Blog Archives

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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“One last regretful look”, Michael Jackson remembers Les Cleveland

“One last regretful look” Poet and anthropologist Michael Jackson remembers Les Cleveland (1921-2014) That Les Cleveland should die without a funeral may be read as a sign of how he chose to live – a man of few words, modest,…
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The centre cannot hold, Tim Upperton

Poet Tim Upperton argues against order as a crucial element in successful poetry. Imagine some chickens in a yard. Each morning their owner appears, banging the side of a tin bucket full of grain, and the chickens crowd around to…
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Always something to behave about, Damien Wilkins

Damien Wilkins pays tribute to Barbara Anderson (1926-2013).   With her cultured Anglo voice (boarding school in New Zealand and years as a naval wife in England), her title (she was Lady Anderson following Neil’s knighthood), her height, elegance, beads,…
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Obsolescence is just the beginning, Peter Simpson

Director of The Holloway Press Peter Simpson celebrates the joy of letterpress. The Holloway Press is dedicated to letterpress printing, a technology rendered largely obsolete by the dawn of the digital age. Letterpress printing – that is, the direct impression…
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No need for bookshelves, Guy Somerset

New Zealand Listener books and culture editor Guy Somerset tries to be brave about e-books.  It’s the bookmarks I’ll miss most. At least that’s what I used to think when I was a fervent advocate of the demise of the…
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Hedging digital bets, Donald Kerr

Donald Kerr, head of Special Collections at the University of Otago library, assesses the survival of such collections in the digital age. Throughout the country, there are many institutions that contain a diverse range of collections, each containing a myriad…
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What we make of it, Penelope Todd

E-publisher Penelope Todd foresees a complementary future for print and digital. When an invention appears that radically threatens our comfortable habits and suppositions, our instinct is to clutch at the old and mistrust the new. We like our books: the…
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Home truths and fantasy worlds, Kathryn Walls

Kathryn Walls identifies the realism beneath Mahy’s magic. Margaret Mahy has been repeatedly described as “magical” or “marvellous”, her fiction as “fantastic.”  These conveniently alliterating adjectives seem apt partly because so much of Mahy’s work is classifiable as fantasy, and…
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I will do my best to be helpful, Ann Mallinson

Ann Mallinson shares a letter she received 20 years ago. Margaret Mahy was, among many other things, an ideas person. She loved discussing ideas, and those of us who were lucky enough to have her accept an invitation to stay…
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