Born in 1949, Bluff-based Cilla McQueen is one of New Zealand’s best-loved poets. Poeta: Selected and New Poems brings together a definitive selection of her poetry spanning five decades, arranged by the poet in a thematic narrative that elucidates abiding themes while maintaining a loose chronology of her creative life to date.
Poeta gathers together poems from the poet’s 14 previous volumes, punctuated by 11 striking drawings, and also includes a range of new work that shows her riddling creativity continuing to grow and evolve. Collectively, the poems demonstrate a versatile and diligent wordsmith never content to sit on her laurels, ever experimenting and improving in her attempt to write the world’s poem.
Pushing against the boundaries of what poetry might be, Alison Glenny’s The Farewell Tourist is haunting, many-layered and slightly surreal.
In The Magnetic Process sequence a man and a woman inhabit a polar world, adrift in zones of divergence, where dreams are filled with snow, icebergs, and sinking ships. Their scientific instruments and observations measure a fragmented and uncertain space where conventional perspectives are violated. In a series of histories – of the Atmosphere, of the Honeymoon – footnotes reference vanished texts. By turns mysterious, ominous and evocative, they represent connections to an obscured narrative of disintegration and icy melancholy.
Bill Manhire, judge of the 2018 Kathleen Grattan Award, has written:
There is an elegance and poise and care in the language of these poems, an unobtrusive mastery and ease in their cadences and rhythms. Here is writing so close to the sound of how our speech usually arranges itself, and yet set with a hard delicacy that makes it quite something else – memorable, direct, focused to the movement of how the poems present both thought and feeling.
The story of tiny Niue’s involvement in the Great War has captivated people since an account was first published by Margaret Pointer in 2000. In 1915, 160 Niuean men joined the New Zealand Expeditionary Force as part of the Maori Reinforcements and set sail to Auckland and then Egypt and France. Most had never left the island before, or worn shoes before. Most spoke no English. Most significantly, they had no immunity to European disease. Within three months of leaving New Zealand, over 80 per cent of them had been hospitalised and the army authorities withdrew them.
Margaret Pointer became involved in research to trace the lost story of Niue’s involvement in World War I while living on the island in the 1990s. The resulting book, Tagi Tote e Loto Haaku: My Heart is Crying a Little, was published in 2000. Her research has continued since, and Niue and the Great War contains much new material together with new photographs. This moving story has now been set in a wider Pacific context and also considers the contribution made by colonial troops, especially ‘coloured’ ones, to the Allied effort.
The poetry in David Eggleton’s new collection possesses an intensity and driven energy, using the poet’s recognisable signature oratory voice, strong in beat and measure, rooted in rich traditions of chant, lament and ode. Mashing together the lyrical and the slangy, celebrating local vernaculars while simultaneously plugged in to a global zeitgeist of technobabble and fake news, Eggleton recycles and ‘repurposes’ high visual culture and demotic aural culture.
Edgeland is a dazzling display of polychromatic virtuosity, teeming with irrepressible wordplay, startling imagery and anarchic wit, from one of New Zealand’s best-loved poets.
See No Evil issues a challenge to New Zealanders. The book begins by relating the little-known history of West Papua, but its focus is on the impact of New Zealand’s foreign policy on the indigenous Melanesian inhabitants. In the 1950s New Zealand supported self-determination for the former Dutch colony, but in 1962 opted to back Indonesia as it took over the territory.
See No Evil is a shocking account by one of New Zealand’s most respected authors on peace and Pacific issues, issuing a powerful call for a just and permanent solution – self-determination – for the people of West Papua.
Edited by Laurence Fearnley and Paul Hersey
From the Darrans of Fiordland to Denali in Alaska, New Zealand climbers, both experienced and recreational, have captured their alpine experience in letters, journals, articles, memoirs, poems and novels. Drawing on 150 years of published and unpublished material, Laurence Fearnley and Paul Hersey, two top contemporary authors, have compiled a wide-ranging, fascinating and moving glimpse into New Zealand’s mountaineering culture and the people who write about it.
Selected with an introduction by Peter Simpson
This third and final volume of Charles Brasch’s compelling private journals covers the years from when he was 48 to his death at 64. By the 1960s, Brasch, though very private by temperament, was a reluctant public figure, especially as editor of Landfall – indisputably New Zealand’s leading cultural quarterly (he eventually quit as editor after 20 years). He was also becoming a highly regarded poet, who eventually had six books (one posthumous) to his name.
Behind the scenes Brasch was increasingly important as an art collector and as patron and benefactor; the Burns, Hodgkins and Mozart Fellowships – for writers, artists and composers respectively – which he helped anonymously to found and fund, all began in this period.
Edited by Emma Neale
Landfall is New Zealand's foremost and longest-running arts and literary journal. It showcases new fiction and poetry, as well as biographical and critical essays, and cultural commentary.
Featured artists in this issue are Kathryn Madill, Russ Flatt, and Penny Howard.
This issue includes the results and winning essays from the 2018 Charles Brasch Young Writers’ Award, and judge’s report by Emma Neale, as well as the usual range of exciting new writing and reviews.
Published simultaneously in Ireland by Salmon Poetry, Majella Cullinane’s remarkable second collection, Whisper of a Crow’s Wing, is the work of a poet with a distinct and powerful voice. These poems weigh and examine oppositions – the distance of time and place, the balance of life and death, the poet’s New Zealand home and her Irish heritage. Cullinane conjures the ghosts that haunt places and objects; our inner and outer world, with rich, physical language.