Glenn Colquhoun



Hi everyone - just letting you know I'm away for the next few months and won't be minitoring the website. I've decided to have a crack at walking as far as I can along Te Araroa this spring and summer. I've always liked the idea of 'scratching the belly of the fish'. Plus I've been at the youth clinic for 12 years now - so it's probably time to go wandering and get some perspective on the world again. I'm taking away a couple of writing projects with me too - so will look forward to working on those.


I'm closing down the website contact page as well as the online bookshop - but a selection of the books advertised should still be available from various bookshops, especially those with awesome New Zealand sections. If you are specifically after a copy of 'Holding the ACEs: adverse childhood events in New Zealand' then Unity Bookshop Wellington is selling them online for me. Hopefully youll be able to track down a copy there. 



"There were times when I thought a poem was something hewn out of stone.

That it was what remained when what was unnecessary had fallen away.

Writing was a kind of chipping away then.

Other days it felt like flicking paint at shivers. Or flinging mud.

Grabbing a fistful of dirt and throwing it at the invisible to reveal a ghost walking past.

I thought writing them would mean I’d never have an end."

Holding the ACEs adverse childhood events in New Zealand book

My Latest Releases

Holding the ACEs: Adverse childhood events in New Zealand 

”Young people tell me their stories. Around the corner there’s a movie theatre and a couple of cafes. Two supermarkets. An adventure park. A commerce of dairies. And somewhere in all of that something awful is going on.”

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North South book cover

The Small Girl Who Lives Next Door

In this book Glenn Colquhoun and Rautini O’Brien tell the story of a young Pākehā boy learning Te Reo Māori. The journey takes him from the small girl who lives next door, through the landscape surrounding his town and brings him back home to a street that will never quite seem the same again. 

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Letters to Young People

In this collection of poetry Glenn Colquhoun writes to the young people he works with at the Horowhenua Health Service. Tender and poignant, wondering and wry, here his words become small scissors, knives, bandages and balms. Gathered together they represent an inventory of one doctor's consultations taken home, responses to those moments he might have woken in the night and wished he had said things better.

An explanation of Poetry to my father book cover

An explanation of poetry to my father


In An explanation of poetry to my father Glenn Colquhoun tells his builder father why he writes poetry. In this collection Glenn uses hand’s on language and humour to explain poetry to anyone not yet captivated with the magic of words.






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Jumping Ship and other essays book cover

Jumping ship & other essays


Jumping Ship was first published by Four Winds Press in the Montana Estates Essay Series edited by Lloyd Jones. It was widely praised, but has been out of print for some time.


Now it is reprinted here, along with other thoughtful and often provocative essays, speeches and poems on race relations, medicine, history, love and related themes.

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Playing God book cover

Playing God


Glenn's third collection of poetry, this work received the Montana Award for Poetry and the Montana Readers' Choice Award at the 2003 Montana New Zealand Book Awards.


It is the only poetry collection in New Zealand to make it to Platinum, meaning more than 5,000 copies of the book have been sold (to date more than 10,000 copies have sold!). 



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North South book cover

North South


In this collaboration with artist Nigel Brown, Glenn imagines the northern gods of his Celtic heritage engaging with the atua Maori of the south, and creates a new mythology for those in this country who "have in their arms both ways".

Nigel Brown has handwritten and illustrated Glenn's words to bring to like the story of Tama, a child of the gods who is linked both to Europe and to the landscape of Aotearoa. 


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