Blog Archives

Poem — Owen Marshall

Mechanical grief   And I see you, fortuitously, in the cheapest chicken lot in town, tucked hard against a corrugated fence, with your bald front tyres sponging in a wind flogged puddle. Sullen rain has washed the many days of

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The traffic in perceptions, Janet Hughes

Talking Pictures: Selected Poems Riemke Ensing HeadworX, $26.95, ISBN 0473068044 The cover of Riemke Ensing’s latest collection sends mixed typographic signals. You read Selected Poems first, at the top; but it’s in italic, and grey, so it defers to the

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Posted in Literature, Poetry and Review

All shook up, Charlotte MacDonald

Magnitude Eight Plus: New Zealand’s Biggest Earthquake Rodney Grapes Victoria University Press, $29.95, ISBN 0864733400 Poor Baron Von Alzdorf, owner of Wellington’s largest brick building, a hotel, was the township’s only casualty in the earthquake which struck at 9.17 pm

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Posted in History, Non-fiction, Review and Science

Extraordinary eyes, Vivienne Jepsen

Love in the Land of Midas Kapka Kassabova Penguin, $29.95, ISBN 0140298797 I have to say, at the outset, that I enjoyed reading Kapka Kassabova’s second novel. It’s a good story, told in such a way as to keep the

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Posted in Fiction, Literature and Review

Springing a trap for islands, Phil Barton

Captain Cook’s World: Maps of the Life and Voyages of James Cook RN  John Robson Random House, $59.95, ISBN 1869414098 The publisher’s blurb states that the book under review  “is an atlas, chronology and biography of the life and voyages”

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Posted in Art, Biography, History, Non-fiction, Pacific and Review

Electoral debrief, Ruth Laugesen

Left Turn: The New Zealand General Election of 1999 ed Jonathan Boston, Stephen Church, Stephen Levine, Elizabeth McLeay & Nigel S Roberts Victoria University Press, $39.95, ISBN 0864734042 Up the hill from Parliament, a clutch of Victoria University’s political scientists

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Posted in Non-fiction, Politics & Law and Review

Roads to nowhere? Ruth Butterworth

Building the Constitution ed Colin James Institute of Policy Studies, $45, ISBN 090893548X Some time in 1997, with the prolonged aftermath of the first MMP election still agitating the establishment and mightily diverting the rest of us, the idea gained

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Live and let learn, Jim Collinge

Learning our Living: a teaching autobiography Charmaine Pountney Cape Catley, $29.95, ISBN 0908561865 For many people a teaching autobiography might not seem an exciting prospect. Charmaine Pountney, however, is no ordinary teacher. This book is an account of nearly 60

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Posted in Autobiography, Education, Non-fiction and Review

Margaret Atwood in New Zealand, Anne Else

Beginnings and Endings   Mostly I want to read what writers write, not look at r listen to them. But in the mid-1980s, I went to hear Margaret Atwood. Murder in the Dark had recently appeared, and she read “Happy

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Posted in Opinion

Poem — John Ridland

Spring, 1940 (Christchurch)   This morning Mary Ursula Bethell saw “Suddenly a weeping willow green, Beside the mechanic street.” Meantime Frank Thomas, Gear-changing effortlessly his fine machine, Motored over the “grey, stone-heavy bridge” To his garage – his garage –

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