Friday 1 November 2013 3:43pm
Edited by David Eggleton
Still at the very centre of local culture, New Zealand’s liveliest and most important literary magazine returns in 2015 with Landfall 229, showcasing the best of our contemporary writing across a breadth of styles and themes.
Playwright Dean Parker provides a remarkable memorial for Anzac Day in the form of a fantasia for voices that features some of New Zealand’s most iconic cultural figures of the twentieth century. Journalist Adam Dudding writes movingly and powerfully about the death of his father Robin Dudding, journalist and editor of the literary journal Islands. Elizabeth Smither offers a wry, small-town ‘love story’ of sorts, set in the 1950s. Tina Maketeri provides a brilliant fine-grained essay on personal identity in contemporary Aotearoa New Zealand. David Howard delivers a tour de force of rhyming verse in his panoramic poem ‘The Ghost of James Williamson, 1814–2014’. Clare Orchard contributes a witty diatribe about the culture of denial. And Wystan Curnow turns in a scabrous, rollicking, chuckling-up-his-sleeve satire on vampires in New Zealand.
There’s fiction from Sandra Arnold and Sean Monaghan; and Emma Neale humorously agonises about how to begin a short story. Owen Marshall describes a not-so-perfect book launch, Nick Ascroft offers darting, somersaulting word-play in a British multicultural supermarket, and Louise Wallace visits Arizona. There’s much more, of course, including radical, innovative poetic texts by John Geraets, Ivy Alvarez and Iain Britton, and erotic or sensual reveries and provocations from Sue Reidy, Rata Gordon, Stephanie Christie, Alice Miller and Terence Rissetto, among others. There’s also Landfall’s trademark mix of authoritative and telling reviews by some of New Zealand’s most discerning critical voices: Tim Corballis, Nicholas Reid, Tina Shaw, Maggie Rainey-Smith, Siobhan Harvey and Denis Harold. Martin Edmond contributes a major review-essay on Ian Wedde’s memoir The Grass Catcher: A digression about home.
The artwork features the tumbling dark and light of Jeena Shin’s Motus paintings, and a brand-new series by Rob McLeod of tiny paintings of colours running riot. Simon Richardson’s black-and-white charcoal drawing of his daughter Mila is another visual highlight. Stephen Oliver pays tribute to the late Ben Webb opposite Webb’s sombre study of an old-school East German intellectual. In addition Landfall 229 publishes the winning entry in the 2015 Caselberg Trust International Poetry Competition, ‘Luthier’ by Sue Wootton, along with the runner-up poem, ‘Four Photographs from a Window’ by Jessica le Bas.
In short, this polished new issue proves Landfall a vital promontory in the national cultural landscape: a richly illustrated liminal space for subliminal writing.
DAVID EGGLETON is a prolific poet, writer and critic. His many awards include six times Book Reviewer of the Year in the Montana New Zealand Book Awards, PEN Best First Book of Poetry in 1987 and the Robert Burns Fellowship.
Paperback, 215 x 165 mm, 208 pp, 16 in colour, ISBN 978 1 877578 90 8