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Books by Helen Rickerby


The poems in Cinema look at the personal through the lens of the camera and the world of cinema through unfiltered eye. Meet the boy who learns to kiss from action movies, the girl made up of symbols and the direction with the aesthetic of the sniper on the roof.

Published by Mākaro Press
March 2014
Paperback, 80 pages
ISBN: 978-0-473-27648-5
RRP $25
Purchase Cinema from Mākaro Press, Unity Books Online or other good bookshops.

Heading North

In Heading North Helen Rickerby takes us on the road. This playful and reflective sequence explores the tensions and connections between the narrator and her lover on a road trip towards the tip of the North Island. The place where two oceans meet, Cape Reinga, is the calm in their subtle storm. Heading North is an inner and outer journey through the geography of Northland.

Published by Kilmog Press
August 2010
Hand-bound hardback, 24 pages
ISBN: 9780986461668
RRP $45
To purchase Heading North email

My Iron Spine

The things that give us strength are often the same things that suffocate or cage us.

Empress Elisabeth's iron spine was her corset, tightly laced, constricting her but giving her backbone. Reclusive poet Emily Dickinson found caged comfort in her room. Ada Byron's mother tried corseting her with numbers, to counteract the madness she may have inherited from her father.

Other characters in the poems of Helen Rickerby's new collection My Iron Spine, including the poet herself, find 'iron spines' in family, love, society, isolation, religion, knowledge and radiation.

The first section weaves an autobiographical narrative, while the second exquisitely brings to life the stories and voices of women from history. The two combine in the final section, where the poet sunbathes with Joan of Arc, goes swimming with Virginia Woolf and parties with Katherine Mansfield.

The poems in this original and playful collection resonate and connect with each other, building a coherent whole greater than the sum of its parts.

Published by HeadworX
October 2008
Paperback, 86 pages
ISBN: 9780473135966
RRP $25
To purchase My Iron Spine email, or visit Fishpond

Abstract Internal Furniture

The mythic and the everyday meet in this debut collection of poetry by upcoming Wellington writer Helen Rickerby. Orpheus busks in Cuba Mall, Death has a dinner date with Theodora and women find themselves trapped in fairy tales. In a playful way, she examines the themes of identity, self discovery, the construction of femininity, and relationships between friends and lovers. The poetry is complemented by 10 striking photocollages by Auckland artist Maggie Grant.

Published by HeadworX
October 2010
Paperback, 80 pages
ISBN: 0473078570
RRP $20
To purchase Abstract Internal Furniture email

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