Blog Archives

“No country for old men”

Sydney-based New Zealand writer Paul Schimmel surveys the Hera Lindsay Bird phenomenon from across the ditch Since Hera Lindsay Bird’s volume of poetry Hera Lindsay Bird was selected for the so-called long-list for the New Zealand book awards in poetry,…
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The Sharp end of the stick, Catherine Robertson

Novelist and reviewer Catherine Robertson takes the pulse of local book reviewing “Tame, dull, lazy, cowardly and predictable” is how Iain Sharp described New Zealand’s book reviewers in an opinion piece for website The Spinoff (March 23). He called for…
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Supporting a long-haul life of writing, Paula Morris

Paula Morris (Ngati Wai), fiction writer and essayist, presents the Academy of New Zealand Literature/Te Whare Mātātuhi o Aotearoa. Last year, when I returned to New Zealand after too many years away in the United Kingdom and United States of…
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Intellectual life, Brian Easton

Brian Easton considers reviewing as New Zealand Books Pukapuka Aotearoa turns 25. New Zealand Books was founded a quarter of a century ago, responding to a fear that The New Zealand Listener’s book pages were ending. I do not recall…
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Making the pieces fit, Kathryn Carmody

Kathryn Carmody, New Zealand Festival Writers Week programme manager, looks back, and ahead to the 2016 programme, 8-13 March. It’s a funny old job this one. There’ve been five managers on the literature programme since the inaugural festival in 1986.…
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Reviewing the reviewers

Matthew Wright reflects on the ethics of book reviewing. It’s some years since New Zealand Books published a wonderfully nasty litany of my supposed failures in a book I’d written on South Island settler society where, the reviewer insisted as…
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Happy birthday Gecko Press

Publisher Julia Marshall reflects on a decade of readers and reading. Gecko Press is turning 10 this year. It is banal to say that in these 10 years there has been a lot of change (though of course it is…
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Poppy lopping and cultural cringing

Novelist Chris Else reflects on “the Eleanor Catton affair” Among the matters raised by the Eleanor Catton affair, two seem to have been given short shrift: our treatment of our tall poppies and whether or not we suffer from cultural…
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Page vs screen, Jock Phillips

Jock Phillips reflects on editing www.teara.govt.nz. I grew up in a house full of books, where conversations inspired by books flowed free. Visits to the library were precious. I yearned to write books and will never forget that extraordinary moment…
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Mentors and protégés, Margot Schwass

Mentors and protégés  Editor and writer Margot Schwass looks at Frank Sargeson and his circle. “[There] is a notion about that I am leading a little group that I train to write in words of one syllable,” complains a leading…
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