SARAH BROOM

THE LIFE AND WORK OF A NEW ZEALAND POET

ABOUT SARAH

Sarah Broom was born in Dunedin and grew up in Christchurch, New Zealand. She moved to England to complete an MA in Irish Literature at Leeds and then a doctorate on contemporary British and Irish poetry with Bernard O’Donoghue at Oxford University. She lectured at Somerville College, Oxford, before returning home in 2000 where she held a post-doctoral fellowship at Massey (Albany) and lectured in English at Otago University.

Sarah is the author of Contemporary British and Irish Poetry (Palgrave Macmillan, 2006) and her own poetry has been published widely in journals, including Landfall, Bravado, Takahe, Poetry New Zealand and, in the UK, Orbis, Metre, Acumen and Oxford Magazine. Her first book of poetry, Tigers at Awhitu, was published simultaneously by Carcanet (UK) and Auckland University Press in 2010.

In February 2008, when Sarah was 28 weeks pregnant with her third child, she was diagnosed with stage-four lung cancer. Her baby was delivered safely and Sarah – a fit non-smoker – was given just months to live. Sarah gave up her body to medical research, persuading the pharmaceutical companies to accept her onto trials requiring her to travel to Melbourne and Boston for treatment at regular, exhausting intervals. Through it all she continued to write poetry.

On April 18th 2013 Sarah passed away, a little over five years after her initial diagnosis. She leaves behind her husband Michael and three children, Daniel, Christopher and Amelia.

Hear Sarah talking about her work in late 2011 when she was
interviewed by Ryan van Winkle from the Scottish Poetry Library
.
podcast
Sarah