How To Be Old? I don’t know but I did write the book


photo of books: HOW TO BE OLD poems, Rachel McAlpine

Don’t expect any tips in HOW TO BE OLD—new book of poems by Rachel McAlpine at 80.

Twenty copies of HOW TO BE OLD, my new book of poems, have been hand-delivered by the publisher herself, Mary McCallum. She strode up the hill weighed down by a handwoven backpack bearing the precious literary goods, pausing only to attend to the occasional text or email. She took a brutal video of me opening the box and we celebrated with coffee.

I am tickled pink by the cover, design, size and weight of this book.

How about the poems? That’s for you to judge. You may have read a few of them on this blog. Some of you have listened to my podcast. Now some of you listen to my poetry readings on video.

But if you like books, books printed on paper, you can buy this one from any bookshop in New Zealand. If they don’t have it in stock, ask them to order it. It’s a book that will make a wonderful gift for someone special, too.

Many New Zealand bookstores have an online service. (I’ll add other links below when I find out which other New Zealand bookstores willingly ship offshore.)

I wish I could tell you how to be old but I only know one way, the way that works for me. (It starts with not being dead.) Nevertheless, I think you will find some poems here with echoes from your own life, if you’re over 30.

Happy reading! And if you’re in New Zealand, remember that I love doing live readings for real people. Just ask.

17 thoughts on “How To Be Old? I don’t know but I did write the book

  1. Fantastic… I love the cover it’s brilliant 🌞

  2. Anonymous says:


  3. cedar51 says:

    wtg Rachel…and the cover is exactly to the point, a point in time.

  4. KENDI KARIMI says:

    Wow!! Congratulations for this. 👏 I hope to get to read it at some point in the future.

  5. Love to read it. It’s actually a subject that fascinates me.

    1. Rachel McAlpine says:

      Same here!!

  6. Congratulations! Can’t wait to buy one to read.

    1. Rachel McAlpine says:

      That’s the response we like 🙂 Back at you!

  7. How very exciting! Congratulations!

  8. Love the bright cover. It suits your personality and outlook!

    1. Rachel McAlpine says:

      Thank you Peter. (I have my moments…)

  9. Sadje says:

    Congratulations Rachel.

  10. Looking forward to the launch? xX

    1. Rachel McAlpine says:

      Still figuring that one out.

  11. alison41 says:

    Congratulations! How wonderful to see the actual book, with its bright cover, after all the creating, editing, publishing prep work and now here it is! Enjoy! wishing you every success.

  12. joliesattic says:

    Congrats! The best to you.

    1. Rachel McAlpine says:


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