Drawing by Sarah Wilkins

Drawing by Sarah Wilkins

jenny bornholdt

Author of ‘Race’

Jenny Bornholdt is a poet. She grew up in Lower Hutt and has spent most of her adult life in Wellington.

She has published ten books of poetry, the most recent of which is The Hill of Wool.

Her poems have appeared on ceramics, on a house, on paintings and drawings, in the foyer of a building and in hand-printed books.

Jenny has also written a children’s book titled A book is a Book, which is illustrated by Sarah Wilkins (illustrator of ‘The Glove’).

A book that made a big impression on me when I read it as a young girl was The High House by Honor Arundel. I still think about this book now, forty-five years later. I don’t remember details of what happened in it, but what I do remember is that a girl went to stay with her aunt, who was quite an unusual woman. The aunt lived in a way that the girl wasn’t used to, and it took her a while to feel comfortable. The girl learnt to become more independent and enjoyed this. I remember loving the descriptions of the house and the aunt and how she and the girl learnt to get on together. In my mind, the aunt lived in a tree house, but I suspect this is something to do with the cover of the book – maybe there was a tree outside the house?

When I googled to see if what I remembered was close to what the book was about, it said: After the death of their parents, a young girl is separated from her brother and goes to live with an artistic aunt in Edinburgh.

 So I wasn’t too off-beam.’