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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