The Treasury Interviews: Kaitlyn interviews Jenny Powell

Kaitlyn is in Y5 and goes to the Remarkables School in Queenstown. She said she sometimes needs ideas for writing and gets stuck sometime.

Jenny Powell


Jenny Powell is a poet, performance poet and creative-writing tutor. She takes part in the ‘Writers in Schools’ programme with the New Zealand Book Council. She has written a number of poetry collections and has poems for children in The School Journals. She lives in Dunedin.


The Interview

* Why did you want to start being an author?

I didn’t really make a decision to be an author. I started seriously writing poems when I was 12. This was when I began to have things I wanted to say, and the only way I could think of to do it was through poetry. Many years later my first book was published. I couldn’t stop writing by then.

* How do you get some more leads for writing?

I get them from things that happen to me or I think of a topic and pull ideas out of my imagination. Sometimes I give myself a technique to use and work that way. I’m always writing things down in my notebook that I see or hear or think.

* How many books or poems did you publish?

I’ve published five collections of poems and my sixth is due out in a few weeks. I’ve also worked with other poets on two more experimental collections of poems.

* What made you want to be a writer?

I didn’t think of myself as a writer for a long time. I do now. I have all of these ideas in my head to put into poems or kinds of plays. I couldn’t not write them. It’s what I do.

* Did you go in competitions?

I have entered competitions. The first one was when I was 9 or 10. I wrote a story for the Sunday newspaper and won a watch. In the last few years I’ve entered poetry competitions in the UK and have been short listed or a finalist. Maybe I was proving myself.

* Do you go to any schools and share your work?

I do go to schools. I enjoy it. I am a teacher so I think that helps.

Jenny Powell


Thanks for a great interview Kaitlyn and Jenny. Jenny has two poems in A Treasury of NZ Poems for Children. One has a beautiful image and one has a drop of blood or two!

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s