In the Spirit of Rumi (2011)

Jack Ross:
Published Essays, Interviews,
Introductions & Reviews



Date of Publication - Title - Publication Details

    2019 [6]

  1. (November 12) “The Lonesome Death of Bridget Furey, or: Pessoa Down Under,” & (ed.) ‘The Complete Poetical Works of Bridget Furey (1966-c.1997).” Ka mate ka ora: a new zealand journal of poetry and poetics 17 (October 2019): 62-79.

  2. (January 8) (Ed.) Poetry NZ Yearbook 2019 [Issue #53]: 14-20, 68-74 & 303-13:
    • Editorial: What makes a poem good?
    • An Interview with Stephanie Christie
    • Reviews:
    • Review of Dan Davin, A Field Officer’s Notebook: Selected Poems, ed. Robert McLean (Lyttelton: Cold Hub Press, 2018)
    • Review of Alistair Paterson, Passant: A Journey to Elsewhere (London: Austin Macauley Publishers, 2017)
    • Review of Johanna Emeney, The Rise of Autobiographical Medical Poetry and the Medical Humanities (Stuttgart: ibidem-Verlag, 2018)

  3. 2018 [15]

  4. (August 24) “Divine Muses XV.” Contribution to Jane Sanders, ed. Divine Muses XV: To Siobhan Harvey with thanks from your fellow poets. Auckland: Jane Sanders Art Agent, 2018. VII.

  5. (August 24) “42 poets celebrate National Poetry Day: A memory suite.” Contribution to Paula Green. NZ Poetry Shelf: a poetry page with reviews, interviews, and other things (24/8/18).

  6. (August 7) “The Shadow-Line, or: What’s the difference between micro-fiction & prose poetry?” Bonsai: Best small stories from Aotearoa New Zealand. Ed. Michelle Elvy, Frankie McMillan & James Norcliffe. ISBN 978-1-927145-98-2. Christchurch: Canterbury University Press, 2018. 268-72.

  7. (June 12) “‘Like a Japanese Christmas Card’: Line in Poetry and Art.” Axon: Creative Explorations, Vol. 8, No. 1: "Materiality, creativity, material poetics" (May 2018). Special Section: "The Poetic Line", ed. Owen Bullock. (University of Canberra: Centre for Creative & Cultural Research, 2018). [available at:]

  8. (January 10) (Ed.) Poetry NZ Yearbook 2018 [Issue #52]: 14-18, 308-19 & 332-36:
    • Editorial: A Live Tradition
    • Reviews:
    • Review of Ted Jenner, The Arrow That Missed (Lyttelton: Cold Hub Press, 2017)
    • Review of Jeremy Roberts, Cards on the Table (Carindale, Queensland, Australia: Interactive Press, 2015)
    • Review of Laura Solomon, Frida Kahlo's Cry and Other Poems (Hong Kong: Proverse Hong Kong, 2015)
    • Review of A TransPacific Poetics, ed. Lisa Samuels and Sawako Nakayasu (Brooklyn, NY: Litmus Press, 2017)
    • Books & Magazines in brief:
    • Review of Mary Cresswell, Field Notes (Wellington: Mākaro Press, 2017)
    • Review of Claudio Pasi, Observations: Poems / Osservazione: Poesie, trans. Tim Smith & Marco Sonzogni (Wellington: Seraph Press, 2016)
    • Review of Shipwrecks/Shelters: Six Contemporary Greek Poets / Ναυάγια/Καταφύγια: Έξι Σύγχρονοι Έλληνες Ποιητές. With Lena Kallergi, Theodore Chiotis, Phoebe Giannisi, Patricia Kolaiti, Vassilis Amanatidis & Katerina Iliopoulou, ed. & trans. Vana Manasiadis (Wellington: Seraph Press, 2016)
    • Review of Signals: A Literary Journal 5, ed. Ros Ali & Johanna Emeney (Devonport: Michael King Writers’ Centre, 2016)
    • Review of Karen Zelas, The Trials of Minnie Dean: A Verse Biography (Wellington: Mākaro Press, 2017)

  9. (January 1) “Painting with Words: Review of Painting with Words: a Collection of Poems, by Terence O’Neill-Joyce (Warkworth: Video Pacific Communications Limited, 2017).” Poetry New Zealand Review: Books & Magazines in brief (1/1/18).

  10. 2017 [21]

  11. (December 7) “Lounge Room Tribalism (for Graham Fletcher).” Scope: Art and Design #14 (November 2017): 133-35.

  12. (November 23) “Welcome to Novella.” Leicester Kyle. Letters to a Psychiatrist. Edited with an Afterword by Jack Ross. Paper Table Novellas, 2 (Auckland: Paper Table, 2017): 81-87.

  13. (November 1) “The Poetics of Planned Obsolescence: Review of Milk Island, by Rhydian Thomas (Lawrence & Gibson Publishing Collective, 2017).” Landfall Review Online (2017).

  14. (October 30) "Vanishing Points: Launch Speech." Contribution to Paula Green, “Michele Leggott’s glorious new poetry collection: a launch speech and some poems.” NZ Poetry Shelf: a poetry page with reviews, interviews and other things (30/10/17).

  15. (September 26) “Starting (and Stopping) a Poem.” Pilot 2018: A Diary for Writers (Melbourne & South Gippsland: Pilot Press, 2018): 12.

  16. (February 21) “Enactments of Identity in the New Zealand Short Story.” Fudan Journal of the Humanities and Social Sciences (FDHS). ISSN 1674-0750. DOI 10.1007/s40647-017-0170-2 (2017): 1-19.

  17. (January 28) “How Many Miles to Babylon? Three Faces of Mike Johnson’s Lear.” brief 55 (Summer 2016-17): 113-31.

  18. (January 15) “The Time of Achamoth: M. K. Joseph and the Rise of New Zealand Speculative Fiction.” Journal of New Zealand Literature 34.2: New Writing 1975-2000. Guest Editor John Geraets (2016): 61-80.

  19. (January 13) (Ed.) Poetry NZ Yearbook 2017 [Issue #51]: 14-19, 48-51, 293-302 & 318-23:
    • Editorial – Hands across the Tasman
    • An Interview with Elizabeth Morton
    • Reviews:
    • Review of Nicholas Williamson, The Blue Outboard: New and Selected Poems (Port Chalmers: Black Doris Press, 2016)
    • Review of Antonios Papaspiropoulos, Poems from the George Wilder Cottage: A Poetry Cycle (Southbank, Victoria, Australia: St. Antoni Publishing, 2015)
    • Review of Cilla McQueen, In a Slant Light: A Poet’s Memoir (Dunedin: Otago University Press, 2016)
    • Review of Jen Crawford, Koel (Melbourne: Cordite Books, 2016)
    • Books & Magazines in brief:
    • Review of brief 54: Love, ed. Olivia Macassey (Pokeno, Auckland: The Writers Group, 2016)
    • Review of John Dickson, Mister Hamilton (Auckland: Auckland University Press, 2016)
    • Review of Michael Harlow, Nothing for it but to Sing (Dunedin: Otago University Press, 2016)
    • Review of IKA 4: Journal of Literature and Art, ed. Anne Kennedy (Manukau: MIT, 2016)
    • Review of JAAM 33: Small Departures, ed. Kiri Piahana-Wong and Rosetta Allan (Wellington: JAAM Collective, 2015)
    • Review of Polina Kouzminova, An echo where you lie (Wellington: Mākaro Press, 2016)
    • Review of Frankie McMillan, My Mother and the Hungarians and Other Small Fictions (Christchurch: Canterbury University Press, 2016)

  20. 2016 [6]

  21. (December 25) “Issue 55 Supplement: How Many Miles To Babylon.” The brief blog (25/12/16).

  22. (December 4) “Poetry Shelf, Poet's Choice.” Contribution to Paula Green. NZ Poetry Shelf: a poetry page with reviews, interviews, and other things (4/12/16).

  23. (November 22) Blurb for Keith Nunes, catching a ride on a paradox: poetry and short fiction (Rotorua, 2016).

  24. (July 8) "On the Road to Nowhere: Revisiting Samuel Butler’s Erewhon." Extraordinary Anywhere: Essays on Place from Aotearoa New Zealand. Ed. Ingrid Horrocks & Cherie Lacey. Wellington: Victoria University Press, 2016. 135-49.

  25. (May 19) “The Psychopathic God: Review of R.H.I., by Tim Corballis (Victoria University Press, 2015).” Landfall 231 (April 2015): 182-85.

  26. (May 5) “I am ‘modern’ but want to go back’: Review of Aurelia, by John Hawke (Cordite Press, 2015).” TEXT: Journal of Writing and Writing Courses, vol 20, no. 1 (April 2016).

  27. 2015 [19]

  28. (December 11) “Poetry Shelf, Poet's Choice.” Contribution to Paula Green. NZ Poetry Shelf: a poetry page with reviews, interviews, and other things (11/12/15).

  29. (November 27) (Ed.) Poetry NZ Yearbook 2 [Issue #50] (2015): 7-10, 23-38, 255-63 & 269-73:
    • Editorial – What is New Zealand Poetry?
    • An Interview with Robert Sullivan
    • Reviews:
    • Review of Mary Cresswell, Fish Stories (Christchurch: Canterbury University Press, 2015)
    • Review of David Eggleton, The Conch Trumpet (Dunedin: Otago University Press, 2015)
    • Review of A Place To Go On From: The Collected Poems of Iain Lonie, ed. David Howard (Dunedin: Otago University Press, 2015)
    • Review of Jane Summer, Erebus (Little Rock, Arkansas: Sibling Rivalry Press, 2014)
    • Books & Magazines in brief:
    • Review of Diane Brown, Taking My Mother to the Opera (Dunedin: Otago University Press, 2015)
    • Review of Catalyst 11: My Republic, ed. Doc Drumheller (Christchurch: The Republic of Oma Rāpeti Press, 2014)
    • Review of Martin Edmond & Maggie Hall, Histories of the Future (North Hobart, Tasmania: Walleah Press, 2015)
    • Review of JAAM 32: Shorelines, ed. Sue Wootton (Wellington: JAAM Collective, 2014)
    • Review of Julie Leibrich, A Little Book of Sonnets (Wellington: Steele Roberts Aotearoa, 2013)
    • Review of Emma Neale, Tender Machines (Dunedin: Otago University Press, 2015)
    • Review of Richard Reeve, Generation Kitchen (Dunedin: Otago University Press, 2015)
    • Review of Pat White, Fracking & Hawk (Aotearoa New Zealand: Frontiers Press, 2015)

  30. (August 29) “'We' Society: Editor's Note.” 'We' Society Poetry Anthology. Edited with a Preface by Jack Ross. Stage2Page Titles, 4 (Bethells / Te Henga, Auckland: Poetry/Spoken Word Art NZ Trust, 2015): 1-3.

  31. (July 29) Blurb for Martin Edmond & Maggie Hall, Histories of the Future (North Hobart, Tasmania: Walleah Press, 2015).

  32. (May 11) “Miss Herbert, by Adam Thirlwell [2007].” Verbivoracious Festschrift Vol. 3: The Syllabus. Ed. G.N. Forester and M.J. Nicholls. ISBN 978-981-09-3593-1 (Singapore: Verbivoracious Press, 2015): 209-10.

  33. (May 1) “Is MiStory YourStory? Review of MiStory, by Philip Temple (Dunedin: Scribe Publishing, 2014).” Landfall Review Online (2015).

  34. 2014 [36]

  35. (November 1) “An Interview with Gabriel White.” Tongdo Fantasia. Gabriel White on Vimeo (26/10/14).

  36. (October 28) (Ed.) Poetry NZ Yearbook 1 [Issue #49] (2014): 7-10, 41-48, 224-37:
    • Editorial – From Dagmara to Lisa
    • An Interview with Lisa Samuels
    • Books & Magazines in brief:
    • Review of Alan Brunton, Beyond the Ohlala Mountains: Poems 1968-2002. Ed. Michele Leggott & Martin Edmond (Auckland: Titus Books, 2013)
    • Review of Kay McKenzie Cooke, Born to a Red-Headed Woman (Dunedin: Otago University Press, 2014)
    • Review of Craig Cotter, After Lunch with Frank O’Hara. Introduction by Felice Picano (New York: Chelsea Station Editions, 2014)
    • Review of Alison Denham, Raspberry Money (Christchurch: Sudden Valley Press, 2013)
    • Review of Doc Drumheller, 10 x (10 + -10) = 0: A ten year, ten book project, 20/02/2002-21/02/2012 (Christchurch: The Republic of Oma Rāpeti Press, 2014)
    • Review of Eugene Dubnov, The Thousand-Year Minutes. Translated by Anne Stevenson & the author (UK: Shoestring Press, 2013)
    • Review of Sue Fitchett, On the Wing (Wellington: Steele Roberts Aotearoa, 2014)
    • Review of Alexandra Fraser, Conversation by Owl-Light (Wellington: Steele Roberts Aotearoa, 2014)
    • Review of John Gibb, The Thin Boy & Other Poems (Lyttelton: Cold Hub Press, 2014)
    • Review of Rogelio Guedea, Si no te hubieras ido / If only you hadn’t gone. With translations by Roger Hickin. Introduction by Vincent O’Sullivan (Lyttelton: Cold Hub Press, 2014)
    • Review of Sweeping the Courtyard: The Selected Poems of Michael Harlow (Lyttelton: Cold Hub Press, 2014)
    • Review of Michael Harlow, Heart absolutely I can. Hoopla Series (Wellington: Mākaro Press, 2014)
    • Review of Chloe Honum, The Tulip-Flame (Cleveland, Ohio: Cleveland State University Poetry Center, 2014)
    • Review of David Howard, The Speak House: A Poem in Fifty-Seven Pentastichs on the Final Hours in the Life of Robert Louis Stevenson (Lyttelton: Cold Hub Press, 2014)
    • Review of Leonard Lambert, Remnants: Poems (Wellington: Steele Roberts Aotearoa, 2013)
    • Review of Stephanie Lash, Bird murder. Hoopla Series (Wellington: Mākaro Press, 2014)
    • Review of Cilla McQueen (in association with the Alexander Turnbull Library), Edwin’s Egg & Other Poetic Novellas (Dunedin: Otago University Press, 2014)
    • Review of John O’Connor, Whistling in the Dark (Wellington: HeadworX, 2014)
    • Review of Outloud Too. Ed. Vaughan Rapatahana, Kate Rogers, Madeleine Slavick (Hong Kong: MCCM Creations, 2014)
    • Review of Lee Posna, Arboretum (Auckland: Compound Press, 2014)
    • Review of Helen Rickerby, Cinema. Hoopla Series (Wellington: Mākaro Press, 2014)
    • Review of Marie Slaight, The Antigone Poems. Drawings by Terrence Tasker (Potts Point NSW: Altaire Production and Publication, 2013)
    • Review of Elizabeth Smither, Ruby Duby Du (Lyttelton: Cold Hub Press, 2014)
    • Review of MaryJane Thomson, Fallen Grace (Wellington: HeadworX / The Night Press, 2014)
    • Review of Steven Toussaint, Fiddlehead (Auckland: Compound Press, 2014)

  37. (August 5) “August on the Shelf.” Contribution to Paula Green. NZ Poetry Shelf: a poetry page with reviews, interviews, and other things (5/8/14).

  38. (May 16) “Green Movement: Review of Phillip Mann, The Disestablishment of Paradise: A Novel in Five Parts plus Documents (London: Gollancz, 2013).” Landfall 227 – Vital Signs (2014): 183-85.

  39. (April 14) “Paul Celan & Leicester Kyle: The Zone & the Plateau.” Ka Mate Ka Ora 13 (2014): 54-71.

  40. (March 12) (Ed.) brief 50 – the projects issue (2014): 3-5, 152-53, 154-56:
    • Editorial – Misha's Project
    • Review of Lisa Samuels, Wild Dialectics (Bristol: Shearsman Books Ltd., 2012)
    • Review of Richard von Sturmer, Book of Equanimity Verses (Auckland: Puriri Press, 2013)

  41. (February 6) Leicester Kyle. The Millerton Sequences. Edited by Jack Ross. Poem by David Howard. ISBN 978-0-473-18880-1. Pokeno, Auckland: Atuanui Press, 2014. 8-29:

  42. (February 1) “Carnage in Cuba Street: Review of The Wind City, by Summer Wigmore (Steam Press, 2013).” Landfall Review Online (2014).

  43. 2013 [6]

  44. (December 9) “Here are the poetry books that hooked us in 2013.” Contribution to Paula Green. NZ Poetry Shelf: a poetry page with reviews, interviews, and other things (9/12/13).

  45. (September 27) “Confessions of an Unrepentant Anthologist: Review of The AUP Anthology of NZ Literature, ed. Jane Stafford & Mark Williams (Auckland: AUP, 2013).” brief 49 (2013): 129-45.

  46. (September 7) “Wearing their ethics on their sleeves: Review of Elizabeth Knox, Mortal Fire (Wellington: Gecko Press, 2013) & Mandy Hager, Dear Vincent (Auckland: Random House New Zealand, 2013).” NZ Books: A Quarterly Review vol. 23, no. 3, issue 103 (Spring 2013): 16-17.

  47. (August 31) “Trouble in River City: How I learned to stop worrying and trust poetics.” Poetry NZ 47 (2013): 93-103.

  48. (June 25) “Obituary – Dreamtigers: i.m. Sarah Broom.” Poetry Notes 14 (vol. 4, issue 2). ISSN 1179-7681 (Winter 2013): 6-8.

  49. (May 14) “Never Get Taken to the Second Location: Review of The Second Location. Stories by Bronwyn Lloyd (Auckland: Titus Books, 2011). RRP $NZ 30.00.” Landfall 225 – My Auckland (2013): 186-89.

  50. 2012 [25]

  51. (November 23) “Interpreting Paul Celan.” brief 46 – The Survival Issue (2012): 85-101.

  52. (November 5) Celanie: Poems & Drawings after Paul Celan. Poems by Jack Ross, Drawings by Emma Smith, with an Afterword by Bronwyn Lloyd. ISBN 978-0-473-22484-4. Pania Samplers, 3. Auckland: Pania Press, 2012. 168 pp. 11-16:

  53. (September 24) “Channeling Paul Celan.” Rabbit 5: The RARE Issue (Winter 2012): 118-31.

  54. (September 1) “Review of The Little Enemy, by Nicholas Reid (Wellington: Steele Roberts Aotearoa, 2011).” Poetry NZ 45 (2012): 103-4.

  55. (July 1) “Closedown, hibernate, restart: Review of The Comforter, by Helen Lehndorf (Seraph Press, 2011) & Birds of Clay, by Aleksandra Lane (VUP, 2012).” Landfall Review Online (2012).

  56. (June 19) Fallen Empire: Maui in the Underworld, Kupe & the Fountain of Youth, Hatupatu & the Nile-monster: Three Play-Fragments from the Literary Remains of The Society of Inner Light. Attributed to Bertolt Wegener. Edited with an introduction by Jack Ross. Museum of True History in Collaboration with Karl Chitham and Jack Ross (20 June – 21 July 2012). Dunedin: Blue Oyster Art Project Space, 2012:

  57. (May 8) “Old Shore.” Trout 17: Home Spaces (2012).

  58. (May 6) brief 44 / 45 – Oceania (2012): 56-76 & 206-7:

  59. (March 31-July 3) JACK ROSS: Notes on NZ Poetry (April-June 2012). Jacket2: Commentaries.
    1. [31/3/12]: Begin anywhere
    2. [6/4/12]: The persistence of memory
    3. [13/4/12]: Experiments with sound
    4. [18/4/12]: Dancing on ropes with fetter’d legs
    5. [27/4/12]: In small press land
    6. [6/5/12]: State-of-the-Nation poems: Allen Curnow
    7. [11/5/12]: State-of-the-Nation poems (2): James K. Baxter
    8. [17/5/12]: State-of-the-Nation poems (3): Cilla McQueen
    9. [26/5/12]: Work yet for the living: Hone Tuwhare
    10. [1/6/12]: What's in the mags? brief 44/45
    11. [8/6/12]: State-of-the-Nation poems (4): Ian Wedde
    12. [15/6/12]: State-of-the-Nation poems (5): Kendrick Smithyman
    13. [25/6/12]: State-of-the-Nation poems (6): Michele Leggott
    14. [3/7/12]: Coda

  60. (March 30) “Marie de France: ‘Laüstic’ (c.1180).” Ka Mate Ka Ora 11 (2012): 75-88.

  61. (March 13) “The book that got me started ...” Contribution to Celebrating NZ Book Month. Auckland University Press (13/3/12).

  62. 2011 [7]

  63. ((November 29) “Look and look again: Twelve New Zealand poets.” Jacket2 NZ Poetry Feature: with poets John Adams, Raewyn Alexander, Jen Crawford, Scott Hamilton, Leicester Kyle, Aleksandra Lane, Thérèse Lloyd, Richard Reeve, Michael Steven, Apirana Taylor, Richard Taylor, Richard von Sturmer. Edited by Jack Ross. Images by Emma Smith.

  64. (November 3) Leicester Kyle, Koroneho: Joyful News Out Of The New Found World. Edited with an Introduction by Jack Ross. Preface by Ian St George. ISBN 978-0-9876604-0-4. Auckland: The Leicester Kyle Literary Estate / Wellington: The Colenso Society, 2011. 7-9:

  65. (November 1) Blurb for Keith Westwater, Tongues of Ash (Brisbane: Interactive Press, October 2011).

  66. (August 25) “Foreword.” Lugosi’s Children, Curated by Bronwyn Lloyd (27 August – 1 October 2011). Auckland: Objectspace, 2011: 2-3. [PDF available at:].

  67. (May 25) “Johnsons or Shits: Review of Mike Johnson, Travesty (Auckland: Titus Books, 2010).” brief 42 (2011): 40-44.

  68. (May 17) “Questions of Structure: Review of John Newton, Lives of the Poets; Cilla McQueen, The Radio Room; David Eggleton, Time of the Icebergs.” Landfall 221 – Outside In (2011): 184-87.

  69. (January 6) Kendrick Smithyman, Campana to Montale: Versions from Italian. 2004. Edited by Jack Ross & Marco Sonzogni. ISBN-13: 978-88-7536-264-5. Transference Series. Ed. Erminia Passannanti. Novi Ligure: Edizioni Joker, 2010. 23-39:
    • Essay – The Poem Within: Kendrick Smithyman the Poet-Translator

  70. 2010 [6]

  71. (December 16) 11 Views of Auckland. Edited by Jack Ross & Grant Duncan. Preface by Jack Ross. Social and Cultural Studies, 10. ISSN 1175-7132. Auckland: Massey University, 2010. ii + 210 pp. [100 copies]. 5-8; 155-76:

  72. (November 19) “Hearts on the Run: Poetry Panels in Sydney.” All Together Now: A Digital Bridge for Auckland and Sydney / Kia Kotahi Rā: He Arawhata Ipurangi mō Tamaki Makau Rau me Poihākena (March-September 2010). (23/11/10).

  73. (November 18) “A Short History of Fairytales.” One Brown Box: A Storybook Exhibition for Children, by Bronwyn Lloyd & Karl Chitham (6 November – 18 December 2010). ISBN-13: 978-0-9582811-8-8. Auckland: Objectspace, 2010: 27-37.

  74. (September 17) “Discussion of 'Disorder and Early Sorrow'.” In 99 Ways into NZ Poetry, by Paula Green & Harry Ricketts. ISBN 978-1-86979-178-0. Auckland: Random House, 2010. 364-65.

  75. (May 27) “The Sleep of Reason: Review of Jessica Le Bas, Walking to Africa; David Lyndon Brown, Skin Hunger; Bernadette Hall, The Lustre Jug; Kevin Ireland, Table Talk: New Poems; Frankie McMillan, Dressing for the Cannibals; Brian Turner, Just This: Poems; Richard von Sturmer, On the Eve of Never Departing.” Landfall 219 – On Music (2010): 185-89.

  76. 2009 [14]

  77. (December 7) “Scroll, Codex, Hypertext …” Contribution to the Flying Blind Symposium (3/12/09). Floating Cinemas Website (7/12/09).

  78. (November 3) “Troubling Our Sleep: Ted Jenner’s Postmodern Classicism.” Ka Mate Ka Ora 8 (2009): 46-66.

  79. (September 25) “Travelling to the Edge of Oneself: Review of Martin Edmond, The Supply Party.” brief 38 (2009): 89-93.

  80. (June 16) “The Tolkien Industry.” Scoop Review of Books (16/6/09).

  81. (May 29) “Is there a future for the poetry blog?” Colloquium: “1,000 words or a picture: Could Poetry be a Contemporary Art?” Ka Mate Ka Ora 7 (2009): 26-29.

  82. (May 6) “In Love with the Chinese Novel: A Voyage around the Hung Lou Meng.” brief 37 (2009): 10-28. [Available at: Titus Books website (June 15, 2010)].

  83. (March 1) (Ed.) Poetry NZ 38 (2009): 9, 10 & 107-8.:
    • Editorial [Available at: Poetry NZ Website (12/3/09)]
    • Jen Crawford
    • Books & Magazines in brief: Review of Coral Atkinson & David Gregory, ed. Land very Fertile: Banks Peninsula in Poetry & Prose (Christchurch: CUP, 2008)
    • Review of Stu Bagby, ed. Just Another Fantastic Anthology: Auckland in Poetry (Auckland: Antediluvian Press, 2008)
    • Review of Helen Bascand, into the vanishing point (Wellington: Steele Roberts, 2007)
    • Review of Michael Harlow, The Tram Conductor’s Blue Cap (Auckland: AUP, 2009)
    • Review of John O’Connor, Parts of the Moon: Selected Haiku & Senryu, 1988-2007 (Teneriffe, Queensland: Post Pressed, 2007)
    • Review of Takahe 64 (Winter 2008)

  84. 2008 [5]

  85. (September 23) “Climbing off the Barricades: Review of Tony Beyer, Dream Boat: Selected Poems & Stu Bagby, ed. A Good Handful: Great NZ Poems about Sex." brief #36 (2008) – The NZ Music Issue: 114-18.

  86. (August 30) “Ex Africa semper aliquid novi ... Review of Alistair Paterson, Africa: //Kabbo, Mantis and the Porcupine’s Daughter.” Poetry NZ 37 (2008): 101-08.

  87. (July 30) Review of Martin Edmond, The Evolution of Mirrors. Queensland: Otoliths, 2008. Lulu Marketplace.

  88. (June 15) “Recipe: Hot rolls.” In The Word for Food: Recipes and Anecdotes from members of the International Writers’ Workshop, and others. Ed. Joyce Irving. Palmerston North: Heritage Press Ltd., 2008. 98-99.

  89. (June 6) New New Zealand Poets in Performance. Edited by Jack Ross. Poems Selected by Jack Ross and Jan Kemp. ISBN 978 1 86940 4093. Auckland: Auckland University Press, 2008. xiv + 146 pp. ix-xii:

  90. 2007 [7]

  91. (November 13) (Ed.) Landfall 214 – Open House (2007): 5-6, 175-79 & 187-90:

  92. (September 1) “Irony and After: New Bearings in NZ Poetry.” Poetry NZ 35 (2007): 95-103.

  93. (June 6) To Terezín. Travelogue by Jack Ross, with an Afterword by Martin Edmond. Social and Cultural Studies, 8. ISSN 1175-7132 (Auckland: Massey University, 2007). ii + 90 pp. 5-6:

  94. (March 29) “Pound’s Fascist Cantos Revisited.” Ka Mate Ka Ora #3 (2007): 41-57.
    • (September) "Correspondence: Pound’s Italian Cantos." Ka Mate Ka Ora #4 (2007): 154-57.

  95. 2006 [9]

  96. (December 13) “Gabriel’s Groundhog Day: Launch speech for Gabriel White's Aucklantis.” Window Online (13/12/06).

  97. (December 6) “for Leicester Hugo Kyle (b. 1937).” brief #34 (2006) – war: 6-11. [Available at:].

  98. (September 9) “Death of the Old Gang: Review of Sarah Broom, Contemporary British and Irish Poetry.” Poetry NZ 33 (2006): 80 & 96-101. [Available at: The Imaginary Museum (12/9/06)].

  99. (August 30) Myth of the 21st Century: An Anthology of New Fiction. Edited by Tina Shaw & Jack Ross. ISBN 0-7900-1098-4. 137 pp. Auckland: Reed Publishing (NZ) Ltd, 2006. 7-9:

  100. (May 12) Classic New Zealand Poets in Performance. Edited by Jack Ross. Poems selected by Jack Ross and Jan Kemp. ISBN 1-86940-367-3. Auckland: Auckland University Press, 2006. xiv + 146 pp. ix-xi:

  101. (March 24) brief #33 (2006) – exile and home: 35-37, 60-62, 106-8:

  102. (March 4) “In the Shop of Wah Lee: Denys Trussell – poet, musician, ecologist.” Poetry NZ 32 (2006): 85-94.

  103. 2005 [12]

  104. (October 22) “Is Melville's poetry really worth reading? (22/10/05).

  105. (October 3) (Ed.) Where Will Massey Take You? Life Writing 2. ISBN 0-473-09551-3. Massey University: School of Social and Cultural Studies, 2005. viii + 155 pp. [100 copies]. v-vi:

  106. (August 19) “A few thoughts on sampling.” Titus Books website (19/8/05).

  107. (July 18) (Ed.) brief 32 – Joanna Margaret Paul (2005): 3-4, 103-7:
    • Editorial – i.m. Joanna Margaret Paul (1946-2003)
    • Review of The Brian Bell Reader
    • Review of Alan Brunton, Grooves of Glory: Three Performance Texts
    • Review of Sue Fitchett, Palaver Lava Queen
    • Review of Michael Harlow, Cassandra’s Daughter
    • Review of Anne Kennedy, The Time of the Giants
    • Review of Michele Leggott, Milk & Honey
    • Review of C. K. Stead, The Red Tram

  108. (July 2) “Review of ‘Asclepius’. Poet Triumphant: The Life and Writings of R. A. K. Mason (1905-1971) & Lawrence Jones. Picking up the Traces: The Making of a New Zealand Literary Culture 12932-1945.” WLWE: World Literature Written in English 40 (2) (2005): 144-47.

  109. 2004 [27]

  110. (December 2) “Takahe 2004 Poetry Competition Report.” Takahe 53 (2004): 2.

  111. (November 30) (Ed.) brief 30 / 31 – Kunst / Kultur (2004): 3-4, 88-91, 109-11, 115 / 3 & 5-6:
    • EditorialWARUM die KUNST
    • Review of Murray Edmond, Fool Moon
    • Review of Basim Furat, Here and There
    • Review of Harvey McQueen, Recessional
    • Review of Guyon Neutze, Dark out of Darkness
    • Review of Mark Pirie, Bullet Poems: In Four Rounds, ed. “Recent New Zealand Poetry: 50 Poems by 50 Poets,” & ed. Tupelo Hotel: Winter Readings at Tupelo
    • Review of Niel Wright, Only a Bullet will stop me now
    • Review of William Direen, Jules
    • Editorialbrief goes political

  112. (November 21) Magazine 2 (2004) [aroha, love, l’amour]: 7-18, 86-87:

  113. (October 18) Kendrick Smithyman. Campana to Montale: Versions from Italian. Edited by Jack Ross. ISBN 0-476-00382-2. [ii] + 190 pp. Auckland: The Writers Group, 2004. 10-17:

  114. (September 28) “Going West Five Years On.” Pander Online. [Available at: (28/9/04)].

  115. (September 17) Golden Weather: North Shore Writers Past and Present. Poems edited by Jack Ross / Prose edited by Graeme Lay. ISBN 0-908561-96-2. 244 pp. Auckland: Cape Catley, 2004. 12-16:

  116. (August 31) “Review of James McNeish, Dance of the Peacocks: New Zealanders in Exile in the Time of Hitler and Mao Tse-Tung & Vincent O’Sullivan, Long Journey to the Border: a Life of John Mulgan.” WLWE: World Literature Written in English 39 (2) (2004): 143-46.

  117. (July 12) “'I dreamed your book was written ...' Review of Young Knowledge: the Poems of Robin Hyde, ed. Michele Leggott.” JNZL: Journal of New Zealand Literature 22 (2004): 180-90.

  118. (April 2) (Ed.) brief 29 – more fun than you’ve ever seen (2004): 3-4, 23, 62-65, 81-84, 87-88:
    • Editorial – The Secrets behind my Smile
    • Review of Paul Hardacre, The Year Nothing
    • Review of David Howard & Fiona Pardington, How to Occupy Our Selves
    • Review of Anne Kennedy, Sing-Song
    • Review of Graham Lindsay, Lazy Wind Poems
    • Review of John O’Connor & Eric Mould, Working Voices
    • Review of Alistair Paterson, Summer on the Côte d’Azur
    • Review of Mark Pirie, Dumber
    • Review of John Pule, Tagata Kapakiloi: Restless People
    • Review of R. A. K. Mason, Four Short Stories & Maurice Duggan, A Voice for the Minotaur

  119. 2003 [20]

  120. (November 14) “Review of Jill Chan, The Smell of Oranges.” Magazine 1 (2003) [loaded with arts, fire and boodle]: 76.

  121. (October 28) (Ed.) brief 28 – Alan Brunton (2003): 3-4, 116-22:

  122. (July 10) (Ed.) brief 27 – Season of the Remakes (2003): 3-4, 98, 99-100:
    • Editorial
    • Review of Leicester Kyle, Five Anzac Liturgies
    • Review of Sugu Pillay, The Chandrasekhar Limit

  123. (May 7) “Review of Kendrick Smithyman, Imperial Vistas Family Fictions.” JAAM 19 (2003): 246-49.

  124. (April 22) “Smithyman / Quasimodo: Introduction to the Translations of Kendrick Smithyman.” Glottis: New Writing 8 (2003): 91-96.

  125. (April 16) (Ed.) Spin 45 (2003): 3, 59-63:
    • Editorial
    • Review of dreu harrison, dreaming of flight
    • Review of Michal Ma’u, Taste of Fiji
    • Review of Mark Pirie, Swing and Other Stories
    • Review of Sarah Quigley, Love in a Bookshop or Your Money Back
    • Review of Bill Sewell, The Ballad of Fifty-One

  126. (February 26) (Ed.) A brief index: A breakdown by issue & author of 7 years / 26 issues of brief, the magazine formerly known as: A Brief Description of the Whole World / ABDOTWW / description / ABdotWW / Ab.ww / brief. &c., December 1995 – January 2003. ISSN 1175-9313. 48 pp. Auckland: The Writers Group, 2003. 3:

  127. (February 25) (Ed.) brief 26 – Smithymania (2003): 3-4, 5-8, 9, 19-50, 56, 92, 103-09, 115-116:

  128. 2002 [16]

  129. (December 6) “Alan Brunton, my publisher.” New Zealand Electronic Poetry Centre (6/12/02).

  130. (October 7) (Ed.) brief 25 – trains at a glance (2002): 3-6, 13-16:

  131. (September 17) “What is Auckland Poetry?Five Bells vol. 9 (3) (2002): 14-15.

  132. (August 29) Poetry NZ 25 (2002): 100-06:

  133. (July 12) (Ed.) brief 24 – less formal than bull (2002): 3, 41-44, 78-79:

  134. (March 25) (Ed.) Spin 42 (2002): 3-4, 60-63:
    • Editorial
    • Review of Jeanne Bernhardt, The Snow Poems / Your Self of Lost Ground
    • Review of T. Anders Carson, A Different Shred of Skin
    • Review of Leicester Kyle, The Great Buller Coal Plateaux: A Sequence of Poems
    • Review of Mark Pirie, Reading the Will
    • Review of Wensley Willcox, A Woman in Green
    • Review of Helen Rickerby, Abstract Internal Furniture

  135. 2001 [20]

  136. (December) “Alan Loney / John O’Connor / John Geraets.” brief 22 (2001): 63-73.

  137. (November 17) Review of Shebang: Collected Poems 1980-2000 by David Howard. JAAM 16 (2001): 171-75.

  138. (October 30) “Imaginary Toads in Real Gardens: Poets in Christchurch.” In Complete with Instructions. Edited by David Howard. ISBN 0-473-07646-2. Christchurch: Firebrand, 2001. 33-61:

  139. (September 4) “Translating Poetry.” Poetry NZ 23 (2001): 125-34.

  140. (July 5) “Case Studies.” brief 20 (2001): 23-29.

  141. (March 21) (Ed.) Spin 39 (2001): 3, 64-66:
    • Editorial
    • Review of All Together Now: A Celebration of New Zealand Culture by 100 Poets, ed. Tony Chad
    • Review of T. Anders Carson, Stain
    • Review of John Geraets, ? X
    • Review of David Howard, Shebang: Collected Poems 1980-2000
    • Review of Leicester Kyle, Five Anzac Liturgies

  142. 2000 [12]

  143. (November 13) Review of Laminations by Murray Edmond and Charts & Soundings by Sue Fitchett & Jane Zusters. JAAM 14 (2000): 99-103.

  144. (September 30) “An Inside Narrative: Recent Works by Alan Loney.” A Brief Description of the Whole World 17 (2000): 70-79.

  145. (September 2) “Necessary Oppositions? Avant-garde versus Traditional Poetry in New Zealand.” Poetry NZ 21 (2000): 80-83.

  146. (August 26-September 1) Review of Big Smoke, ed. Alan Brunton, Murray Edmond, and Michele Leggott. New Zealand Listener vol. 175 (3146) (2000): 40-41.

  147. (March 27) Review of As far as I can see, by Michele Leggott. JAAM 13 (2000): 158-60.

  148. (March 14) (Ed.) Spin 36 (2000): 3-4, 61-63:
    • Editorial
    • Review of Here After: Living with Bereavement, ed. Stu Bagby
    • Review of Jeffrey Paparoa Holman: Flood Damage
    • Review of Leicester Kyle: A Safe House for a Man
    • Review of When The Sea Goes Mad at Night, ed. Theresia Marshall
    • Review of Tongue in Your Ear 4 (1999)

  149. (February 13) “Jack.” In Here After. Living with Bereavement: Personal Experiences and Poetry. Edited by Stu Bagby. ISBN 0-473-06399-9. 9 Daphne Harden Lane, Albany, Auckland: Antediluvian Press, 2000. 35-40.

  150. 1999 [23]

  151. (October 16) (Co-ed.) The Pander 9 (1999): 14-16, 18-19, 39, 39-40, 40-41, 43:
    • A Brief Description of the Whole World: From Multiple Angles [with Hamish Dewe, John Geraets, Leicester Kyle & Richard Taylor]
    • Theatre: Review of Foreskin’s Lament, by Greg McGee
    • Review of Salt, by Elisabeth Easther
    • Books: Review of AUP New Poets 1, by Raewyn Alexander, Anna Jackson & Sarah Quigley
    • Review of Rapunzel Rapunzel, by Janet Charman

  152. (October 13) “A Conversation with Mike Minehan.” Monthly Profile Series 1. Zoetropes: New Zealand Literature / Nga Pukapuka o Aotearoa online. [Available at: (13/10/99)].

  153. (July 14) (Co-ed.) The Pander 8 (1999): 32, 34, 35-36, 38-39, 39, 40:
    • Books: Review of Hone Tuwhare: A Biography, by Janet Hunt & My Life as A Miracle, by The Wizard
    • Review of A Particular Context, by John O’Connor
    • Review of on what is not, by Kenneth Fea & Legend of the Cool Secret, by Graham Lindsay
    • Theatre: Review of The Royal NZ Ballet’s Shell Season of Peter Pan
    • Auckland Theatre Company’s Culture of Desire: Review of Closer, by Patrick Marber
    • Review of The Cripple of Inishmaan, by Martin MacDonagh

  154. (May) Salt 6 (2) (1999): 8, 12 & 16 & 61 & 65:

  155. (May) “Kendrick Smithyman in Italian.” Landfall 197 (1999): 70-73.

  156. (April) “Review of Going West Literary Festival.” Pander online edition 6/7 (1999).

  157. (March 30) (Co-ed.) The Pander 6/7 (1999): 21 & 23, 41-43 & 34-35, 53-54:

  158. (March 18) (Ed.) Spin 33 (1999): 2, 58-59, 63:

  159. 1998 [14]

  160. (October 18) “It’s Standing Room Only for the Rekindling of Live Lines.” Sunday Star-Times (18/10/98): F4.

  161. (September) (Co-ed.) The Pander 5 (1998): 26-27, 32-33 & 34-35:
    • Kathy Goes to Mexico: In Memoriam Kathy Acker, d. 30/11/97
    • Exhibition: Review of Ralph Hotere: Out the Black Window
    • Film: Review of Guy Maddin: Waiting for Twilight & Tranceformer: A portrait of Lars von Trier

  162. (August) Salt 6 (1998): 24-26, 27-36:

  163. (August 2) “A Mutual Respect: Ralph Hotere and Hone Tuwhare.” Sunday Star-Times (2/8/98): F7.

  164. (June) (Co-ed.) The Pander 4 (1998): 10, 14 & 16:
    • Film: Review of Titanic
    • Review of Fairy Tale: A True Story
    • Books: Review of As It Is, by John O’Connor, Pools over Stone, by Helen Jacobs & Always Arriving, by David Gregory
    • Exhibitions: Review of Orientalism

  165. (March) (Co-ed.) The Pander 3 (1998): 20-22:

  166. 1997 [3]

  167. (August)“Kendrick Smithyman’s Northland.” The Pander 1 (1997): x-xiii.

  168. (July 12) “Genji Monogatari is the first psychological novel.” (12/7/97).

  169. (May) Ezra Pound’s Fascist Cantos (72 & 73) together with Rimbaud’s “Poets at Seven Years Old.” Trans. Jack Ross. Auckland: Perdrix Press, 1997. [ii] + 42 pp. 37-46:

  170. 1993 [1]

  171. (February) “Cunninghame Graham’s Brazil: Differing Interpretations of the Canudos Campaign, 1896-97.” Australasian Victorian Studies Association: Conference Papers 1993. Ed. Joanne Wilkes. Auckland: University Press, 1993. 27-38.

  172. 1992 [2]

  173. (December) “Wilson Harris, Joseph Conrad, and the South American ‘Quest’ Novel.” Landfall: A New Zealand Quarterly 184 (1992): 455-68.

  174. (March) Review of Singer in a Songless Land: A Life of Edward Tregear, 1846-1931, by K. R. Howe, & The Verse of Edward Tregear, ed. K. R. Howe. Landfall: A New Zealand Quarterly 181 (1992): 122-25.

  175. 1989 [1]

  176. (August) Review of Tell Me Lies About Vietnam: Cultural Battles for the Meaning of the War, ed. Alf Louvre and Jeffrey Walsh. Inter-Arts: A Quarterly Journal of Cultural Connections 9 (1989): 31.

  177. 1988 [2]

  178. (October) Inter-Arts: A Quarterly Journal of Cultural Connections 7 (1988): 14-16, 27:

  179. 1987 [1]

  180. (July) Review of The North American Sketches of R. B. Cunninghame Graham, ed. John Walker. University of Edinburgh Journal 33 (1987): 54.


The Lonesome Death of Bridget Furey (2019)

Murray Edmond, ed.: Ka Mate Ka Ora

The Lonesome Death of Bridget Furey
or: Pessoa Down Under

The Dead
this is the war I lost
a woman
versus three poets.
– Bridget Furey, ‘Brag Art’ (brief 6 (1997): 31)

New Zealand poet Bridget Furey flickered into existence for a brief moment between the late 1980s and 1990s. Her contributor’s bio in Landfall 168 (1988), describes her as ‘22 years of age. Recently returned from an extended working holiday overseas; presently living and working in Dunedin.’ That would put her date of birth sometime around 1966.

Her next, and final, contributor note, in A Brief Description of the Whole World 6 (1997), says simply: ‘Bridget Furey has just returned to Dunedin after a stint overseas.’ (brief 56) The rest, it would appear, is silence.

In her brief period in the limelight, Furey contributed three poems – ‘Ricetta per Critica,’ ‘The Idea of Anthropology on George Street,’ and ‘The Book-Keepings of a Ternary Mind in Late February’ – to our most celebrated literary periodical, Landfall. And another, ‘Brag Art,’ which must now be regarded as her swansong, to its antithesis, the avant-garde quarterly A Brief Description of the Whole World.

Out of curiosity, I spent some time recently trying to track down an image of Bridget Furey. I drew a blank in the local repositories, but the photograph above, taken by Alen MacWeeney and dated ‘Loughrea, 1966,’ though clearly not of the poet herself (unless she was unusually prone to concealing information about her age) may come, perhaps, from some cognate branch of the family? Loughrea is in County Galway, Ireland. This Bridget is described in context as a ‘traveller.’

One is tempted to speculate further that this branch of the family may have included a certain Michael Furey, quondam lover of Gabriel Conroy’s wife in James Joyce’s short story ‘The Dead’ (1914), and the principal inspiration for its immortal last paragraph:
Yes, the newspapers were right: snow was general all over Ireland. It was falling on every part of the dark central plain, on the treeless hills, falling softly upon the Bog of Allen and, farther westward, softly falling into the dark mutinous Shannon waves. It was falling, too, upon every part of the lonely churchyard on the hill where Michael Furey lay buried. It lay thickly drifted on the crooked crosses and headstones, on the spears of the little gate, on the barren thorns. His soul swooned slowly as he heard the snow falling faintly through the universe and faintly falling, like the descent of their last end, upon all the living and the dead.

When Good Poets Get Bored
one must swing the ice pick
so she can shine like
a sacrifice
(Furey 31)

As you may have gathered by now, there is no ‘Bridget Furey.’ She was a hoax – or should one say a persona? – created by two other New Zealand poets, Michele Leggott and Murray Edmond.

Landfall has (to date, at least) made no official comment on the incident, but the founding editor of A Brief Description of the Whole World, fellow-poet Alan Loney, did not encourage the two collaborators to repeat the experiment. They had been forced to confess to their involvement when Loney attempted to contact Bridget Furey in order to solicit more poems.

Furey, then, remains largely still-born, her small handful of poems sandwiched tantalisingly between two pillars of New Zealand Lit: the official canon represented by Landfall and the alternative tradition enshrined in what is now called brief.

Murray Edmond composed a kind of epitaph for her in a recent email to the author:
the reclusive Bridget Furey … may be dead by now, likely of an overdose (tho’ of what who knows?).
Of what indeed? Why would two poets choose to spend their time in such a manner, composing mock verses for an imaginary alternate self? The first answer is probably the simplest: as a tribute to possibly the most famous (non-existent) poet that ever (didn’t) live: Ernest Laylor Malley.

Michael Heyward: The Ern Malley Affair (1993)

The Ern Malley Affair
I had read in books that art is not easy
But no one warned that the mind repeats
In its ignorance the vision of others. I am still
The black swan of trespass on alien waters
(Malley 24)

The story is a familiar one, and has been told many times – most conveniently in Michael Heyward’s The Ern Malley Affair (1993). Put briefly, two young Australian poets, James McAuley and Harold Stewart, irritated by what they saw as the pretentious obscurity of Modernist poet and critic Max Harris’s magazine Angry Penguins, decided to put his critical acumen to the test by inventing a poet and fabricating a number of spurious poems by him.

Ern Malley was the name they chose, and they created his entire body of work – 17 poems – in a single day in 1943. They also provided him with a fake biography, a wasting disease, and a doting older sister, who sent Harris the poems after her alleged brother’s death at the early age of 25.

Harris loved the poems, publishing them en masse in a special issue of Angry Penguins in June 1944, and subsequently as a short book, under the title The Darkening Ecliptic.

Which is when things started to go awry. Max Harris was sued by the South Australian police for the alleged ‘obscenity’ of some of the Malley poems. Despite the fact that Harris had by then detected the imposture, he was found guilty and fined five pounds. Shortly afterwards Angry Penguins folded.

Malley refused to go away, however. His poems continue to be reprinted, discussed, praised, and denounced to this day. They are now a cornerstone of the Australian poetic canon, far outshining any productions of their two authors in propria persona.

Roughly forty years after Malley’s alleged death in the 1940s, did it seem an opportune moment to Edmond and Leggott to stir up similarly the New Zealand literary establishment? Leggott, after all, had herself recently returned from a long ‘stint overseas’ – working on a Doctoral thesis about American Objectivist poet Louis Zukofsky. What could be more likely than the somewhat homespun quality of much New Zealand poetry and – especially – poetry criticism struck her as a bit behind the times in the mid-1980s?

Certainly Bridget’s first set of poems, the three included in Landfall 168, make few concessions to the uninitiated reader. The first, ‘Ricetta per Critica’ [Recipe for Criticism] takes us on a quick cook’s tour of literary modernism ‘as the nineteenth century drew to a close … in shells and golden elbows sailing past a new Byzantium’. Perhaps the most telling allusion here comes in the second stanza, taking us:
from the Charcoal-burners to Marinetti’s circus
simply by sailing in a new direction a whole world
of culinary delight or recipes for disaster
Allen Curnow seems appropriately sandwiched here between Marinetti and the ‘circus’ of futurism – though who precisely who ‘Groqwyn’ is (described as a ‘fascist fly’) remains a little unclear. Is he the facile critic who is being guyed by the poet, or is there some deeper meaning there? In any case, the slightly-off tags continue to fly thick and fast:

From Duchamp:
oh Garibaldi at the holy gates cavorting with futurisms
thin enough to drape like laundry round the kitchen –
next a clicking of legbones, Giuseppe, and she is descending
a staircase hung with noodle doughnaked

and about to slip into the modernist jacuzzi
to Ezra Pound:
the meat and drink of politicsa brew
of bodies piled like pasta (‘in hell’) nothing
the old canto-maker at his gelato couldn’t have
cooked up‘must thou go the road to

to William Carlos Williams:
weeping catastrophe from the kitchen floorit’s raining
chicken giblets as the doctor arrives with his red barrow

uncertain where to deliver or abort the last primavera
of allmomentary aphasia as the ships pull out
‘Momentary aphasia’ might be, in fact, a good description of the effect this poem is liable to have on the unwary reader. What seems at first sight substantive dissolves under closer scrutiny, leaving one only with the sense of a mischievous sharp tongue, immense erudition, fricasseed with a deep underlying fury.

That rage becomes more intense in the next poem, ‘The Idea of Anthropology on George Street’ (presumably an allusion to Wallace Steven’s ‘The Idea of Order at Key West’). This is a bitter satire on a kind of Jack-the-lad academic whizz kid, with more in common, perhaps, with Carly Simon’s 1972 anthem ‘You’re so vain’ than with the rather more stately and philosophical Stevens poem.
Was it Billy Zydeco’s leg
in the air, synergism of phallus and wheel,
artefact disappearing through a turnstile door,
stag party invites in cuneiform passed under the
boardroom table? Jism, just juice. Freshly.
Again, it’s hard to attribute biographical allusiveness to this poem in the absence of a biography, but one yearns to detect in this ‘Glass case whizz kid’ some ex-lover of Bridget’s:
Wow. & ow. (o, & pow).
The last of this early group, ‘The Book-Keepings of a Ternary Mind in Late February’ is more meditative in tone (as befits its apparent echo of Eliot’s ‘Thoughts of a dry brain in a dry season’). Its last stanza has an especial poignancy as a kind of self-portrait of the poet herself, in the guise of one of Chagall’s models:
She wants to take both glasses and pour them over the white drapery he is condemning her to wear like paint, she has a notion to uplift the fiddler from the street and snap his matchstick wrists for musical effect. But the future perfect will allow them only one-way flights and she is already three-quarters full and falling into the theatre of the city, the opera of images where the swarming paint is still wet upon the flats.

Mudrooroo (1938-2019)

Colonial Constructs
Seeing that provocation and dissent are the diastole and systole of critical enquiry, I close with a provocation: literary forgery is a sort of spurious literature, and so is literature [my emphasis]. Consequently, when we imagine the relationship between [them], we should not be thinking of Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde but rather of Tweedledum and Tweedledee.
(Ruthven 200)

‘Where the swarming paint is still wet upon the flats.’ To continue this conjecture of Bridget Furey as Ern Malley redivivus, I’d like to introduce here a comment from a recent conference I attended. It was the 14th International Conference on the Short Story in English, held in Shanghai in 2016, and dedicated to ‘Influence and Confluence in the Short Story: East and West.’

At one of the plenary sessions, Canadian writer Clark Blaise proposed a new schema of the Affluent North versus the Indigent South to replace what he saw as the outdated unchanging East / Go-ahead West one. Someone in the audience (not me) asked ‘What about Australia and New Zealand?’ To which he replied – and I quote – ‘Australia and New Zealand are merely colonial constructs.’

It seems an odd phrase for a Canadian to use. What, after all, is Canada if not a ‘colonial construct’? Or do the older New World colonies possess a legitimacy that the newer ones lack? Perhaps ‘authenticity’ might be a better term to use than ‘legitimacy,’ in that case?

What actually makes a person, a culture, a piece of writing ‘authentic’? Because it comes from the heart? Because it is a true expression of its environment? Because it lacks guile or subterfuge?

But nothing in colonialism is authentic, can be authentic. Colonialism is the polite mask we don to cover dispossession, usurpation, even genocide. Perhaps it’s for that reason that the deliberately inauthentic holds such currency among us – or those of us who hail from down under, that is.

Ern Malley has been hailed as Australia’s greatest poet not so much in spite of the fact, but because of the fact that he never existed – just as the ‘Australia’ he wrote in and about cannot be said to exist, except, possibly, in the imaginations of those outside it. But – by the same criterion – should we call Mudrooroo (or, for that matter, B. Wongar) her greatest novelist?

The fact that both of these men, Colin Johnson (‘Mudrooroo’) and Sreten Božić (‘B. Wongar’) had (at least implicitly) claimed Aboriginal ethnicity as a kind of guarantee of the ‘authenticity’ of their writing seemed to have the effect of completely discrediting them when a controversy began over their ‘true’ ethnic origins.

Colin Johnson’s claim that ‘his dark skin meant he was always treated as Aboriginal by society, therefore his life experience was that of an Aborigine’ (Mudrooroo) did not really satisfy most critics. Nor did Božić’s statement that the name ‘B(anumbir) Wongar’ – which he says can mean ‘both morning star and messenger from the spirit world’ – was given to him by his tribal wife Dumala and her relatives in the course of instructing him in their traditional ways (B. Wongar).

On the one hand, such cases seem to illustrate the tendency of Europeans to try to monopolise both sides of the colonial debate: to disenfranchise the subaltern, and then impersonate them, with equal facility – and, dare one add, cynicism?

On the other hand, did those novels and stories of Mudrooroo’s and Wongar’s which had been so praised by critics, and prescribed for so many university courses, suddenly lose all value when their authors’ ethnicity came into question?

What exactly had we all been reading? Books? Or windows onto some alleged alterity? One reason that Mudrooroo’s and Wongar’s fictions satisfied those demands so well was because they had been written with them in mind. As at a fraudulent séance, it turned out we’d been talking to ourselves all along.

i kept in hiding
i renamed ‘citoyen’
who stood doyen
(Furey 31)

Of course, it’s true to say that such questions of cultural usurpation are not reserved for the post-colonial world – let alone the ‘colonial constructs’ of the South Pacific. The case of Bridget Furey certainly raises such issues, but there must be more to her than that for us to maintain an interest in her.

At this point, then I’d like to take a complete cultural tangent and throw into the mix one of my favourite reality TV shows, Catfish, which has been running now for seven years, since it began on MTV in 2012.

In the 16th episode of the 4th series (first broadcast in August 2015), our dynamic duo of presenters, Max and Nev, discovered that Ayissha’s online romance with ‘Sydney’ had been with ‘Whitney,’ instead, all along. What’s more, ‘Whitney Shanice’ (like ‘Sydney’) turned out to be just one more online identity of her real interlocutor, who admitted to having ‘8 or 10’ online identities, which she used for a variety of reasons: including viciously criticising Ayissha online in order to jump in – as herself – to defend her.

At a certain point such information stops making sense, and you just have to accept the proliferating forest of personae offered up to you so easily by modern social media as an irresistible temptation to a certain sort of person.

What exactly is a catfish? Thanks to the TV show, the term has now come to mean any kind of unscrupulous online troll or predator, but specifically one who fabricates a fictitious online identity. As the original 2010 Catfish documentary explained it:
They used to tank cod from Alaska all the way to China. They’d keep them in vats in the ship. By the time the codfish reached China, the flesh was mushy and tasteless. So this guy came up with the idea that if you put these cods in these big vats, put some catfish in with them and the catfish will keep the cod agile. And there are those people who are catfish in life. And they keep you on your toes. They keep you guessing, they keep you thinking, they keep you fresh. And I thank god for the catfish because we would be droll, boring and dull if we didn't have somebody nipping at our fin. (Harris)
Just as there must surely have been a little of Ern Malley behind the Bridget Furey hoax, so too I would have to postulate a little of the catfish. It’s not that the actual TV programme was born or thought of then, but the basic idea of deliberately introducing some discord to rile up the other fish and keep them fresh is surely a universal one.

Which brings us to the main point of this comparison – another of the major (probable) influences on the creation of Bridget Furey – the Portuguese Modernist poet Fernando Pessoa. Pessoa (which coincidentally means ‘person’ in Portuguese) is famous for publishing under a variety of names (including his own).

These were not mere hastily assumed personae in the Poundian sense, however. They, or at any rate the major ones, were fully fleshed out with biographies, bibliographies, discordant styles, and a variety of contradictory opinions. He called them heteronyms. He himself has been called many things, but probably never (as yet) a catfish. And yet he was a bit like that, surely? A catfish avant la lettre?

The fact that he started out as a poet in (bad) English, rather than Portuguese, shows a certain fluidity of identity from the very first. ‘Eu não escrevo em português. Escrevo eu mesmo’ [I do not write in Portuguese, I write myself] is one of his most celebrated dicta. I have it up in my kitchen as a fridge magnet – though I should add that the woman who translated it for me in a shop in Lisbon opined that it sounded ‘a bit pretentious.’ Maybe she was just sick of seeing all those Pessoa mugs, t-shirts, shopping baskets and posters on sale in every tourist gift shop.

After all, what is a heteronym but an artfully forged and skilfully substantiated fake identity? The actual merits of Pessoa’s writing can be hard to perceive in translation. Whose writing, anyway? One of the things that conspire to keep him in the public eye is the constant proliferation in the actual number of heteronyms he is alleged to have created – in one of the many senses Pessoan scholars have so far identified. Is it 74? 84? 124? It depends on who last edited his Wikipedia page, and (of course) on the way in which you mean the question.

How many heteronyms can dance on the end of a pin? It would be easier if one could simply conclude that there was no definitive answer to the question. But maybe, just maybe, as in the Periodic Table of Elements, there may really be a final, arithmetically convincing solution.

The Year of the Death of Ricardo Reis
that boy i kept five years
in my apartment
while the war waited
just outside the door
(Furey 31)

José Saramago’s novel The Year of the Death of Ricardo Reis (1984) depicts the effect of the death of Pessoa on his drifting creations, as they try to come to terms with the melancholy of their floating, spectral state. Australian novelist Peter Carey’s My Life as a Fake (2003) tries to do something similar with the ‘Ern Malley’ myth. ‘Bob McCorkle,’ his version of Malley, lurches into life like a kind of Frankenstein’s monster as a result of the intense acts of inventive energy which have been poured into his creation.

Perhaps a more subtle evocation of his influence can be found in critic and historian Martin Edmond’s unpublished novel White City, a fictionalised autobiography of Ern Malley, a few sections of which were published in a special issue of Landfall in 2007. Martin Edmond, son of the poet Lauris Edmond, is also the cousin of Murray Edmond, Michele Leggott’s co-conspirator in the Bridget Fury hoax.

Martin began his career as a prose writer with a book entitled An Autobiography of My Father, so it’s safe to say that he’s no stranger to the paradoxical effects of shifting identities. In his stand-alone 2004 essay Ghost Who Writes, he evokes the persona of Pessoa to explain his own conception of the writer as one who channels voices, regardless of what those voices may prompt you to say.

Murray Edmond, too, though better known as a poet and dramaturge, has – in his recent novella collection Strait Men and Other Tales – composed a series of stories ‘almost like urban myths, a kind of informal history of a counter-culture,’ claims poet-critic John Newton in his blurb comment. Novelist Emily Perkins, a little further down the jacket-cover, chooses instead to emphasise the slippery, a-historical nature of these works:
Stories are disputed and rights are stolen; danger lurks at the edges, sometimes in comic guise. ‘Morning will determine whether scene from thriller or screwball comedy,’ reads one character’s journal entry: the same, Strait Men suggests, could be said of life. (Edmond)
The identity crisis implied by this multiplicity of masks threatens, at times, to overwhelm any stable sense of the literary self in our own corner of the Antipodean colonial construct: witness ‘one of [our] more notorious acts of plagiarism … when a winning short story in a competition run by [Metro] magazine turned out to be a chapter from a Martin Amis book’ (Brown). As a friend of mine, Murray Beasley, commented at the time, in the late 1990s, all that its ‘author’ would actually have had to have done would have been to preface her story with the words: ‘My name is Martin Amis. This is what I have to say…’ to make it a perfectly respectable act of literature.

Then there’s MOTH, the ‘Museum of True History,’ whose series of art exhibitions and websites chronicle an alternative history of personalities and artefacts which are – like Monty Python’s renowned Hackenthorpe Book of Lies (Chapman, Cleese, Gilliam, Idle, Jones & Palin) – all of them guaranteed false. Despite the running header ‘lies and madness’ on their latest site (MOTH), there’s an embarrassing fervour to believe in many of the viewers who first encounter these extracts from MOTH’s faux archives and artefacts.

I discovered this myself when talking to some of the visitors to ‘Fallen Empire,’ a collaboration between Museum of True History, artist Karl Chitham and myself at Dunedin’s Blue Oyster Art Project Space in 2012. I felt a bit guilty, I must confess, at wasting so much of their time with this particular pack of lies when most of us have so little of it to spare.

Michele Leggott: Vanishing Points (2017)

Vanishing Points
and poets bawled and called
across cafes
(Furey 31)

Michele Leggott’s recent book Vanishing Points (2017) accomplishes a shift in her work from ‘poetry’ (arranged on the page in long lines, punctuated only by four-spaced gaps) to ‘prose’ (printed in paragraphs, with conventional pointing). This shift has emboldened her also to invent rather than simply attempt to resuscitate the voices she hears. Her study of the Taranaki war of the 1860s led her to fabricate an Emily Dickinson-like poet to comment upon the drama.

After completing the piece in question, she discovered a real nineteenth century New Zealand painter and poet, Emily Harris, at least one of whose few surviving poems does indeed betray a Dickinson-like freedom and boldness with rhyme. Leggott, who is now completely blind as a result of macular degeneration, can no longer accomplish the kinds of intricate page arrangements and archival research which characterised her earlier work, so is now forced to rely almost entirely on amanuenses in her continuing search for the missing works of Emily Harris.

But: can one, admittedly very striking, poem make a poet? Is there not a certain element of self-deception in this quest to find a downunder doppelgänger for Emily of Amherst? Of course there is. Leggott has read her Borges (cited repeatedly in the book), as well as her Pessoa. The emblematic side of her blindness has never been invisible to her. Where authenticity is a vain hope, pursued vainly by those who hope to find it in born-again indigenism, perhaps the most futile – because the most brutally inappropriate – of religions, then perhaps the truest poetics really is the most feigning.

The self-serving impostures and complacencies of colonial oppression are no joke: but cruellest of all is, perhaps, the overwriting of alternative experiences accomplished by well-meaning outsiders, often with the most innocent of motives. The (appropriately named) Bridget Furey may sound like little more than a footnote to literary history.

Perhaps, however, this is the lesson she has to teach, and the reason why her ghost goes marching on.

Works cited:

  • Catfish: The TV Show, hosted by Nev Schulman and Max Joseph, episode 54: Ayissha & Sydney (USA, 2015). Available at: Accessed 15/11/17.
  • Carey, Peter. My Life as a Fake. 2003. Sydney: Vintage, 2005.
  • Edmond, Martin. The Autobiography of My Father. Auckland: Auckland UP, 1992.
  • Edmond, Martin. Ghost Who Writes. Montana Essay Series. Wellington: Four Winds Press, 2004.
  • Edmond, Martin. ‘from White City: The Autobiography of Ernest Lalor Malley.’ In Landfall 214: Open House (November 2007): 54-66.
  • Heyward, Michael. The Ern Malley Affair. Introduction by Robert Hughes. 1993. St Lucia, Queensland : University of Queensland Press, 1994.
  • Leggott, Michele. DIA. Auckland: Auckland UP, 1994.
  • Leggott, Michele. Journey to Portugal. Collages by Gretchen Albrecht. Auckland: Holloway Press, 2007.
  • Leggott, Michele. Vanishing Points. Auckland: Auckland UP, 2017.
  • Museum of True History (15/8/09-23/4/10). Available at: Accessed 15/11/17.
  • Pessoa, Fernando & Co. Selected Poems. Ed. & Trans. Richard Zenith. New York: Grove Press, 1998.
  • Ross, Jack. Fallen Empire: Maui in the Underworld, Kupe & the Fountain of Youth, Hatupatu & the Nile-monster: Three Play-Fragments from the Literary Remains of The Society of Inner Light. Attributed to Bertolt Wegener. Museum of True History in Collaboration with Karl Chitham and Jack Ross (20 June – 21 July 2012). Dunedin: Blue Oyster Art Project Space, 2012.
  • Saramago, José. The Year of the Death of Ricardo Reis. 1984. Trans. Giovanni Pontiero. 1991. London: The Harvill Press, 1999.

(15/11/17-31/3/18; 14/3-9/7/19)

Ka Mate Ka Ora 17 (October 2019): 62-79.
[Available at:]

[4504 wds]

Murray Edmond


The Complete Poetical Works of Bridget Furey


Michele Leggott

Ricetta Per Critica

Risorgimento diamonds sprinkle the Mare d’Azov
four times a year the best tossed
behind tall ships which began the world’s liquefaction
as the nineteenth century drew to a close
and drained il miglior grano duro
in shells and golden elbows sailing past a new Byzantium

miracles against the grain
from the Charcoal-burners to Marinetti’s circus
simply by sailing in a new direction a whole world
of culinary delight or recipes for disaster
on the boilstrain rinse and leave to drain
many things have changed but not

The doctrine that the world is always al dente
though the time of preparation may be critical
oh Garibaldi at the holy gates cavorting with futurisms
thin enough to drape like laundry round the kitchen –
next a clicking of legbones, Giuseppe, and she is descending
a staircase hung with noodle doughnaked

and about to slip into the modernist jacuzzi
three minutes and Groqwn’s disaster is replete
the meat and drink of politicsa brew
of bodies piled like pasta (‘in hell’) nothing
the old canto-maker at his gelato couldn’t have
cooked up‘must thou go the road to

hell’ (van Eng himself knew Groqwyn
for the fascist fly he was) ‘the shade of knowing
so full of the shade of hell’ (to paraphrase
a phrase) revolution done to turn the head
or stomach ‘crying VIVA FERNINANDO and in all parts of
the piazza were flames in great numbers and grenades burning

to sound of bombs and mortaretti and the shooting of
guns and of pistols …’ the obscene rubric
of Malebolgia lowers itself on innocent and corrupt alike
flowered hands reach silently into the messwiping
weeping catastrophe from the kitchen floorit’s raining
chicken giblets as the doctor arrives with his red barrow

uncertain where to deliver or abort the last primavera
of allmomentary aphasia as the ships pull out

Landfall 168 (December 1988): 377-78.

The Idea of Anthropology on George Street

Who he was. The theatrical red Honda as
chariot. Had edge, Kid Creole, liquid boogie
wouldn’t do. All-comers, then Billy Zydeco
on two wheels for a parking motif. Chopped
through an exchange of hands, iso-jack
the-lad manners, phone-in, talk-back control of
the tie. Also theatre. Hands-on promiscuity
raw silk and rolled edge, deployment had nothing
the overnight pack revealed, lambently geared
to a one-night bull market. The old museum
with its palimpsest architecture downsiding
all futures. Was it underwriting dinged the coup’s
immaculate fender? Was it Billy Zydeco’s leg
in the air, synergism of phallus and wheel,
artefact disappearing through a turnstile door,
stag party invites in cuneiform passed under the
boardroom table? Jism, just juice. Freshly.

Offshore, taboos multiply harmlessly for the Kid
and his all-stars. They breakfast on boxed PR
brioches printout spill of guts. Jeremy Bentham
look-alike prints out paper keys. Glass case
whizz kid. Wow. & ow. (o, & pow). Breakout
patterns link head and shoulder with the tied lines
nobody connected to museological narratives
in the display cases. The doctor riding a
well-covered liberal ass through city
parks. Who wants a psychic dig? The
rapists would pay him to present. A case
history could never resist, diaphanous in its
assent, nodding at the up and up, wistful
only in the sense. Ass hits Honda:
Tell us, if you know, what message to
code in the strings of time. Excavate
your machine, mocker up those 5.30 eyes, turn
sharp. There was never a word for her. Fax it.

Landfall 168 (December 1988): 378-79.

The Book-Keepings of a Ternary Mind in Late February

Lately Chagall has been saying it, over and over
to a violin: ‘The jaws of a three-quarter moon
may swallow me up, the peppermint lovers who fly
out of my kettle have looked at Paris
and there they saw the three-quarter moon
put on a thin coat of riverboats and serenades.
Her ripples desolate the painted ceilings
of de Sade’s cracked-cup cafes. She stirs
tiny quavers of light, grace-notes, into the Seine.’

He is clearly doubting these words as they fall.
In the Louvre Paganini’s violin is bandaged,
muted with absurdity, and yet a Renault passing by
blows a cool jazz air in his face then veers
effortlessly into the future perfect.
By the time Chagall gets there on his tender bicycle
workmen in chapeaux are wrapping her in gauze.
He murmurs, ‘Absinthe,’ and ‘Alabaster,’ alternately.
A swallow on an acid-eaten cornice plunges low.

She wants to take both glasses and pour them over
the white drapery he is condemning her to
wear like paint, she has a notion to uplift
the fiddler from the street and snap his matchstick
wrists for musical effect. But the future perfect
will allow them only one-way flights and she is
already three-quarters full and falling
into the theatre of the city, the opera of images
where the swarming paint is still wet upon the flats.

Landfall 168 (December 1988): 379.

Brag Art

this is the war I lost
a woman
versus three poets

(world where women

i kept in hiding
i renamed ‘citoyen’
who stood doyen

(where women are
far between

one must swing the ice pick
so she can shine like
a sacrifice

and few
and few

that boy i kept five years
in my apartment
while the war waited
just outside the door

and poets bawled and called
across cafes

A Brief Description of the Whole World 6 (July 1997): 31.

Ka Mate Ka Ora 17 (2019)