Jack Ross, ed.: Spin 36 (March 2000)
Tongue in Your Ear, Volume Four 1999, edited by Christopher Harrod, Ingrid Joachim, Judith McNeil & Saul Situmorang. Four/Two Publishing, 40 Turakina St, Grey Lynn, Auckland, 74pp. $15.
This is a good example of what can be done with a very simple concept. Tongue in Your Ear is the annual anthology put out by Auckland’s “Poetry Live” – a loose confederation of poets and performers who meet each Wednesday at the Alleluya Café on Karangahape Rd. The open mike policy for readers at this venue means, inevitably, a certain variability in quality and interest. Judy McNeil and her editing team have, however, made this atmosphere of freedom a strength. There are poems by distinguished outsiders (Elizabeth Smither, Catherine Mair), local poets who are seldom to be seen at the regular meetings (p n w donnelly, Lee Dowrick), as well as the habitués. If you want to know what live poetry is up to in Auckland … more to the point, if you want to read some lively and exciting poems, this is well worth getting.