THE YIELD by Sue Wootton

(Otago University Press, $25)

Dunedin poet Sue Wootton's fifth collection is a richly mulled book about suffering and empowerment. Everywhere adversity lingers, whether in elegies to the trials of the outdoors such as in Wild or the spiritual challenges found over a latte in Priest in a Coffee Shop. Meaty poems about the ordeals of womanhood and shorter pieces about dangerous instinct are equally striking. Wootton's message is staunch: that technology and consumerism are limited sedatives because, in city and country, we remain tested by self-doubt and our surroundings. SH

THE internet OF THINGS by Kate Camp

(Victoria University Press, $25)

Multi-award-winning poet Kate Camp's word-rich, haunting collection transports us through three stages: surprise, loss then hope. The sharpest poems begin with imaginative titles before journeying readers through philosophical examinations of what it means to be human, confirming their truths in the succinctness of a few verses. The resulting complex interplay of rhythm, revelation and ethics is superb. SH

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NIGHT BURNS WITH A WHITE FIRE — THE ESSENTIAL LAURIS EDMOND ed. by Frances Edmond & Sue Fitchett

(Steele Roberts, $35)

Among poems from Edmond's 17 collections, readers will find stunning earlier poems such as Tempo and The Ghost Moth, companioned by shorter, sharper mid-career pieces such as Going to Moscow. Late-career poems such as Before a Funeral and 3 a.m. appear before epilogue Late Song . Throughout, we're reminded of how attainable and profound Edmond's work is. Indispensable. SH

ALLEN CURNOW: COLLECTED POEMS ed. by Elizabeth Caffin & Terry Sturm

(Auckland University Press, $60)

ALLEN CURNOW: SIMPLY BY SAILING IN A NEW DIRECTION — A BIOGRAPHYby Terry Sturm and ed. by Linda Cassells

(AUP, $70)

These are lush, weighty books. The Collected Poems gathers works from across the author's life, including the early, formal Valley of Decision and Curnow's first nods towards freer forms, New Zealand City. There are also the playful and indispensable, such as Early Days Yet. At 600 pages, author Terry Sturm and editor Linda Cassells are to be commended for their thoroughness, insight and refreshing depiction of their subject as brilliant and blemished in the biography Simply by Sailing in a New Direction. SH

NIGHT HORSE by Elizabeth Smither

(AUP, $25)

In her 18th collection, Smither continues to turn the everyday into epiphanies. Hot water bottles become an emblem of fortitude. Days swimming with "our handsome fathers" encapsulate friendship. The "little butter curls ... camel's last straw" of hay bales form a multi-level landscape. Smither shows her precision with words and her daring with imagery. (Ironing brings a room "full of arms and necks"; a dying small girl plays the ukelele with her teacher in a small scene of huge potency.) Smither knows exactly what not to say. Her works satisfy with their stepping stones and the spaces between. DH