Blog Archives

Poem —  Peter Bland

We call it winter   We call it winter, this Northland chill with its one-bar heater, its woollen cap, its hint of frost on the roof. But you have to laugh when you think of Eskimos crowding round a whale-oil

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Poem — Harry Ricketts

At the Frankfurt Book Fair: a triolet   We do our best to do our stuff, our quardle oodle ardle wardle doodle. A Lion in the Meadow meets Alan Duff: We do our best to do our stuff. The things

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Only the lonely, Timothy G Jones

The Lonely and the Alone: The Poetics of Isolation in New Zealand Fiction Doreen D’Cruz and John C Ross Rodopi, €85.00, ISBN 9789042034747 Loneliness holds a special place in New Zealand literature. If there is a single image that casts

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Posted in Literature, Non-fiction and Review

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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Posted in Comment and ebooks

Gentleman’s agreement, Tony Simpson

Other People’s Wars: New Zealand in Afghanistan, Iraq and the War on Terror Nicky Hager  Craig Potton Publishing, $45.00, ISBN 9781877517693 About a year ago, shortly after this book was published, I heard Nicky Hager in an interview deploring the

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Posted in Non-fiction and War

Letters — Issue 100

It’s a polemic Your reviewer Louise O’Brien (NZB, Spring 2012) criticises me for not offering solutions “to the many problems which [The Passionless People Revisited] lays out so emphatically”. Oh dear. It is a polemic, a legitimate form of disputation

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Posted in Letters

Poem — Tim Upperton

Sonnet   Fuck your simile. Fuck your elegy for. Fuck your homily, your extended metaphor. Fuck your metonymy. Fuck your exquisite language economy. Fuck your metre, your keeping time. Fuck your vers libre. Fuck your rhyme. Fuck your Elizabethan men

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Medical check-up, Rae Varcoe

The Good Doctor: What Patients Want  Ron Paterson   Auckland University Press, $40.00,  ISBN 9781869405922 Neither title nor subtitle accurately reflects the thrust of this book. It is less about how we might distinguish the good doctor (and define what

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Posted in Health, Non-fiction and Review

Editorial — Issue 100

Whithering or withering? Back in the day, literary couple Iris Murdoch and John Bayley used to speak of “whithering”. They were referring to international festivals at which they were asked to address the question “whither the novel?” At the dawn

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