broadsheet 18 features David Karena-Holmes

The latest issue of broadsheet, no.18, November 2016, features the Nelson-based poet David Karena-Holmes, author of the selection Genesis (Maungatua Press, 2011) and the long poem From the Antipodes.

The issue celebrates his long-term commitment to the writing of poetry.

Others included are: Nick Ascroft, Tony Beyer, Kay McKenzie Cooke, David Eggleton, Brentley Frazer, Rob Hack, Hugh Isdale, Peter Olds, Mark Pirie, Blair Reeve, Richard Reeve, Nicholas Reid, Michael Steven and MaryJane Thomson.

Editor Mark Pirie writes in the Preface:

“David Karena-Holmes (born 1938) first came to my attention when I was editing JAAM  7 with Kapka Kassabova in early 1997. I didn’t know at the time that David had been writing since c1949 and was well-known in Dunedin poetry circles. When Richard Reeve and Nick Ascroft founded Glottis  in 1998, David was one of the regular writers in their magazine. In 1999, I lived in Dunedin briefly to write my MA thesis at the University of Otago and met David at the Arc Café readings.

Much earlier, however, distinguished poet and critic James K Baxter had noted a young Dave Holmes in his 1967 lecture ‘Aspects of Poetry in New Zealand’.

I followed David’s work as a subscriber to Glottis and appreciated Richard Reeve’s important profiling of David’s work outside of more established literary channels. More recently David appeared in Richard Reeve’s edition of Landfall 212. In 2009, I included David myself in the anthology Voyagers that I co-edited with Tim Jones.

It’s nice to get the opportunity to feature David’s work in broadsheet. To my mind, David is an important New Zealand poet whose work should be more widely known and anthologized. His use of language is often muscular and striking and his wide reading knowledge shows in his philosophical and spiritual tendencies. His adherence to more traditional forms, revision and craft, and the longer poem as with other poets like Niel Wright b.1933 (who wrote the epic The Alexandrians) makes his work more unfashionable but no less important to more dominant contemporary styles and modes.

David’s poems included are from his limited edition book Genesis, a selection of his shorter, more lyrical poems, selected from many years of his writing-life. David is also the author of From the Antipodes, a long poem, and Maori-English grammar books.

As with other broadsheet features, I asked some of David’s friends to appear alongside him in honour of his work. Richard Reeve, Nick Ascroft, Blair Reeve, Peter Olds, David Eggleton, Kay McKenzie Cooke and Michael Steven answered the call.

broadsheet has never promoted an established or emerging group of New Zealand writers, and I am pleased to include new faces like Rob Hack and Hugh Isdale and welcome back Brentley Frazer from Australia and MaryJane Thomson of Wellington, who recently published her third book this year.

Mark Pirie, Wellington, November 2016”



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