Photos of the Sky


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Photos of the sky cover

The collection starts with a declaration; ends in realisation. In between is a journey of reaching across the Tasman, shifting to a new home, reaching a place of disquiet and starting again. The full spectrum of emotions brings with it rain, sweat, tears, wildflowers and the promise of snow.

Some of the poems in Photos of the Sky can be found in earlier forms here on my website, others have appeared in: Bonsai (CUP), A new beginning (Women Who Write, Melbourne), The ties that bind (Melbourne Writers’ Social Group), Truth or Beauty : Poetry and Biography, A Lasting Peace (Greytown Arts Festival event) and Eat Your Words: Wellington café poems (Whitireia).


“The collection is in four parts: reach, shift, reach, this time. These convey the feeling of the text as a whole, in which the past definitely exists but the poet is living in the present with an eye on the future, knowing that this moment is just that, a moment, and things might or might not be about to change.” — Takahē Magazine

“The attempts towards, the shifting of perspectives, the attempts again, the relief. I felt the image of a trapeze artist, swinging out to try to catch someone else’s hands, falling back, swinging again, and finally meeting.” — The Reader

“If you like your poems tough and confrontational, this is the one for you. Koirala has a certain flair and essence.” — Otago Daily Times


Here are some videos of me reading from Photos of the Sky

Tear Water Tea


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A baby grows from a poppyseed, a lizard is chased into dust. Remembering grandparents, dreaming of houses, contemplating nature and the nature of contemplation. This is the stuff of Tear Water Tea.

Including a series of pointillist drawings by David Randall Peters, who also designed the cover.


“There is a slowness to Koirala’s poetry, and kind of demonstration or exemplification of the contemplative nature of her subject matter. Her use and manipulation of language invites us into her pace of seeing things, albeit with a shy and timid hand.” Lynley Edmeades for Landfall Review

“The reader, too, has a feeling of joy reading Koirala’s bouquet of language that she plucks from common discourse, arranging words through metaphors and juxtapositions into such startling perceptions…” Patricia Prime for Takahe Magazine

“This is a beautiful collection of poems. Koirala has that knack of creating depth with a simple few lines – she creates images that seem to arise without effort, ideas that quietly lift off the page to settle in the mind of the reader, resonating long after you close the pages. These are sensitive, thoughtful, well-crafted poems that make you stop, slow down and read with pleasure.”
Stella Chrysostomou, Page & Blackmore Booksellers, Nelson.

“Descriptive, child-focused but never childish, this is a sumptuous book.”
Siobhan Harvey reviewed Tear Water Tea for Beattie’s Book Blog

“Poetry can take many forms and employ language in a thousand ways, but there is something immeasurably satisfying about small poems that are economical, graceful, mysterious”
Paula Green reviewed Tear Water Tea here

“I recently finished Tear Water Tea and loved it – it’s among my favourite poetry collections of the past few years. I very much admire the aptness and precision of the word choices Saradha makes in her poems: that was already evident in her first collection,Wit of the Staircase, and in her new collection it’s coupled with a wider and more ambitious range of subject matter. Plus, the book’s design is beautiful!”
Tim Jones interviewed Saradha about Tear Water Tea. You can read it here.

“Zen aficionados might urge us to just live in the moment but Saradha’s poetry suggests that an appreciation of our own experience is not immediately apparent but rather requires memory, reflection, perhaps even the act of writing, to make sense.  Saradha’s work is both personal and thoughtful—there’s much to discover with each reading.”
Harvey Molloy for Tuesday Poem

Poems from Tea Water Tea:

“At Ninety” and “Mise-en-scene” at A Place for Tulsi

“Tika” on Tuesday Poem Blog, with commentary from Harvey Molloy

“Gravity” in Hue & Cry – Issue 06

“The cat teaches me about death” in Hue & Cry – Issue 05

“And now” in New Zealand Listener 21st May

“Portrait” in broadsheet nz 7

“Retreating” and “Butterflies from moths” in Hue & Cry – Issue 04

“Echolalia” in Moments in the Whirlwind, NZPS

“New Year’s Resolution” at Books in the Trees

“Hinged” at Gurgle Words

“A secret I don’t mind you knowing” at Tim Jones’ Books in the Trees

“Tassel” at Mary McCallum’s blog

“The News” at Helen Rickerby’s blog

Wit of the Staircase


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Wit of the Staircase was published by Steele Roberts in July 2009. It is largely comprised of work from my MA thesis Impasto which I completed in 2007 at Victoria University, Wellington. I am very grateful to everyone involved in the process of turning thoughts into poems into a beautifully produced book.


“This young poet has learnt her craft and brings an awareness to the subject which provides insight at the same time as engaging our emotions.” Peter Dornauf, Waikato Times

“A constant theme seems to be journeys – journeys of time, journeys of place, snapshots of lives.” Liz Breslin NZ Poetry Society

“There must be a word for it: writing which is somehow childish yet acutely aware of the wider world, which has a startlingly precise internal logic yet retains that nonsensical lilt particular to the language of endearments, jibes and well-worn familial jokes. Perhaps the word is just “alive”; more than likely poet Saradha Koirala has a better word for it.” Abby Cunnane Capital Times, Wellington

“This young woman will be going places in our literary scene.” Hamesh Wyatt Otago Daily Times

“I enjoyed this first collection a lot. Saradha Koirala’s poems are short (mostly), elegantly constructed, and pull in a range of words you don’t often find in New Zealand poetry.There isn’t a bad poem in the book.”  Tim Jones for Library Thing

Radio New Zealand, Arts on Sunday interview

Poems from Wit of the Staircase:

“I once lived by myself in a treehouse” and “Zoo” in Sport 36

“The season” in Lumiere Reader

“Framed” and “An old wolf of a day” in Turbine 07

“Flowering Room” at Janis Freegard’s blog

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