Paula Harris


most likely to

at the end of my sixth form year
an informal vote by the popular kids
named me
Most Likely To Have 10 Kids To 10 Different Fathers By 30

next month I turn 29

I have no kids
I've never had an abortion
I've never been pregnant
I've never even wanted to be pregnant
(well, only once, when I was fucking
The Most Beautiful Man In The World,
but that was temporary insanity)

I hate to disappoint people
but I really don't think
I'm going to make it

First published in New Zealand Listener (2002)

Paula Harris

About Paula

Paula Harris lives in Aotearoa/New Zealand, where she writes and sleeps a lot, because that's what depression makes you do. She won the 2018 Janet B. McCabe Poetry Prize and the 2017 Lilian Ida Smith Award, and was a semi-finalist for the 2020 92Y Discovery Poetry Prize. She was the recipient of a Vermont Studio Center writing residency in 2018.

Her poetry has been published in various journals, including Passages North, Barren, New Ohio Review, SWWIM, Gulf Coast, The Spinoff, Poetry New Zealand Yearbook and Aotearotica. Her essays have been published in The Sun, Passages North, The Spinoff and Headlands: New Stories of Anxiety (Victoria University Press).

She is extremely fond of dark chocolate, shoes and hoarding fabric.