Catalyst 11: My Republic (2015)

Jack Ross, ed.: Poetry NZ Yearbook 2 [Issue #50] (November 2015)

Books and Magazines in brief:

Catalyst 11: My Republic. Ed. Doc Drumheller. ISSN 1179-4003. Christchurch: The Republic of Oma Rāpeti Press, 2014. RRP $25. 112 pp.

“In 2014 The Republic of Oma Rāpeti Press launched a new republic, complete with a flag, and national anthem. To celebrate this event, we have dedicated a special edition of Catalyst to invite writers to share their vision of their own republic” – so begins Doc Drumheller’s preface to the 11th edition of Catalyst. It’s a pretty cool idea, I think, and the issue is worth it for the illustrations of urban art (what we used to call graffiti) alone. It is, I suppose, invidious to single out particular poems from a fascinating bunch, but I have to say that I was particularly intrigued and moved by Abby Friesen-Johnson’s prose-poem “Man Cave”:
Last week a little girl I was babysitting led me by the hand through her house …
“Wow, I’ve never seen a real man-cave before,” I told her, and it’s true. I’ve only ever seen them on TV shows with laugh tracks … she said “This is where daddy comes when he’s tired of me,” her pride not sagging an inch, and suddenly it made sense why we were still standing at the door. [p.25]


Poetry New Zealand Yearbook 2 [Issue #50]. ISSN 0114-5770 (2014): 270.

[204 wds]

Poetry NZ Yearbook 2 (2015)

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