broadsheet 28 features Jenny Powell

The latest issue of broadsheet 28, November 2021, features the Dunedin writer and poet Jenny Powell, and features a selection of bird and marine life poems.

Poets included are: Nick Ascroft, Jeanne Bernhardt, Kay McKenzie Cooke, David Eggleton, Michael Harlow, Roger Hickin, Carolyn McCurdie, Martha Morseth, James Norcilffe, Peter Olds, Michael O’Leary, Mark Pirie, Richard Reeve and Annie Villiers.

Editor Mark Pirie writes in the Preface:

“Jenny Powell (b.1960), an established Dunedin poet, writer and teacher, has a growing reputation nationally and overseas. An accomplished performer of her poetry, she has built a considerable oeuvre of poetry and prose since the 1990s.

Around 1996, I started corresponding with Powell via JAAM magazine and sought to collect her work. She had an original way of saying that stood out from the many submissions I received in those years and was a graduate of John Dolan’s writing class at the University of Otago. Our exchange culminated in Powell’s first collection Sweet Banana Wax Peppers being one of the first titles to be published by my publishing company HeadworX in 1998.

A prolific poet and collaborator with other writers, Powell has now published eight collections of her poetry (with HeadworX and Cold Hub Press respectively) and two collaborative poetry books with others, Double Jointed and Locating the Madonna. In 2016, Otago University Press published Powell’s first prose work The Case of the Missing Body. This year, she has published a new collection on the painter Rita Angus, Meeting Rita.

It’s great to continue our publishing connection of 23 years by featuring her work in broadsheet. Powell has chosen new work specially for the issue and has written a brief statement for her poetry presented here.

I began writing about birds for a display at the Dunedin Botanic Garden. During this time, a secondary school biology group participated in a science activity at a local lagoon. 12 swans were dead. Being tuned in to bird life (and now death), it was a poem waiting to be written. The school borders on a harbour inlet where Royal Spoonbills seasonally visit. They waded into a poem that was hatched during a day of staff development. Finally, conversation with a friend during a walk around the Leith River outlet to Otago Harbour prompted the longer poem, meandering, as in our walk, in shadows under bridges and lighter patterns on water, arriving at a new cycle overbridge. 

As with previous broadsheet features, I have worked with Powell to select some of her friends and editors to appear alongside her. It’s great to have many familiar faces back for this special issue. The Central Otago writer Annie Villiers (outside of the Powell feature) also appears in broadsheet for the first time with two prose poems.

Mark Pirie,

Wellington, November 2021″

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issue 28 of broadsheet is available now

broadsheet, no. 28, November 2021, featuring Jenny Powell, is available now.

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Elizabeth Smither’s poem ‘My American Chair’ included in Best New Zealand Poems 2020

Elizabeth Smither’s poem ‘My American Chair’ first published in broadsheet 25 (May 2020) was selected by editor David Eggleton for Best New Zealand Poems 2020, the annual online collection from the IIML (International Institute of Modern Letters). broadsheet is pleased to have first published this poem and congratulates Elizabeth on her inclusion.

See broadsheet 25 for Elizabeth’s poem and the rest of the issue. The poem was offered by Elizabeth specially for the Janet Charman feature issue.

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broadsheet 27 features Richard Berengarten (UK)

The latest issue of broadsheet 27, May 2021, features the distinguished UK poet Richard Berengarten, and features a selection of prose poems from a Work in Progress.

Poets included are: Michael Duffett 1943-2019 (USA), Basim Furat, John Gallas, Alex Jeune, Margaret Jeune, Michael O’Leary, Mark Pirie, Vivienne Plumb, Harry Ricketts, Marion Rego, Anthony Rudolf (UK), Madeleine Slavick, Bill Sutton and F W N (Niel) Wright.

Editor Mark Pirie writes in the Preface:

“Richard Berengarten was born in London in 1943. He is an English poet who has lived in Greece, Italy, former Yugoslavia and the USA. His latest book, Changing (2016), is a homage to the I Ching. A dedicated internationalist, he has published around 30 books and received numerous awards in the UK, Serbia and Macedonia. He lives in Cambridge, UK.

I met the poet Richard Berengarten on my UK visit to London and Cambridge in 2005. We were both published by the same publishing house Salt in England at the time and our publisher recommended I call by his place in Cambridge while I was passing through. Richard was very obliging at short notice and generous company. He has kept in touch since then and sent poems to the journals I have edited: JAAM in 2005 and later broadsheet.

Through his friendship with me, he has strong poetic links with New Zealand. Four chapbooks in his Manual series have been published by the Earl of Seacliff Art Workshop in Paekakariki. His poems have been translated into more than 100 languages, and Dr Michael O’Leary translated one of Richard’s poems ‘Volta’ into te reo Māori.

I asked Richard to send an intro to his prose poems I have selected here:     

I’ve written fair number of prose-poems over the years but have published few and have only thought of putting them together in the last eighteen months or so. The short pieces here come from a retrospective selection I’m planning. Coming across notes, drafts and snippets in old notebooks I find I’m surprised by things I find in them. Now and then I copy something out and feel it’s still as alive as if newly written, and time stops mattering as these old bits and pieces trigger new poems too. In my experience, the incipient prose-poem calls insistently for utterance in exactly the same way as a verse-poem does. The voice of either is always other. Some of the poems that appear here come straight out of dreams.

It is a pleasure to feature Richard’s prose poems for a New Zealand audience.

Elsewhere, I have invited a few of his friends Michael O’Leary, Anthony Rudolf, and the late Michael Duffett (through permission of his wife Debra Duffett) to appear alongside him. I am also pleased to welcome back some previous contributors to make this an eclectic and diverse sampling of current New Zealand poetry.

Mark Pirie, Wellington, May 2021″

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issue 27 of broadsheet is available now

broadsheet, no. 27, May 2021, featuring Richard Berengarten (UK), is available now.

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broadsheet 26 features Andrew Fagan

The latest issue of broadsheet 26, November 2020, features the Auckland singer/songwriter and poet Andrew Fagan, and includes 11 recent poems from his 2018 Spoken Word CD, it was always going to be like this, in print form for the first time.

Poets included are: Peter Bland, Mary Maringikura Campbell, Laura Chalar (Uruguay), Bill Direen, David Eggleton. Siobhan Harvey, Karyn Hay, Alex Jeune, Bill Manhire, Annie Newcomer (USA), Michael O’Leary, Alistair Paterson, Mark Pirie and Ron Riddell.

Editor Mark Pirie writes in the Preface:

“Andrew Fagan is a well-known singer and songwriter, an accomplished sailor, and a published author of poetry, a children’s book, and two non-fiction sailing memoirs. He continues to tour regularly around New Zealand with his band Fagan and The People and less frequently, about every two years, as frontman for The Mockers’ reunion concerts.

I have taken much interest in his song lyrics as poetry, as with other gifted lyricists like Neil Finn and Dave Dobbyn in New Zealand. I have written on his poetry for JAAM magazine previously and I still feel what I wrote in 2002 is applicable now:

Fagan’s poetry — eclectic and multi-faceted though it is — is very much a shape-shifter moving between the land in the rich Kiwi vein of such well-known poets as Denis Glover, James K Baxter, Hone Tuwhare, Allen Curnow, A R D Fairburn, and Alistair Campbell. As with these poets … Fagan possesses a keen interest in the land, its history and its inhabitants; he also possesses a sharp social wit and a good understanding of human relationships … Fagan is a distinctive new voice (in the performance mode of Sam Hunt, John Cooper Clarke, David Eggleton et al), and, in terms of discussing his work, I think it can best be divided up into three aspects. The first is ocean/landscape poems; the second is love/sex poems; and the third I have classified loosely as light verse/social commentary/political poems.

His poetry featured in broadsheet fits these categories, and comprises new poems taken from his 2018 poetry CD, It was always going to be like this. These newer pieces along with Fagan’s new album Act Normal show that he continues to build a significant body of poetry and lyrics.

As with previous features, in consultation with Andew Fagan, I have invited some contributors that have helped with Fagan’s poetry over the years, supporting, organizing or being involved with him in readings and events, such as Ron Riddell, Siobhan Harvey, Bill Manhire, Karyn Hay, Michael O’Leary and myself, along with fellow musician/writer Bill Direen and the performer and current Poet Laureate David Eggleton.

A few contributors to this issue are outside the feature or have recently published books through my publishing company HeadworX. I also  welcome back the much admired poets Peter Bland and Alistair Paterson.

Mark Pirie, Wellington, November 2020

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issue 26 of broadsheet is available now

broadsheet, no. 26, November 2020, featuring Andrew Fagan, is available now.

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broadsheet 25 features Janet Charman

The latest issue of broadsheet 25, May 2020, features Auckland poet and critic Janet Charman, a former NZ National Book Award for Poetry winner.

Other poets included are: Serie Barford, Richard Berengarten (UK), Walter Charman (1912-1991), Piers Davies, Belinda Diepenheim, Amanda Eason, Margaret Jeune, Helen Rickerby, Ila Selwyn, Elizabeth Smither, Kate Waterhouse, and F W N (Niel) Wright.

Editor Mark Pirie writes in the Preface:

“Janet Charman is one of New Zealand’s leading contemporary poets and feminist critics. She was associated with Spiral and New Women’s Press in Auckland in the 1980s. In 2008, Charman was awarded the New Zealand Book Award for Best Book of Poetry for Cold Snack.

I first came across Charman’s work in the 1990s as a young student. I had bought her collection Red Letter (AUP, 1992) from the Vic Books Centre. She had a bold, uncompromising and energetic voice, which I warmed to. I continued to follow her work over the years, and as general editor of JAAM magazine I published and reviewed Charman’s work. I have met her in Auckland, several times, once having the chance to visit her at her home in Avondale.

When I co-organised the Poetry Archive of New Zealand Aotearoa, with Dr Michael O’Leary and Dr Niel Wright, Janet Charman was among its supporters and sent us a copy of her father Walter Charman’s book, The White Schooner and Other Ventures, from 1973. It is lovingly printed and bound in suede leather.

Janet trained first as a nurse. She has also been a receptionist, and became a tutor in the English Department of Auckland University in the 1990s. In 1997 she was Writer in Residence there. She has had published eight collections of her poetry. In 2009 she took part in a literary residency in Hong Kong that featured in her latest collection, Surrender (2017). Her 2019 monograph ‘SMOKING: The Homoerotic Subtext of Man Alone’ is available as a free download at Genre Books. https://www.genrebooks.co.nz/ebooks/smoking.pdf

Critic Janet Wilson writes that Charman’s poetry ‘often dense, elliptical or complex in expression … displays considerable emotional range extending from sexual innuendo, to the erotic, to tenderness, or a playful wit.’ This comment certainly applies to her lively poetry in this issue.

It’s nice to be able to feature her work in broadsheet. As with other issues, I worked with Janet to invite some her close friends and fellow poets to be in the issue with her. Thanks to those who sent work in for it. This is what always makes broadsheet features so special. It’s also great to be able to include here a poem by Walter Charman alongside Janet.

A few contributors appear outside the feature such as Helen Rickerby, Richard Berengarten (UK), Margaret Jeune, and F W N (Niel) Wright.

Mark Pirie, Wellington, May 2020″

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issue 25 of broadsheet available now

broadsheet, no. 25, May 2020, featuring Janet Charman, is available now.

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broadsheet 24 features Nick Ascroft

The latest issue of broadsheet 24, November 2019, features Oamaru-born poet and writer Nick Ascroft, whose Dandy Bogan: Selected Poems was recently published in the UK. broadsheet recognises his significant input into New Zealand poetry since the mid-1990s, as an editor and supporter of local poets, particularly in the Otago and Wellington regions.

Other poets included are: Corin Black (1975-2012), Kay McKenzie Cooke, Michael Duffett (USA) (1943-2019), David Eggleton, David Karena-Holmes, Margaret Jeune, Mark Pirie, Jenny Powell, Blair Reeve, Richard Reeve, Laura Solomon (1974-2019), Eileen Van Trigt and CAJ Williams.

Editor Mark Pirie writes in his Preface:

“Recently a selection of New Zealand poet Nick Ascroft’s poetry was published in London by Boatwhistle Books and endorsed by Hugo Williams.

Ascroft was born in Oamaru and established himself as part of a younger generation of poets in the mid-1990s that included Richard Reeve, Corin Black, and others in Dunedin. Together they produced Glottis, a popular literary magazine that grew quickly, and took off nationally. These editors were also instrumental in encouraging and supporting others through regular readings like the Robbie Burns readings as well as recording poets for the Aotearoa New Zealand Poetry Sound Archive.

I first published and wrote to Nick Ascroft in 1996 when I was seeking work for my magazine JAAM (Just Another Art Movement). I had read Ascroft’s poems in Sport and they stood out, with their sureness of touch, irreverent humour and wit and linguistic word-play. I was also working on an anthology of (mostly) young New Zealand writing that would be published as The NeXt Wave in 1998 by Otago University Press.

Ascroft moved up to Wellington and continued Glottis briefly before heading overseas to the UK. He worked in editing jobs overseas, including for Bloomsbury. He returned to Wellington in the past decade where he has worked as an editor for a government department. He currently lives in Brooklyn with his wife, child and cat.

Besides four collections of poetry, Ascroft has been the co-Burns Fellow at Otago University and has edited the Otago Literary Review, Glottis, Landfall and Takahe, written on sports and music and produced the indoor football guide, How to Win at 5-a-side. A Science Fiction novel, As Long as Rain, appeared in 2018. Ascroft has a fifth collection of poems, Moral Sloth, due from VUP in November this year.

An interesting comment on the back of his selected poems says: “Ascroft’s poems display a familiarity with the furthest reaches of the Scrabble dictionary, and even somewhat beyond. This logophilia evinces a fascination not merely with language but with the workings of the human mind…Ascroft’s abiding concern is what it means to be human.” It’s a useful description of the poems I have included here.

As with previous features some of Nick’s friends appear in broadsheet: the late Corin Black, Kay McKenzie Cooke, David Eggleton, David Karena-Holmes, Jenny Powell, myself, Blair Reeve and Richard Reeve.

A few contributors are also included outside of the feature and broadsheet prints poems in memory of its two regular contributors Laura Solomon and Michael Duffett who passed away this year.

Mark Pirie

Wellington, November 2019”

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