Author(s): Diana Bridge
Editor Robert McLean describes In the supplementary garden as a generous harvest from Bridge's five previous books of poetry, including a number of the lyric sequences at which she especially excels, along with a suite of new poems, which for me contains some of her finest work. Janet Hughes, in her introductory essay, writes: "The five volumes represented in this selection amount to a substantial oeuvre, and the new poems demonstrate that the veins she has mined are far from worked out. All the poems are underpinned by scholarship in English and classical Chinese literature and the Classical tradition. It is deployed lightly, but this is still sophisticated, uncompromising poetry, demanding an agile response." Awarding the 2015 Sarah Broom Poetry Prize to Diana Bridge, the chief judge, Irish poet Vona Groarke, described her work as "possibly amongst the best being written anywhere right now--for the arresting composure of the poems, for their reach and depth, for their carefully-wrought thought and language, for the beauty of their phrasing, for how they are both intellectually astute and also sensual and accessible, for the way they catch you up short and make you wonder, with a delightful wonder, just how it is they have brought you to where they have brought you; for their wit and style and yes, their seriousness."
New Zealand poet Diana Bridge has published five books of poetry with Auckland University Press. In 2015 she won the Sarah Broom Poetry Prize. She was presented with the Lauris Edmond Memorial Award for Poetry in 2010, for her distinguished contribution to New Zealand Poetry. Her essay "An attachment to China"uwon the Landfall Essay Competition for 2014. She has a PhD in Chinese classical poetry from the Australian National University, has studied and researched Chinese language, literature and art history and early Indian art history, and is the first foreigner to have taught in the Chinese department at Hong Kong University.