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281 Karangahape Rd Auckland

Sarah Jane Barnett

A Man Runs into a Woman


In A Man Runs into a Woman, Barnett looks at the different ways to tell a person’s story: two middle-aged men strike up an unlikely friendship, one couple reconnects after the war, while another couple leave the worst unsaid, and a cross-dressing man talks with his daughter. A series of nine distinctive poems explore the gap between the heartfelt last words of Texas death row inmates, and the grim police reports of their crimes.

Barnett said she was interested in looking at the way conflicting stories could exist in the same world: ‘I wanted my poems to think about the way people come together and change the course of each other's lives.’

Sarah Jane Barnett is an Aotearoa writer and editor. Her poems often inhabit the lives of others, and ask how we find connection and intimacy when affected by trauma. Her essays explore the multifaceted theme of modern womanhood. She has a MA in Creative Writing from Victoria University and a PhD from Massey University. Her second poetry collection, titled WORK, was published by Hue & Cry Press in 2015.