Poetry NZ Yearbook 2 [Issue #50] (2015)

Cover image: Karl Chitham / cover design: Anna Brown

Poetry New Zealand Yearbook 2 [Issue #50] (November 2015). ISSN 0114-5770. ii + 286 pp.

Jack Ross / Editorial: What is New Zealand Poetry? / 7-10

Karl Chitham (2015)


Robert Sullivan / Bio-Bibliography / 11-12

  1. Condom on The Iliad / 13

  2. I am Michael Joseph Savage / 14

  3. I am Colonel Wynyard / 15

  4. I am Pomare II / 16

  5. Daddy / 17

  6. Nana / 18

  7. The surge black fissure / 19

  8. Sensory Garden / 20

  9. Māra kai / 21

  10. King Tawhiao’s Garden / 22

Jack Ross / An Interview with Robert Sullivan / 23-38

Robert Sullivan
[photograph: Bronwyn Lloyd]


James Ackhurst / A Rhinoceros / 39

Gary Allen / The deposition / 41

John Allison / Dead Reckoning / 42

Bill Angus / God knows what the dead bequeath / 43

Ruth Arnison / Not talking / 44

Nick Ascroft / Dumplings / 45

Sandra Bell / The Miners / 46

– / Juanita and the Girls’ Home / 48

Tony Beyer / Field (i.m. John O’Connor 1949-2015) / 50

– / Memento / 51

Jane Blaikie / Exchange / 52

Joy Blair / Seeing the Wood for the Trees / 53

Peter Bland / Tell Me More / 54

– / The Unicorns are Back / 55

Liz Breslin / Adlestrop / 56

Iain Britton / Fontainebleau – NZ / 57

Jennifer Compton / Giving Up on the Quarrel / 59

Ruth Corkill / Autumn in Highgate / 60

Sue Cowan / dear teacher / 61

Mary Cresswell / Bridges at Königsberg / 62

– / The Road Goes West / 63

Jeni Curtis / The Cherry Tree / 64

Jonathan Cweorth / Voyager Two, 1977 / 66

Belinda Diepenheim / Gravitas / 67

Eric Dodson / Legal High / 68

– / Dough Boys / 69

J. T. Drazin / A Chance Meeting / 70

Doc Drumheller / Half-Price Proverbs / 71

David Eggleton / Methusalem / 72

Rachael Elliott / 1992 / 76

Michael Farrell / By the Wind / 79

Sue Fitchett / the blink of an eye / 80

Anna Forsyth / Hungry Jack’s Sated Poet / 81

Kim Fulton / Paris, 2013 / 82

Rhian Gallagher / Learning to Read / 83

– / The Year Between / 84

John Geraets / five beauties / 85

Susan Green / Pukekaroro / 96

Siobhan Harvey / Serving Notice upon the Prime Minister / 97

– / Spaceboy Relative to His Solar Powered Home / 99

Felicity Heaven / My Love / 100

Sue Heggie / Anzac Day in Greytown / 101

Alice Hooton / Hallucinations of the Blind / 102

– / Autumn Falling / 103

Gail Ingram / Over Breakfast / 105

Sophia Johnson / Driftwood / 107

Leonard Lambert / Darwin’s Dice / 108

Jon Lepp / When approaching a farmer’s door: / 109

Simon Lewis / Big Noters / 110

– / A Sense of Place / 111

Olivia Macassey / Burnt Umber / 112

– / Do Not Trust These People: / 113

Carolyn McCurdie / Dance in the Local Hall / 114

Andrew McIntyre / The Black Hole / 115

Dawn McMillan / Sometimes when the rain stops / 116

– / Mr MacIntyre / 117

Mary Macpherson / Charge / 118

Vana Manasiadis / from Quantum Physics Tells Us Separation Is Only An Illusion / 119

Owen Marshall / White Dog / 122

– / Release / 122

Margaret Moores / She was not pregnant / 123

– / Lambton Quay / 124

Martha Morseth / Consider the metaphor / 125

– / Dream I / 126

Elizabeth Morton / Cerberus / 127

– / The Audience / 128

Heidi North-Bailey / Winter, Kings Cross / 129

Keith Nunes / an escalation / 130

Stephen Oliver / Broken / 131

Alistair Paterson / Cold Harbour / 132

– / Vehicles are Sold / 133

– / Landscape with pictures / 134

Milorad Pejić / Ocean Beach / 135

Sarah Penwarden / Lady-in-Waiting / 136

– / Charmed / 137

Mark Pirie / A Thoughtful Optional Extra / 139

Kerry Popplewell / At sparrow-fart / 141

Joanna Preston / Portrait of Great Aunt Lavinia as a Bathysphere / 142

– / Nightfall / 143

Vaughan Rapatahana / he wāhi hū mohoao / 144

– / kāore wareware / 146

Nicholas Reid / From the Sky Tower / 148

– / The Trail / 149

Dikra Ridha / The Last Day in My Country / 151

– / The Flower Beneath Baghdad / 152

David Romanda / Fast Food / 154

– / Angel / 155

Brittany Rose / To Dad / 156

Dagmara Rudolph / Mummy? / 159

Ken Ruffell / Streets Ahead / 160

Nurul Shamsul / The Liberation of Wine / 161

Kerrin P. Sharpe / cleaning the stables / 163

– / my teacher has no lungs / 164

Emma Shi / fingers stained with chlorine / 165

– / skipping dead insects across the ocean / 166

Jaspreet Singh / Emperor’s New Clothes / 167

Elizabeth Smither / Day Breaks in Dressing Gowns / 170

Kenneth Steven / Where / 171

Michael Steven / Omitted Entries from Lonely Planet Guides / 172

Marc Swan / On the road to euthanasia / 175

– / In retrospect / 176

Richard Taylor / Flowers / 177

– / I Have Cut Off My Own Head / 178

Vivienne Ullrich / Sonic Sisters Sestina / 179

Richard von Sturmer / from Songs for a New Identity / 181

Jen Webb / Metamorphoses / 183

– / Desire Lines / 184

Sue Wootton / Kids / 186

– / Forgiveness / 187

Karen Zelas / Elusion / 188


John Geraets / Retrospective: briefly, briefly … / 189-203

Janet Newman / Prose Poetry: A Series of Abandonments / 204-11
Alistair Paterson / Poetry, Science and the Real / 212-22


Mary Cresswell / Diana Brodie - Brentley Frazer - Vaughan Rapatahana - Maureen Sudlow / 224-32:
  • Diana Brodie. Giotto’s Circle. ISBN 978-3-901993-41-1. University of Salzburg: Poetry Salzburg, 2013.
  • Brentley Frazer. Kulturkampf: Selected Poems 1995-2015. ISBN 978-0-9941861-1-9. Brisbane: Bareknuckle Books, 2015.
  • Vaughan Rapatahana. Atonement. Artworks by Pauline Canlas Wu; musical score by Darren Canlas Wu. ISBN 978-988-13115-1-1. Hong Kong: MCCM Creations for ASM/Flying Islands Books, 2015.
  • Maureen Sudlow. Antipodes. ISBN 978-1-927242-69-8. Wellington: Steele Roberts Aotearoa, 2014.

Hamish Dewe / Charles Brasch / 233-36:
  • Charles Brasch. Selected Poems. Chosen by Alan Roddick. ISBN 978-1-877578-05-2. Dunedin: Otago University Press, 2015.

Rachael Elliott / Miriam Barr / 237-38:
  • Miriam Barr. Bullet Hole Riddle. ISBN 978-1-927242-68-1. Wellington: Steele Roberts Aotearoa, 2014.

Johanna Emeney / Kerry Hines - Nina Powles / 239-43:
  • Nina Powles. Girls of the Drift. 2014. ISBN 978-0-473-30843-8. Wellington: Seraph Press, 2015.
  • Kerry Hines. Young Country. With Photographs by William Williams. ISBN 978-1-86940-823-7. Auckland: Auckland University Press, 2014.

Matthew Harris / The Places Behind the Place / 244-47:
  • Jack Ross. A Clearer View of the Hinterland: Poems & Sequences 1981-2014. ISBN 978-0-473-29640-7. Wellington: HeadworX, 2014.

Bronwyn Lloyd / Lies we tell ourselves / 248-50:
  • Frankie McMillan. There Are No Horses in Heaven. ISBN 978-1-927145-67-8. Christchurch: Canterbury University Press, 2015.

Elizabeth Morton / Stephanie Christie - Anna Jackson / 251-54:
  • Stephanie Christie. The Facts of Light. deciBel Series 001. Ed. Pam Brown. ISBN 978-1-922181-28-2. Sydney: Vagabond Press, 2014.
  • Anna Jackson. I, Clodia, and Other Portraits. ISBN 978-1-86940-820-6. Auckland: Auckland University Press, 2014.

Jack Ross / Mary Cresswell - David Eggleton - Iain Lonie - Jane Summer / 255-63:
  • Mary Cresswell. Fish Stories. ISBN 978-1-927145-66-1. Christchurch: Canterbury University Press, 2015.
  • David Eggleton. The Conch Trumpet. ISBN 978-1-877578-93-9. Dunedin: Otago University Press, 2015.
  • A Place To Go On From: The Collected Poems of Iain Lonie. Edited by David Howard. ISBN 978-1-927322-01-7. Dunedin: Otago University Press, 2015.
  • Jane Summer. Erebus. ISBN 978-1-937420-90-1. Little Rock, Arkansas: Sibling Rivalry Press, 2014.

Richard Taylor / The Gold Leaves / 264-68:
  • Edward Jenner. The Gold Leaves (being an account and translation from the Ancient Greek of the so-called ‘Orphic’ Gold Tablets). ISBN 978-0-9922453-7-5. Pokeno: Atuanui Press, 2014.


Jack Ross / 269-73:
  1. Diane Brown. Taking My Mother to the Opera. ISBN 978-1-927322-15-4. Dunedin: Otago University Press, 2015.
  2. Catalyst 11: My Republic. ISSN 1179-4003. Christchurch: The Republic of Oma Rāpeti Press, 2014.
  3. Martin Edmond & Maggie Hall. Histories of the Future. ISBN 978-1-877010-67-5. North Hobart, Tasmania: Walleah Press, 2015.
  4. JAAM 32: Shorelines. Ed. Sue Wootton. ISSN 1173-633X. Wellington: JAAM Collective, 2014.
  5. Julie Leibrich. A Little Book of Sonnets. ISBN 978-1-927242-29-2. Wellington: Steele Roberts Aotearoa, 2013.
  6. Emma Neale. Tender Machines. ISBN 978-1-927322-34-5. Dunedin: Otago University Press, 2015.
  7. Richard Reeve. Generation Kitchen. ISBN 978-1-877578-92-2. Dunedin: Otago University Press, 2015.
  8. Pat White. Fracking & Hawk. ISBN 978-0-473-32636-4. Aotearoa New Zealand: Frontiers Press, 2015.



Poetry New Zealand Index

Poetry New Zealand Website

Reviews & Comments:

  1. Richard Taylor, "Comment." The Imaginary Museum (December 6, 2015):

    PNZ Year Book is excellent! A great cover design. Interesting interview with Robert Sullivan and his and your comments on Atua Wera, and his that Pound was an influence as well as Smithyman and his deep research, which lead him into writing Star Waka which I have read although I have to concede that, despite owning Atua Wera I have never got to read all of it ... another thing to do. But it does look good for sure. (And last year the interview with Lisa Samuels was also interesting and inspiring, I noted she was interested in Georges Bataille so I am reading some of his work now as a result - a bit late, and of course in my case in English translation. There are a lot of poems there and many very good. I read Geraet's essay / history of Brief which was good, and there are some other interesting things there: many in fact ... it is certainly a good production.

  2. Johanna Emeney, "Poetry Shelf, Poet’s Choice: Johanna Emeney makes her picks." NZ Poetry Shelf (December 8, 2015):

    ... two journals I would recommend are Poetry London edited by Ahren Warner and Poetry New Zealand edited by Jack Ross. Both feature a nice balance of new poetry, essays and reviews, and are committed to featuring new as well as renowned poets. Ruth Arnison’s poem “Not Talking” in Poetry NZ Yearbook 2, November 2015 is one of the best, most heart-breaking, poems I have read all year.

  3. Jennifer Little. "Te Reo Surge in Latest Poetry NZ." (January 22, 2016):

    Dr Ross has signalled further changes to the publication, with the next issue to be published early in 2017 by Massey University Press - a new press launched in 2015 and headed by veteran publisher Nicola Legat. To shorten the length of time some contributors have had to wait for a decision, he’s decided to confine submissions to a three-month period: from May 1st to July 31st of each year, beginning in 2016.

  4. Zizi Sparks. "Poetry Editor's Diversity Call in New Edition." North Shore Times (February 4, 2016): 4.

    Maori and young voices are lacking in poetry, Poetry New Zealand editor Dr. Jack Ross says.

    The Massey University senior lecturer is sifting through hundreds of submissions for the magazine he's editing for the second time.

    He says in focusing on the multiculturalism of New Zealand, biculturalism has been forgotten.

    "I think everybody agrees that there's a lot of different cultures in New Zealand and traditions growing up."

    "But my feeling is that if we concentrate too much on that diversity we slightly lose sight of the fact that we're a bicultural country."

    He says Poetry New Zealand is a place for New Zealanders to have a voice.

    "When I was invited to the magazine I started thinking about what it means to have a magazine called Poetry New Zealand. I thought how can one represent New Zealand poetry?", he says.

    "It's important that there's a voice and I aspire to be representative but I can't create it myself and I can't ignore the other voices."

    Ross wants to encourage young people and Maori to study or write poetry or literary arts.

    "If you want to study it, we're a good place to go but if you want to sit in your room and write, send it to Poetry New Zealand."

    The next issue of Poetry New Zealand will be published in 2017, and submissions will be open for three months starting May 1.

Complete Article:

Jennifer Little. "Te Reo Surge in Latest Poetry NZ." Massey University News (26 January 2016):

The question ‘what is New Zealand poetry?’ is the overriding one for editor Dr Jack Ross, as he sifts through hundreds of submissions for Poetry New Zealand. His answer? – we need to hear more Māori voices.

To remedy his observation that Māori poets have been overlooked in New Zealand publishing, he invited Māori poet Robert Sullivan to feature in the 50th issue – and Dr Ross’s second as managing editor – of Poetry New Zealand, the country’s longest-running poetry journal. The volume includes an insightful Q&A interview with the poet canvassing a range of issues such as biculturalism, poetry and identity.

Dr Sullivan, who has Irish and Māori (Ngāpuhi) ancestry, shares his views on the ethics and entitlement of non-Māori writers using Te Reo. “I used to think if you’re not Māori you shouldn’t be using Māori terms because you don’t understand the significance, but I’ve changed my mind about that,” he says in the interview. “I think it’s better to promote the use of the language. But bringing it into poetry – well, readers of poetry can be quite pernickety. They’ll look it up, and they’ll actually deepen an understanding of Māori poetics.”

Sullivan, who heads the creative writing programme at the Manukau Institute of Technology and edited a 2014 anthology of 60 Māori poets titled Puna Wai Kōrero: An Anthology of Māori Poetry in English (AUP), says he’s discovered more Māori poets since the book was published. “The story of Māori poetry in English and the story of Pasifika poetry in English is, I think, one that still needs to be told.”

Kapa haka heralds future of Māori poetry

He says the National Kapa Haka competition, Te Matatini, represents hope for the future of poetry in Te Reo Māori. “They might call it dance, but the lyrics are all poetry. And it’s flourishing. It’s got its own spot on Māori television…it’s not just haka that are being performed, there are waiata, love songs, tangi.”

His ten new poems featured in Poetry New Zealand delve into childhood memories of growing up in Auckland, as well as tributes to his parents and grandparents.

In his introductory editorial, Dr Ross makes the case for biculturalism as an underpinning element in defining New Zealand poetry. “For all its faults and omissions and blind spots, the Treaty remains the foundation of our state, and we can’t ignore the principles of biculturalism embodied in it,” he writes.

And while he welcomes the concept of New Zealand “poetries” as a: “rich gamut of cultures and language which now exist in our islands expressing themselves in many languages and forms”, he feels that “no definition of New Zealand poetry which attempts to sideline or depreciate poetry and song in Te Reo can be taken seriously.”

He hopes more Māori poets will submit work in the future, in English and Te Reo Māori.

Poets new and established, near and far

The 286-page volume, published last November by The Printery at Massey University, comprises poetry and prose poems by some 80 poets, including well-known names Elizabeth Smither, Owen Marshall, Peter Bland, Alistair Paterson, Siobhan Harvey and David Eggleton.

New Zealand poets based overseas and newcomers to New Zealand from diverse ethnic backgrounds are all part of the line-up, with a number of contributors either based in, or originating from, Bosnia, Canada, the United States, Scotland, Australia, and Japan.

Massey University writers include award-winning poet and Master of Creative Writing graduates Sue Wootton and Janet Newman, and award-winning poet and PhD in Creative Writing graduate Dr Johanna Emeney, as well as creative writing tutors Dr Matthew Harris and Dr Bronwyn Lloyd, and lecturer Dr Bill Angus.

Essays, commentary and reviews on new poetry publications by a host of local literary talents provide incisive explorations of some of the newest voices on the New Zealand poetry scene.

Dr Ross has signalled further changes to the publication, with the next issue to be published early in 2017 by Massey University Press – a new press launched in 2015 and headed by veteran publisher Nicola Legat.

And to shorten the length of time some contributors have had to wait for a decision, he’s decided to confine submissions to a three-month period: from May 1st to July 31st of each year, beginning in 2016.

Dr Ross – a poet, editor and critic who teaches fiction, poetry, and travel writing in the School of English and Media Studies at Massey’s Auckland campus – in 2014 replaced distinguished poet, anthologist, fiction-writer, critic and retiring editor Alistair Paterson, who oversaw Poetry New Zealand for 21 years.

The journal originated in 1951 when poet Louis Johnson began publishing his annual New Zealand Poetry Yearbook.

Was there a stand out poem for Dr Ross? “It's hard to single out any one person from so stellar a list of contributors, but I found the two pieces sent me by young poet Emma Shi sounded to me like messages from a strange new country I'd never visited before. She is, I believe, a powerful new talent whom I hope to hear much more from in the future,” he says.

To buy a copy, click here. Read more on Dr Ross’s poetry blog or check the Poetry New Zealand Facebook page here.

By Emma Shi:

skipping dead insects across the ocean

i wake up with fists clenched. the glass shimmers
and crushes under my fingers like wings. he
cites me as the one with broken knuckles. it
is easier, he says, to remember things that way.

i start to wear creased butterflies in my hair. then
stuffed in my coat pocket, wrapped in brown paper
like a parcel. on tuesdays, i carve words into
the shore: run, flight, fog. wait, watch as the
sea chases them away, and chase it back
till i’m up to my heart with water.

the last butterfly flickers away at high tide. i practise
breathing underwater but the fish gnaw at my skull
like metal. i don’t know what i’m waiting for, i
tell him, and he says, whatever’s left. so i press my skin
against seashells, forget how to breathe again.

By Dr Robert Sullivan:

Māra kai

Living on the other side of the Museum now
is the adult side. Grafton is where I was a child.
The things I know now I wish I knew then!
This sensory garden does invite the skin and ears.
I can hear the soft rain, cars swishing and thrumming,
the odd bird, splashes and drips, cool spring
on my soles even through my shoes,
the pressed warmth of the back of my left knee
on top of the right one, gentle movements
of the olive leaves, native and exotic bird calls –
some like ref whistles, others on slower patterns,
tyres like Velcro tears, birds like quiet
microwave ovens, muffled roaring vehicles,
circling wheels and spray.
I see the results of rain
by the splash of puddles, and see
the occasional drop from a leaf – that sort of rain –
the occasional cluck. The breeze
is like a big beer fridge.
The sunlight and the starlight know this.

Jennifer Little, Denior Communications Advisor at Massey University

No comments: