‘Wes Lee’s One Summer: Orcas in the Bay drew my attention from its first line... The ending is superb, not a let-down, but a polishing before setting the experience reverently down.’ – Elizabeth Smither The Takahē Monica Taylor Poetry Prize 2018

Blue Octopus... A fabulous piece.’ – Tom Vowler The Short FICTION Prize 2018, University of Plymouth Press

Blue Octopus, tackles what could be a familiar setting, yet manages to feel utterly novel and surprising. Each character is drawn with restraint but also a deeply sympathetic warmth; they feel real and complex as they navigate this strange moment together. There is a neatness and economy to the writing, but also a generosity, and an admirable ear for the unfolding rhythm of a story and how to earn its many quiet revelations.’ – Riona Judge McCormack The Short FICTION Prize 2018, University of Plymouth Press

‘These poems are quiet, controlled and sparse, with an accurate ear for rhythmBody, Remember is a satisfyingly cohesive collection, each poem adding something to the previous and the next. I found them intense, strong and immensely powerful.’ – Diane Brown Landfall Review Online, May 2018, Otago University Press

By the Lapels... I like that there’s no commitment to poetry or prose... There’s a commitment to incompletion and urgency, fast or slow. The work is full of dark intimations and melancholy yet it still seems more about the action of feelings, the chemistry somehow. The sentences, lines phrases are staccato, sometimes incomplete, as heavy and black as the lines themselves on the page. One is pummelled by life and weirdly joyous at the incredibly frank state of arrival of their own being in writing.’ – Eileen Myles - The Sarah Broom Poetry Prize 2018

‘Shooting Gallery is stunning. The poems are assured, brave, and many have already been published in a wide array of NZ and international journals... The body is prime. And although throughout the collection pain and indignity are often a given, there is also a glorying in the physical, the sensual; there is verve, and poems that punch the air celebrating survival... It is striking that in these poems, no one is judged. The first thing that Wes Lee concerns herself with in Shooting Gallery is the humanity of each person. Here, the last shall be first, and she ensures that, in this marvellous collection, we know why this should be the case.’– Carolyn McCurdie Takahē Magazine, August 2017

‘Combines an oblique narrative with poignant emotion.’ – The Overton Poetry Prize 2017

Body, Remember... Amazing poems... very powerful.’- Rosanna Hildyard Eyewear Publishing

Body, Remember... Wes Lee's beautiful, sobering collection gives a skeleton upon which to hang the intangible. It speaks to transience, to trauma, to the inevitability of time passing.’ – S. J. Bradley The Big Bookend

In Body, Remember, Wes Lee catalogues a ‘domino of broken things’ with deft poignancy and dark humour. She draws our attention to the fact, that even as we read and breathe, our bodies are in a state of breaking.’ – Michael Stewart University of Huddersfield Press

'Shooting Gallery... There are times in this tough-minded and tender-hearted book when you are persuaded that your odds are not good. On the other hand there are moments - and moments matter for Wes Lee - when the balance of the universe tips back in your favour.' - Murray Edmond Landfall Issue 233, The 70th Anniversary Issue, Otago University Press, May 2017 

‘I really loved Thirsty... an original, funny, and clever story. There’s so much you could teach about honouring one’s own unique voice.’ – Laurie Steed Margaret River Press

Shooting Gallery...‘The body is where you begin’ could be a tag for this whole book of short sharp poems that knock against your skull. There’s a woman living in a car, there’s a clown living in you, there’s a couple living in a barn with a dog and a boar, there’s a memory living in a hotel, there’s a self living in a mirror ... A book stuffed with tough stuff.’ – Murray Edmond NZ Poetry Shelf - Best Books of 2017

Outside the window the wild world still calls... The prizewinning poems stood out especially because they had that special gift of being able to create their own imaginative universes. The were poems that felt almost hermetically sealed, complete in their structures and images and sounds and rhythms, poems that were in love with language: they felt in a strange way as if they had always been written. But they also took risks, formal risks, imaginative risks, and risks of feeling.’ – Deryn Rees-Jones The Troubadour Poetry Prize

Recovery Room... Powerful poems of witness and survival.’ – Amy Wack The Troubadour Poetry Prize

Glass Eye... a beautifully observed child’s eye portrait of a grandfather.’ – Hannah Lowe Oxford Brookes University International Poetry Competition

Cowboy Genes... In Wes Lee’s beautiful collection of short fiction, the shadow of death looms.’ – Michael Stewart University of Huddersfield Press

‘Of the five stories in Cowboy Genes, three struck me: Diseases from Space, The Gardenia Girls, and especially Crash Test Dummies. If you are weary of cheap cynicism being passed off as profundity, you’ll feel great empathy for Victor, the central character of this story, who yearns for things that are life-changing, life-affirming.’ – Jim Greenhalf Telegraph & Argus

Farm... a thoroughly imagined piece of writing.’ – Dr. Jack Ross We Society Poetry Prize, Printable Reality

Sand... tonally satisfying and nicely underplayed.’ – Harvey Molloy The NZSA Poetry Competition

Cowboy Genes... Powerful, dynamic short stories.’ – Alex Hopwood - University of Huddersfield

‘I really loved Montauk – it was such an original and beautiful piece of writing.’ – Kalinda Ashton The Sleepers Almanac 

Marvellous work.’ – Vanessa Gebbie

‘Artworld horror and horror of art in the fury of Furious Type.’ – Tim Jones The New Zealand Poetry Society Poetry Competition

These Last Desires by Wes Lee... fine writing and satisfying construction.’ – Graham Beattie Beattie's Blog

Surgery Dog... is driven and intense. The image of the dog is shocking, and the last line not only surprised me but told me something new about the experience of surgery.’ – Pascale Petit Cafe Writers Poetry Prize 

Deliverance... impressed with its film-noir edge and poignant gestures to what passes for intimacy in the modern age. It’s a story that lingers long in the mind.’ – Biscuit Publishing

‘Wes Lee’s The Joy Chair Shockers... I chose the final stories because they are wonderful. Because they lifted me to heights of understanding, because they pushed me into those dark places where only writers and mad people go.’ – Amanda Le Bas De Plumetot - Page Seventeen Short Story & Poetry Competition

Tigers... a wonderful story that dances confidently along that tricky line between telling too much and telling too little. This is very fine writing. It made me envious and it made me cry.’ – Sue McCauley The Bronwyn Tate Memorial Award 

‘Like the very best of funny stories, Wes Lee in Advent, set up a wonderful scenario, and let the humour emerge not through jokes, or witty repartee, but through the situation itself.’ – Sue Orr The Rodney Writes Premier Award

‘Deftness and pace, plus a powerful emotional content distinguished Ciao Bella. I was impressed by the allusive, controlled and almost bleak lyricism of the writing.’ – David Hill The NZSA National Short Story Competition 

‘I was very impressed by Postcard from Paris... complex, sexy, tragic. Europe was beautifully evoked.’ – Carl Nixon The Page & Blackmore National Short Story Award

This Moment Between Things... A terrific story. How I love this piece – it’s really quite delightful – almost deceptive, the way it creeps up on you.’ – Louise SwinnThe Sleepers Almanac

‘I have been reading your work over the past few weeks and I am now a big fan of your writing.’ – Francesca Main, Editoral Director, Picador 

‘Wes Lee’s Saul explores death with a light touch. Its oblique examination of what it means to live and what it means to die is strikingly perceptive.’ – Diane Stubbings Meet Some of Austraiia's Best, Canberra Times 17.12.2011

‘Afterlife... a gorgeous story.’ – Geoff Lemon Going Down Swinging

‘Wes Lee’s Tigers accomplishes a lot in a little time. A story so short has to move quickly and with precision... All the more affecting for its subtlety of tone and delivery.’ – Anthony Caleshu The Short FICTION Prize, University of Plymouth Press

Unimportant Things... For those who delight in flight and flutter, in lives as rapid as our own, in pulses that seem to momentarily exist beyond the need for hearts, these fine stories await and will be worth your time.’ – Toby Litt Talking to Strangers, The Belvadere Writers Anthology 

Plush... From the opening lines I just knew I was going somewhere special.’ – Kate Rotherham The Albury City Short Story Competition

Crash Test Dummies & The Gardenia Girls... This is writing of high skill and insight, writing that knows a lot about life and about writing and knows that withholding is as vital as telling, writing that relishes control yet teeters on the brink of losing everything. Disturbing yet fruitfully so.’ – Michael Hulse City of Derby Short Story Competition

Soon You Won’t See Me... The finalists from this year’s Fish Publishing Short Story Prize were universally strong, and from these we have selected winners, we believe, of exceptional virtue.’ – David Mitchell & Carlo Gebler The Fish Short Story Prize

Home Movies... Sometimes a story strikes the judge so forcefully that he or she has a sense that here is the winner even before all the others are considered. Wes Lee is an accomplished wordsmith.’ – Owen Marshall The Dan Davin Literary Award

Two in the Morning... Your beautiful, impressionistic story was outstanding.’ – Barbara Trapido Ilkley Literature Festival Short Story Prize

Drowning with Garnet... After two lines I was hooked: Haunting, assertive and refreshing, taking me somewhere different without ever losing me. A bold piece of work.’ – Robyn Young The New Writer Short Story Prize

‘Wes Lee’s Westerns topped the list. The style and the content and the plot – the secret history of a recovery - all worked together to create a tight, interesting story. Dreams rarely work in fiction, but this story proved an exception.’ – David Means The Flosca Prize 

‘Wes Lee’s This Moment Between Things... I am looking for stories that take leaps of pure literary magic, working by a subliminal mysterious process, thus they are works of alchemy and discovery.’ – Kate Braverman The Kate Braverman Short Story Prize - National League of American Pen Women, Nob Hill, San Francisco  

Postcard from Paris... A strong story at the cutting edge of things.’ – Ron Butlin The William Soutar Writing Prize

Ginnel... A clarity of language and a fine balance of thought and feeling... transformative.’ – Neil Astley Poetry London Prize 

‘I loved We had a little summer by Wes Lee. There are poems that seem to be hardly there at all but move the heart with the least amount of apparent effort.’ – George Szirtes Essex Poetry Festival Open Poetry Prize 

Sunflowers... a powerful poem, capturing the true horror of the protests in the Long Kesh incarcerations. A merciless, no-holds-barred poem with a final image almost out of a Francis Bacon painting.’ – Christopher North Poetry on the Lake 

Furniture... This is a very accomplished story that hides its sophistication beneath language that proceeds effortlessly. Sophisticated in its construction, persuasive in its telling, this story is in a class of its own.’ – Lloyd Jones The BNZ Katherine Mansfield Literary Award