Joanna Preston

Joanna is an award-winning poet whose second collection, tumble, won the Mary and Peter Biggs Award at the 2022 Ockham  Book Awards. Joanna is also an editor who has edited or co-edited seven poetry anthologies, and served as poetry editor for takahē magazine. She runs The Poetry Class, and is a tutor at Hagley Writer’s Institute. Joanna is a dual Australian New Zealand citizen who lives in mid-Canterbury.  

2023 festival sessions


Joanna Preston in conversation with Sally McLennan

The poems in Joanna’s Ockham award-winning collection tumble explore love, loss, longing and lust – how we stumble, how we soar.  The Ockham judges describe tumble as an “exhilarating read” and “powerfully eloquent” with a ”deeply satisfying musicality, rhythm and cadence”.  Joanna discusses her influences and inspirations behind her highly acclaimed poetry, and reads selected poems.

Poetry Workshop

With award-winning poet Joanna Preston

Ever wished someone would guide you through the mysteries of poetry? Joanna Preston will help you read at a deeper level, and encourage you to write a poem yourself. Unlock the secrets of verse and enjoy your future as a poetry reader and writer. Expect a mix of writing exercises, some reading and discussion of contemporary poems. This course has beginners in mind but those who have long enjoyed poetry are sure to enjoy a recap of poetry 101.


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