The latest issue of broadsheet 30, November 2022, features the New Plymouth poet and teacher Tony Beyer and features a selection of unpublished poems.
Poets included are: Peter Bland, John Gallas, Piers Davies, Tim Saunders, Tim Jones, Vaughan Rapatahana, Alistair Paterson, Siobhan Harvey, Janet Charman, Annie Klier Newcomer, Ron Riddell, Michael Harlow, Jenny Powell, Gill Ward and Mark Young.
Editor Mark Pirie writes in the Preface:
“Tony Beyer was born in Auckland in 1948. He currently lives in New Plymouth where he has been a teacher. A prominent New Zealand poet since his inclusion in The Penguin Book of New Zealand Verse and in Oxford’s An Anthology of Twentieth Century New Zealand Poetry, he has continued to publish many collections.
I have known Beyer since the 1990s, when I was editing JAAM magazine, and published two of his collections with HeadworX: The Century in 1998 and his selected poems Dream Boat in 2007. Dream Boat was a large volume of his work and selected poetry from his collections up to the 2000s. Beyer also edited Poetry Aotearoa, a small journal that was an influence on broadsheet. It’s nice to be able to feature some more of his writing in broadsheet. He has gone on to be a finalist in the poetry category of the New Zealand Book Awards with his collection Anchor Stone from Cold Hub Press in 2017.
On the back cover of Anchor Stone, Beyer wrote:
As a New Zealander, I acknowledge that English-language literature in this part of the world is only a very few generations old. Its distinct flavour is the achievement of close but significant ancestors. There is always a place for the local voice and its traditions. It’s also a useful reminder of how new concepts of identity don’t always eclipse those of the past, often in fact strengthening them. This place and the ways we find to voice our belonging in it are at the core of valuing environmental existence. We also honour other cultures by having a culture of our own, however flawed or patchy.
This is a good comment on how Beyer sees poetry and culture.
His work featured here shows his distinctive style with lower case lines and stanzas and minimal punctuation. His easy conversational tone comes from the anecdotal storyteller tradition. The Oxford Companion to New Zealand Literature wrote:“Beyer’s language, always resourceful, at its best can have the bite of strangeness.”
I have invited a few other editors who have supported Beyer’s work over the years to appear alongside him. Michael Harlow edited his Caxton Press book The Singing Ground in the 1980s. Alistair Paterson published his work in Poetry NZ. Mark Young has been a consistent publisher of his poetry in Otoliths over the past decade.
The rest of the contributors are poets I invited who have been supporters of or past contributors to broadsheet. It’s great to see many of these voices again in this issue.
Mark Pirie, Wellington, November 2022″