This is a collection of writing that posits the very real paradox of the precarious and staunch (female) body as lived and encountered within society, front and centre. It looks at the ways in which certain life structures draw out or exaggerate the relationship between these forces—the weak, the strong. The collection explicitly folds out from a selection of poems by J. C. Sturm, one of Aotearoa New Zealand’s most significant Māori women writers of the twentieth century. Sturm’s poetry is placed in relation to new writing by five women working today: Ruth Buchanan, Anna Gritz, Sarah Hopkinson, Hanahiva Rose, and Sriwhana Spong.

Dunedin revisited

Here is where the first expedition
(as good a name as any)
Began and foundered.
No reason to expect the second
Will be more successful.

Daily our egotism threatens it 
With failure.
Learning to concede defeat
Readily, if not graciously
Might exorcise our pride

But ‘seeing each other through’
To the end
(whatever that might be)
Depends on loving each other
More than loving ourselves.