Nina Powles’ debut poetry collection, Luminescent (Seraph Press, $35), is a box set of five brightly coloured zines, or chapbooks, contained in a folder cover and designed to be read in any order.
Each of the booklets is a section loosely exploring a different woman from New Zealand history, ranging from the famous – such as celebrated writer Katherine Mansfield and cosmologist Beatrice Tinsley – to a possibly fictional school ghost. Powles, who is half Malaysian- Chinese and half Pakeha, recently returned to New Zealand after spending 18 months in Shanghai studying Chinese. She has an MA in Creative Writing from Victoria University and won the 2015 Biggs Family Prize for Poetry for the fi rst draft of Luminescent. She is the author of the chapbook Girls of the Drift (Seraph Press, 2014) and several poetry zines.