with Andrew about her book Family Instructions Upon Release, on Rhema, New Zealand’s Christian radio network. The interview is online here.

November 29, 2019: Family Instruction Upon Release was the number 1 bestseller in the Unity Auckland bookseller chart.

November 22, 2019: Elizabeth spoke with Radio New Zealand host, Jesse Mulligan, about her new collection, Family Instructions Upon Release. Listen to the interview here.

November 21, 2019: Elizabeth spoke at Glen Eden Library about Family Instructions Upon Release at an event called ‘To My Father‘.

October 18, 2019: Elizabeth’s debut poetry collection, Family Instructions Upon Release, is now available for order online through publisher The Cuba Press. and all good bookstores. Learn more about the collection on the Books page.


July 2, 2019: Great to be involved in another NZSA Auckland Branch ‘Literary Lounge Series’ event with NZSA CEO Jenny Nagle. The best publishing advice you can squeeze into an hour!

June 11, 2019:
Very fun to be involved in the NZSA Auckland Branch ‘Literary Lounge Series’ where I interviewed Adam Dudding and Steve Braunias for ‘Journalists in Conversation.’

June 4, 2019:
So, I know we are meant to be “cool” about this sort of stuff (there was a reason the humble-brag was invented!) but when I heard Harry Ricketts include me in a list of new poets he thought would grow to be “terrific presences” – and then talk about my typographic poem – I was just too happy to be cool!! This is a link to his review of Poetry New Zealand Yearbook 2019 (edited by Jack Ross, published by Massey University Press) on RNZ.

November 22, 2018: Elizabeth’s poem ‘A Matter of Timing’ has been published in Landfall 236: Spring 2018

November 08, 2018: Elizabeth’s poems ‘His Little Apologies’ and ‘Her Warning Signs’ have been published in the 2018 New Zealand Poetry Society Anthology, The Unnecessary Invention of Punctuation, which is now available to purchase.

September 7, 2018: Elizabeth’s poem ‘Her Warning Signs’ has been Highly Commended in the 2018 International Poetry Competition.  Click on the link to read the full judges’ report.

December 11, 2017: Elizabeth had two poems – ‘ ‘Placing Blame’ and ‘Her Son Gets A Casting Call’  published in takahe 91.