Blog Archives

Then and now, Peter Ireland

Aberhart  Gregory O’Brien and Justin Paton (eds) Victoria University Press, $125.00,  ISBN 9780864735560 It’s given to few artists – in their lifetimes, at least – to be known simply by their surname. The great 20th century instance was Picasso, a

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Posted in Non-fiction, Photography and Review

So far, so George, Paula Boock

When She Became He: A Change for Good John Thorp Cape Catley, $27.99, ISBN 1877340073 When I worked as a publisher a well-worn line about New Zealand autobiographies was that only All Blacks and politicians could sell enough to make

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Posted in Gender, Memoir, Non-fiction and Review

Sounds like us, Harry Ricketts

Classic New Zealand Poets in Performance Jack Ross and Jan Kemp (eds) Auckland University Press, $45.00,  ISBN 9781869403676 Contemporary New Zealand Poets in Performance Jack Ross and Jan Kemp (eds) Auckland University Press, $45.00,  ISBN 9781869403959 Wordsworth had a Northern

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Posted in Literature, Poetry and Review

They are not alone, Margaret Beames

Margaret Beames outlines PEN International’s efforts on behalf of writers imprisoned for their work.  Thirty-nine-year-old journalist and poet Shi Tao is in prison. In November 2004 he was arrested without a warrant at his home in Taiyuan, northwest China, his

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Posted in Comment

Polishing a grubby art, Duncan Campbell

The Vertical Harp: Selected Poems of Li He Mike Johnson (retrans) Titus Books, $42.95, ISBN 9781877441035 By all accounts, the Chinese poet Li He, who died in 816 at the age of 26, was the oddest of the major poets

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Posted in Literature, Poetry and Review

Watering down debate, Simon Upton

The Water Thieves Sam Mahon Longacre Press, $34.99, ISBN 1877361518 New Zealand is a largely debate-free zone.  A couple of years ago, I co-authored an article on the Resource Management Act. Three of us – a partner in a national

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Posted in Memoir, Non-fiction and Review

Slurries of history, Hugh Roberts

The Year of Adverbs Elizabeth Smither Auckland University Press, $14.95,  ISBN 9781869403942  Just Poetry Alistair Te Ariki Campbell HeadworX, $19.99, ISBN 9780473124982 The Pop-up Book of Invasions Fiona Farrell Auckland University Press, $25.00,  ISBN 9781869403881 Villon in Millerton James Norcliffe

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Posted in Literature, Poetry and Review

On a wing and a prayer, Christine Johnston

How to Watch a Bird  Steve Braunias Awa Press, $24.99, ISBN 9780958262965 Steve Braunias is preaching to the converted in the case of this reviewer, who lives within cooee of native bush and shallow water. I can admire white-faced herons

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Posted in Natural History, Non-fiction and Review

Double jeopardy, Anne Else

Looking Back, Moving Forward: The Janus Women’s Convention 2005 Dale Williams (ed) The Janus Trust, price not available,  ISBN 095826452X Hands up all those who immediately switch off as soon as they see those tedious, ever-so-70s words “w—n” or “f—–sm”? 

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Posted in Gender, Non-fiction and Review

Acting out, Michael Nicolaidi

Nola Millar: A Theatrical Life Sarah Gaitanos Victoria University Press, $50.00,  ISBN 0864735375 Just Who Does He Think He Is?  George Webby Steele Roberts, $30.00, ISBN 1877338826 Once upon a time – 40 years ago – a convergence of forces

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Posted in Autobiography, Biography, Non-fiction and Review
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