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In the Spirit of Rumi (2011)

Jack Ross:
Published Essays, Interviews,
Introductions & Reviews


(1987-2019)



Contents:






Date of Publication - Title - Publication Details


    2019 [5]

  1. (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)

  2. 2018 [15]

  3. (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.

  4. (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).

  5. (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.

  6. (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: http://axonjournal.com.au/issue-14/%E2%80%98-japanese-christmas-card%E2%80%99]

  7. (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)

  8. (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).

  9. 2017 [21]

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

  11. (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.

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

  13. (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).

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

  15. (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.

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

  17. (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.

  18. (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)

  19. 2016 [6]

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

  21. (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).

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

  23. (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.

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

  25. (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).

  26. 2015 [19]

  27. (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).

  28. (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)

  29. (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.

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

  31. (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.

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

  33. 2014 [36]

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

  35. (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)

  36. (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).

  37. (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.

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

  39. (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)

  40. (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:

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

  42. 2013 [6]

  43. (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).

  44. (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.

  45. (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.

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

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

  48. (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.

  49. 2012 [25]

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

  51. (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:

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

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

  54. (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).

  55. (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:

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

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

  58. (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

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

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

  61. 2011 [7]

  62. ((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.

  63. (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:

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

  65. (August 25) “Foreword.” Lugosi’s Children, Curated by Bronwyn Lloyd (27 August – 1 October 2011). Auckland: Objectspace, 2011: 2-3. [PDF available at: http://www.objectspace.org.nz/publications/viewPublication.php?documentCode=2984].

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

  67. (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.

  68. (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

  69. 2010 [6]

  70. (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:

  71. (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).

  72. (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.

  73. (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.

  74. (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.

  75. 2009 [14]

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

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

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

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

  80. (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.

  81. (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)].

  82. (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)

  83. 2008 [5]

  84. (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.

  85. (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.

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

  87. (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.

  88. (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:

  89. 2007 [7]

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

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

  92. (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:

  93. (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.

  94. 2006 [9]

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

  96. (December 6) “for Leicester Hugo Kyle (b. 1937).” brief #34 (2006) – war: 6-11. [Available at: http://titus.books.online.fr/Brief/index.html].

  97. (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)].

  98. (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:

  99. (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:

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

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

  102. 2005 [12]

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

  104. (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:

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

  106. (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

  107. (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.

  108. 2004 [27]

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

  110. (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

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

  112. (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:

  113. (September 28) “Going West Five Years On.” Pander Online. [Available at: http://www.thepander.co.nz/literature/articles/jross200409.php (28/9/04)].

  114. (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:

  115. (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.

  116. (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.

  117. (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

  118. 2003 [20]

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

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

  121. (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

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

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

  124. (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

  125. (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:

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

  127. 2002 [16]

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

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

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

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

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

  133. (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

  134. 2001 [20]

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

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

  137. (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:

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

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

  140. (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

  141. 2000 [12]

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

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

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

  145. (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.

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

  147. (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)

  148. (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.

  149. 1999 [23]

  150. (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

  151. (October 13) “A Conversation with Mike Minehan.” Monthly Profile Series 1. Zoetropes: New Zealand Literature / Nga Pukapuka o Aotearoa online. [Available at: http://www.arts.uwo.ca/~andrewf/zoetropes.htm (13/10/99)].

  152. (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

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

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

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

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

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

  158. 1998 [14]

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

  160. (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

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

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

  163. (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

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

  165. 1997 [3]

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

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

  168. (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:

  169. 1993 [1]

  170. (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.

  171. 1992 [2]

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

  173. (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.

  174. 1989 [1]

  175. (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.

  176. 1988 [2]

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

  178. 1987 [1]

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




Sunday

Poetry NZ Yearbook 2019: Editorial (2019)



















Jack Ross, ed.: Poetry NZ Yearbook 2019 (March 2019)

Editorial:
What makes a poem good?



Manawatu Writers' Festival
[Photograph: Jenny Lawn (8/9/18)]



It’s a somewhat absurdly ambitious premise for an editorial, you may think. Certainly I did, when I was booked to speak on the topic at the 2018 Manawatū Writers’ Festival.

I won’t attempt to reprise everything I said on that occasion (vanity —— not to mention sanity —— forbids), but I thought I might mention a few points. First up is a quote from Robert Graves, one of my favourite poetry gurus:
The most popular theory advanced to account for the haunting of houses is that emanations of fear, hate or grief somehow impregnate a locality, and these emotions are released when in contact with a suitable medium. So with a poem or novel, passion impregnates the words and can make them active even divorced from the locality of creation. (On English Poetry, 1922)

You see what I mean? What a man! Graves, fresh from the trenches of the Western Front —— and even fresher from the psychoanalyst’s couch —— went on to argue in favour of the even more sweeping opinion that ‘Art of every sort . . . is an attempt to rationalize some emotional conflict in the artist’s mind.’

If the work created as a result succeeds somehow in resolving or at least exteriorising the conflict in question, he claims, then it can be said to be successful —— for that artist, at any rate. There is, however, no automatic reason to expect this success to translate to others. If, by some stroke of luck, it does, then we have what is commonly thought of as a ‘work of art’; i.e. something that speaks meaningfully to the emotional conflicts and traumas of others, as well as to yourself.

Certainly, as an editor, I have to acknowledge a certain futility in most of my attempts to make objective judgements about poems. A. E. Housman said that he always knew the real thing because it made the hairs on his chin stand up while he tried to shave. In other words, even that most austere of Classicists had to resort to a physical reaction rather than any more reasoned definition of poetry.

As my father grew older, and especially after his first stroke, we began to see a more emotional side of him (the exact words the doctors used were ‘emotionally labile’ —— apparently a common symptom of cerebral damage). In layman’s terms, he would burst into tears at the drop of a hat. Any mention of war sacrifice, moral courage, or bravery of any kind, would have him sniffing away in a manner that would probably have embarrassed him profoundly as a younger man. It certainly embarrassed us as the more-or-less standard products of a repressed Kiwi upbringing.

Even at the time I felt ashamed of this embarrassment, and tried to persuade myself to look on at such displays with joy and affection. It’s hard to overcome the conditioning of a lifetime, though.

Now it’s happening to me! I have always been pretty susceptible to uplifting speeches or noble acts in movies —— that moment in Rabbit Proof Fence, for instance, when the little girl pulls herself up off the sand to struggle on for just a few yards more with her sister in her arms . . . Pretty much the whole of that movie, in fact. I could make a list. Jimmy Stewart in Mr Smith Goes to Washington (‘Lost causes are the only ones worth fighting for . . .’); Cher in Mask (‘Now you can go anywhere you want, baby’); Gregory Peck in To Kill a Mockingbird (‘Stand up, child, your daddy’s passing’). You know the sort of thing.

It’s starting to affect my poetry reading, too. It’s not that all the poems I like now have to be tragic or elegiac: humour is a pretty strong emotion, too, and everyone needs a good laugh from time to time. It’s just that I’m no longer afraid of being moved by them —— by the last lines of Brett Gartrell’s ‘After the principal calls’, for instance:
The dogs broke into the hen house
stringing two birds out in bloody feathered scraps.
My son cornered the panting terriers
washed the blood from their lips
as they licked the tears from his eyes.

Or, for that matter, by the whole of Wes Lee’s extraordinary ‘The Things She Remembers #1’, which is almost the only poem I could imagine knocking Brett’s into second place in our annual Poetry New Zealand competition:
Standing looking in the mirror saying:
No, No / The cold orange lipstick of the
Big Nurse / The patient who screamed like
a bird / her mouth wide as the abyss /
The patient who jumped on my back, kicked
in her heels, tried to gee me up like a
donkey / The painful embarrassment of being
thirteen / The laughter of the nurses / At
a terrible time I believed / At terrible times
I still believe / There are still things left to
sell / On the bus a wasp and a homeless man.

My God, there’s some pain in that poem! I hope that it had some success in working out certain traumas for its author (as prescribed by Robert Graves). Whether it did or not, it certainly works for me.

It’s not that I sit here boo-hooing as I read through all the submissions for each issue —— but every now and then something in one of them sits up and looks alive, persuades me that something is being worked out there that might be relevant to others simply because it seems so relevant to me.

It must have been very difficult for A. E. Housman to shave without constantly cutting himself. Every time he thought of ‘Into my heart an air that kills / From yon far country blows’ or ‘Fear no more the heat o’ the sun / Nor the furious winter’s rages’, up the little hairs would go.

I wouldn’t trust myself to read out loud either Brett or Wes’s poems —— or quite a few of the other wonderful poems I have included in this edition of the Yearbook, either —— but I’m very glad the poets wrote them. Glad to have had the privilege to read them and to present them for the rest of you to fall for as hard as I did. (That’s if you’re not still stuck at the embarrassment-before-strong-emotion stage of your development. You wait: the time will come when you, too, find your face wet with tears when the townsfolk burst in to give their hard-earned savings to Jimmy Stewart at the end of It’s a Wonderful Life.)

Housman called poetry ‘a morbid secretion’. Graves, too, sees it as the necessary working-out of a repressed trauma or complex. Whether or not that helps as a tentative answer to what makes a poem good, I don’t know. I just know that spotting the real thing has become, for me, as much of a somatic as a psychosomatic matter.




So, to reprise, the winners of the third annual Poetry New Zealand Poetry Prize are as follows:
First prize ($500):Wes Lee,
for ‘The Things She Remembers #1’
Second prize ($300):Brett Gartrell,
for ‘After the principal calls’
Third prize ($200):Natalie Modrich,
for ‘Retail’

I’ve already given you some idea of what I found so extraordinary in the first two of these poems.
The third is a complete change of pace. Natalie herself refers to it as ‘a very therapeutic poem’, and while it did make me laugh like a drain —— for which I thank her profoundly —— it also made me think a little about all the rest of the people doing what she calls ‘soul-crushing’ retail jobs. I don’t know if reading such things helps at all, but I’m prepared to believe it might. After all, Housman said that his poetry was meant for the ‘ill-treated . . . / For them to read when they’re in trouble / And I am not.’

This time the three poems have been printed separately, in their own section of the journal.

The same is true of the winning entries for the Poetry New Zealand Yearbook student poetry competition. All three of these poems seem to show an almost frightening maturity and skill. The difficulty in judging the competition was not so much in finding merit, as in deciding which of so many good poems to put first.

Aigagalefili Fepulea‘i-Tapuaʻi’s ‘275 Love Letters to Southside’ is a passionate piece of work —— richly imbued with the spirit of her beloved heimat:
When I learnt that no place outside of South Auckland would want to pronounce my name properly
I scraped it off their tongues
So now all they do is spit on us instead . . .
Haven’t my ancestors’ screams been muffled between textbook pages?
Didn’t a white teacher at my South Auckland sch tell us we’re just ‘typical South Auckland crap’?

If that teacher ever reads this poem, I hope he or she feels very small.
Kathryn Briggs’s ‘Earth is a Star to Someone’ is equally passionate, in a very different context. ‘Let —— This —— Matter,’ she pleads:
Let us be heard,
Let us take up the space we deserve in the universe.

Let all this youth, all this idealism, count for something. I certainly hope it does. I guess we all do.

Amberleigh Rose’s ‘Snake’s Tongue’ comes from a very different side of the poetic universe. Here passion has been turned to self-destruction, but there’s an aching residue of hope in there, too, somewhere, I feel:
Last night we slept in our blood stains
and whispered over the sound of our bones
trying to leave our skin and you
were the prettiest girl I had ever seen.
What was that? Not love?

Quite a few of the poems I read while judging this competition frightened me profoundly, I must confess. Where are all the flowers and bunny rabbits we used to write about at school? In fact (as a reviewer once remarked of one of my own books), ‘the spirit of darkness certainly prevails.’




There are 100 poets in this issue (besides Stephanie Christie, our featured poet). There are also three essayists and 10 reviewers —— though some of these have also contributed poems: 110 authors in all.

Among the poets I’ve included are such well-known names as Sue Fitchett, Michele Leggott, Stephen Oliver, Bob Orr, Vaughan Rapatahana, Elizabeth Smither and Emma Neale. In her reply to my acceptance letter for the poems she’d submitted, Emma, now firmly established as the new managing editor of Landfall, explains the process of selection better than I could ever imagine doing:
... it’s finally made me realise that rejections aren’t always a comment on literary merit! And it doesn’t even mean an editor dislikes someone’s work, it just means there is chronically limited space.

Quite so. What she said. My long list for this issue was full of beautiful poems which have, one after the other, had to bite the dust for one reason or another. Never assume that your poem didn’t make it into that giant file! And don’t think that I didn’t sweat blood over those rejections, either.

Of course my subjective reactions have a great deal to do with the poems you see before you. As long as I’ve been reading her, which is almost 20 years now, I’ve been impressed and (at times) flabbergasted by the sheer virtuosic brinksmanship of Stephanie Christie’s poetry. It’s great to be able to introduce her poems to —— I hope —— a wider audience than they’ve so far reached in this country. Her fractured word-play —— reminiscent at times of late Celan but with a pop culture edge he never achieved —— can be daunting at first, but I think you’ll see after a while how relentlessly quotable she is:
I hold onto hope because I want something
to do with my hands
(‘-OH’)

Every morning the first word I say is
Yes.
(‘Felt calculus’)

Nothing’s happened. You make me feel
less alone. You’re also real.
That might ruin everything.
(‘Unfinished Objects’)

If you need more evidence, here it is, in the form of a rich selection of 19 recent poems, plus a tell-all interview!




The reviews section is a bit smaller than in previous issues: not because I don’t think they’re important, but because I want to give them more space on their own. We’ve decided to follow Landfall’s good example and to cover most of the books we receive on our website, the Poetry NZ Review [https://poetrynzreview.blogspot.com/].

The reviews that we do include in the text will now be more in the nature of review-essays, and there will be no more simple notices of books. This also has the advantage of enabling us to include more poems and stand-alone essays. There are three of the latter in this issue, covering issues such as narrative strategies in poetry, Zen Buddhism, mourning, and death, in poets as diverse as Airini Beautrais, Richard von Sturmer and Derek Walcott.

I’m also happy to be able to include here some dual-text poems in Chinese, German, Spanish and te reo Māori. What more need I say? Enjoy!


— Jack Ross
November 2018





(1-13/9/18)

Poetry New Zealand Yearbook 2019. ISBN 978-0-9951029-6-5 (March 2019): 14-20. [Available at: https://issuu.com/masseypress/docs/pages_from_pnzy19].

[2172 wds]


Poetry NZ Yearbook 2019