Two Whanganui writers have been included in a new national poem compilation covering the spectrum of housing in New Zealand.
More than a roof: Housing, in poems and prose features 122 works taken from about 450 submissions.
For Sonya Judson, her poem Hillside Tce reflected the hope for a family home and a safe place for her children to come and go.
She said she had lived in 39 houses throughout her life, mostly during a "very transitional" childhood.
"I'm originally from Manurewa in south Auckland, and if you say you were brought up there, that will tell people a lot about you already," Judson said.
"My only safe house as a child was my marae, and my happy memories are connected to that place.
"That's another kind of house."
Judson and her husband, who is from Whanganui, moved to the River City almost five years ago.
She submitted three poems for consideration, and the publisher chose "the pretty one".
"Maybe the other two were a little bit sad," Judson said.
"The book is not at all depressing, it's an inspiring book. I've never felt like a victim either.
"I've always had a lot of optimism, and I don't have any anger about my life experience."
Hillside Tce features in a section of the book called "I feel I have found my home ground, come into my own. Here in this house I am home".
Judson described her poem as "a little ditty" she wrote one day while looking out the kitchen window.
"I just thought 'wow, I live in a little Golden Book now'.
"You might want The Waltons, but if you've never had anything close to that you don't know how to go about it.
"Even in adulthood it still took a long time."
Judson was one of 11 poets selected to speak at the book's launch in Wellington on November 20.
"I was touched and humbled by a group of men who are in transitional housing with the Wellington City Mission," she said.
"I heard their poems, which oozed with mana and wairua.
"This book is like looking through a window, a glimpse into what we house in our soul."
Whanganui's Jean McDavitt contributed A Tradesman's Christmas.
She said her husband, father and grandfather were tradesmen, so she had first-hand experience of the stress they were under during the festive season.
"Most people decide two or three weeks before Christmas that they suddenly want all this work done, and that it should be done immediately," McDavitt said.
"Perhaps the wife thinks 'oh no, family is coming for Christmas, we'd better have the bathroom done up'."
Some of the people who wanted work done fast weren't as quick when it came to paying for it, McDavitt said.
"They've used all their money up for Christmas presents."
McDavitt, also a painter, said she started writing about 25 years ago. So far she's published a novel and a book of short stories.
"Around five months ago I had a stroke. I'm hoping to write a book about that experience.
"While it's been a horrible thing, it's also been a very good thing for me.
"It'll be a positive kind of book. It's quite cathartic. It's brought me closer to a lot of people, and to family."
Judson, a teacher at St George's, said Hillside Tce was the first piece she had ever submitted for publication, despite writing regularly for most of her life.
"I have since submitted a short story, Hikoi to The Hearth, and a children's book, Pipi Sandwich.
"Both are based on my life experiences. Fingers crossed."