Blog Archives

Nudging the unsuitable, Cilla McQueen

How To Make A Million Emma Neale Godwit, $22.95, ISBN 18692100X The Unfortunate Singer Rachel Bush Victoria University Press, $24.95, ISBN 0864734360 My reading’s re-creation, via language, of another poet’s perceptions, thoughts, aural sensibility and verbal skill, allows me a…
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Posted in Fiction, Literature, Review

Against cupidity, Ian Johnstone

Five Holocausts Derek J Wilson Steele Roberts, $59.95, ISBN 1877228419 It’s been a drawn-out business preparing this review. For the first week after the great volume (472 pages long) bumped through the letterbox, it sat on the window sill, glowering…
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Posted in Non-fiction

Wicketkeeping religion, Neville Emslie

Spirit in a Strange Land (2002), edited by Paul Morris, Harry Ricketts, and Mike Grimshaw, is, apparently, the first anthology of New Zealand poetry to focus on “our spiritual experience”. The collection is a delight and a surprise. The appearance…
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Posted in Comment

Far and near: some thoughts on the poetry of Bill Sewell, Brian Turner

Fair-minded people like to see others given their due. That has been my experience, although I’ve often wondered about just what percentage of such fair-mindeds there are, especially in literary circles. Most writers I know have a list of other…
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Posted in Comment, Obituaries

The gods gathering, John Dickson

Valparaiso Bob Orr Auckland University Press, $21.95, ISBN 1869402820 Human Scale Tony Beyer Sudden Valley Press, $16.95, ISBN 0958368481 The first time I read these two books, I read fast to find out whether I would want to read them…
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Posted in Literature, Poetry, Review

Editorial — Issue 57

Poetry reviewing and the art of dullness Reviewing poetry is hard, harder probably than any other kind of reviewing. With fiction, there are (usually) characters and a plot to provide a starting point. With history, ecology, or economics, there are…
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Posted in Editorial

Man in the dock, Lynley Hood

The Trials of Eric Mareo Charles Ferrall & Rebecca Ellis Victoria University Press, $29.95, ISBN 0864734328 Some crimes touch a collective nerve, trigger a collective outrage. The high-pitched intensity of the debate – the foam-flecked arguments, the inflammatory media stories,…
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Posted in History, Non-fiction, Review

Poem — Jessica Le Bas

driving back from Takaka she says I will have to get a tricky one this time cause you are a smarty-pants she looks out the window g for grass h for hills t for trees r for river I will…
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Posted in Poem

Holding the baby, Paula Boock

The Skeleton Woman: A Romance Renée Huia Publishers, $29.95, ISBN 1877283169 In a review of this, Renée’s fifth novel, the New Zealand Listener used the gratuitous headline “The one about the lesbian and the baby”. Shame on them. What it…
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Posted in Fiction, Literature, Review

Writing us up, Tom Brooking

Country of Writing: Travel Writing and New Zealand, 1809-1900 Lydia Wevers Victoria University Press, $39.95, ISBN 186940271S New Zealand’s extreme isolation has always made it 
attractive to travellers. As the most remote destination on the globe it has always held…
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Posted in History, Literature, Non-fiction, Review
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