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broadsheet 20 features Ken Bolton (Australia)

The latest issue of broadsheet, No. 20, November 2017, features the Australian poet and art critic Ken Bolton, who has had influence on contemporary New Zealand poetry since 1996. The issue celebrates his work and includes poets with a lasting connection with Ken Bolton, both in New Zealand and in Australia.

Poets included are: Pam Brown (Australia), Jenny Bornholdt, Laurie Duggan (Australia/UK), Michael Farrell (Australia), John Forbes (Australia), Dinah Hawken, Cath Kenneally (Australia), Gregory O’Brien (Australia), Ella O’Keefe (Australia), Michael O’Leary, Mark Pirie, Dominic Symes (Australia) and Tim Wright (Australia).

Editor Mark Pirie writes in the Preface:

“Ken Bolton, the well known Australian poet and art critic, has had influence on contemporary New Zealand poetry since 1996. That year, through the recommendation of Gregory O’Brien, he was invited along with his partner, Adelaide poet/broadcaster/novelist Cath Kenneally, to appear as guests at the New Zealand International Festival of the Arts in Wellington. His readings were impressive. My father and I were in the audience then and we were gripped by his early, evocative and painterly inner city poems of the 1970s.

I went away from that reading purchasing his Selected Poems (Penguin Books) and collecting his other books via personal correspondence and wrote several early poems mimicking Ken’s style, such as Two Poems – An Impression of the Sea (ESAW, 2004) first published by Jack Ross in brief. Ken was certainly a good guide in my formative years of writing poetry.

Ken Bolton visited again to read at Wellington venues in 2006. A St Peter’s Hall, Paekakariki, reading included myself, Ken, Cath Kenneally and Dinah Hawken. Michael O’Leary was the MC that day, who had earlier met with Ken in 1996 with Iain Sharp and had published a mini book of Ken Bolton’s poetry that year in the ESAW Mini Series.

It’s nice to welcome Ken back by featuring him in a New Zealand journal. As with previous issues of broadsheet, I have invited and included work by poets that have formed lasting connections with Ken both in Australia and across the Tasman. Ken, also a small press publisher/editor (Otis Rush magazine, Little Esther Books and other imprints) has published Gregory O’Brien and other New Zealand poets in Australia and contributed an Australian poetry selection to my former magazine JAAM, No. 10 (1998) that included the two poems here by his late friend, John Forbes.

Ken recently retired from the Experimental Art Foundation and bookshop in Adelaide where he worked for many years. His musical interests such as jazz and blues music are reflected in my poem tribute.

Thanks to all those who sent in contributions and supported my idea of a special Ken Bolton issue in recognition of his influence on and goodwill towards New Zealand poetry from abroad.

Mark Pirie
Wellington, November 2017”

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issue 20 of broadsheet available now

broadsheet, no. 20, November 2017, featuring Ken Bolton (Australia), is available now.

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broadsheet 19 features Peter Bland

The latest issue of broadsheet, no.19, May 2017, features the major New Zealand poet Peter Bland, recipient of the 2011 New Zealand Prime Minister’s Award for Poetry.

The issue includes tributes by friends and colleagues and celebrates his contribution to New Zealand poetry.

Others included are: Fleur Adcock, Gordon Challis, Glenn Colquhoun, Marilyn Duckworth, Riemke Ensing, Michael Harlow, Kevin Ireland, Louis Johnson, Kapka Kassabova, Bob Orr, Vincent O’Sullivan, A G Pettet (Australia), Gus Simonovic, Elizabeth Smither, C K Stead.

Editor Mark Pirie writes in the Preface:

“Peter Bland (actor/writer) is one of the major New Zealand poets, and the recipient of the Prime Minister’s Award for Poetry in 2011. He was first known to me as an actor in Came a Hot Friday (1985) with comedian Billy T James, which I saw as a teenager. His poetry I discovered at age 19, when reading through an anthology in my father’s library: Recent Poetry in New Zealand (1965). The poets in this selection certainly interested me in writing poetry myself. James K Baxter, Louis Johnson, Fleur Adcock, Peter Bland, Alistair Campbell, Kendrick Smithyman, Gordon Challis and C K Stead were firm favourites. Peter’s lively poems of anger and experience spoke to me, with a suburban and domestic outlook, accessible and well crafted. Poems like ‘Death of a Dog’ live with me still.

I never expected to be featuring/publishing Peter, 20 something years on from first reading him, let alone some of the poets he has invited to be in this issue with him, who I first read in that above-mentioned anthology. It’s nice to make this issue a tribute to Peter’s poetry and contribution to our literature.

Peter has kindly sent a brief note as an introduction:

I’ve been writing poetry for over 60 years, so I’ve lived through all sorts of literary fashions and arguments that, at the time, seemed absolutely necessary to encounter, and probably were, particularly in terms of belonging, where the here-and-now of lived experience is the active field for all sorts of poetic possibilities, and is as open to the wayfarer as it is to the tribal chief, though both will inhabit it differently. But literary theories are nothing more than stimuli, and valuable as these are the origins of poetry are more elemental, primal, even sacred, than that. The Argentinian poet Borges admits that there’s a need among poets ‘to be familiar with the renowned uncertainties of metaphysics,’ but only in order to make the best use of staying open to experience, and ‘to help pass on what we don’t know as much as what we do.’ The sources of poetry are as ancient as cave paintings and the modern poet still has to have something of the shaman left in him in order to be able to indulge in a little cave talk and to commune alone with the deeper sources of his imagination.

Thanks to those who contributed to Peter’s issue and shared my feelings for celebrating his impressive oeuvre in New Zealand poetry.

A few poets outside the feature are included: A G Pettet from Brisbane, an editor of the international Bareknuckle Poet series, and Gus Simonovic from Auckland, an innovative entrepreneur, publisher and poet.

Mark Pirie, Wellington, May 2017″

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issue 19 of broadsheet available now

broadsheet, no. 19, May 2017, featuring the poetry of Peter Bland, is available now.

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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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issue 18 of broadsheet available now

broadsheet, no. 18, November 2016, featuring the poetry of David Karena-Holmes, is available now.

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broadsheet 17 features Michael Duffett

The latest issue of broadsheet, no.17, May 2016, features the American-based British poet Michael Duffett, currently Associate Professor of English at San Joaquin Delta College in California.

The issue is the first journal to feature his poetry in New Zealand.

Others included are: Richard Berengarten (UK), William Direen, Jeanne Bernhardt, Anthony Rudolf (UK), Noeline Gannaway, Richard Reeve, Gary Mutton, Jeremy Roberts, Basim Furat (Sudan), Michael O’Leary, Vaughan Rapatahana, Cameron La Follette (USA), and David P Reiter (Australia).

Editor Mark Pirie writes in the Preface:

“Michael Duffett is British, now resident in Stockton, California, where he currently teaches as Associate Professor of English at San Joaquin Delta College. He has lived and travelled abroad in Saudi Arabia, Japan, the Aegean island of Paros, and Hawaii before entering North American colleges to teach and lecture. He has a New Zealand connection, and in 1979 was invited by Frank McKay to give a series of lectures on Graham Greene – his speciality at the time being prose. He met a number of leading New Zealand poets and writers during his visit. Later, he developed his poetry side and had published the well-regarded collection Forever Avenue (1987) in California. His play, Mountain, was produced on NPR. He has also done some acting work, including the final episodes of Magnum PI as Victor Goetz, ‘the crazy German auto mechanic ([Duffett’s] specialty is foreign accents!).’

In 2008, when I produced the first issue of broadsheet, Duffett came into contact with me through a mutual friend Richard Berengarten. Both poets were educated at Cambridge University, where they edited/founded Carcanet, and are long-term friends. Duffett has contributed to several issues of broadsheet, and I thought it would be nice to feature his work.

Duffett’s recent poetry, mostly composed in sonnet form, concerns domestic and family matters, political and social observation, and wide reading in philosophy, art, literature, and history. His eclectic concerns make his work eminently readable to a wide audience without sacrificing skill, craft and technique. Duffett, to use a well-worn phrase, is ‘a poet’s poet’.

His collection Forever Avenue featured a wide variety of techniques and forms: iambic pentameter from Marlowe and Milton, rhyming couplets from Chaucer and Spenserian stanzas. One critic, Andrew Rawlinson, called it “A twentieth-century ‘Lyrical Ballads’ about technological Californian society.’ An earlier collection Evolution: A Japanese Journal (1974) comprised mainly shorter imagist poems and forms (haiku/senryu) à la Pound, Williams and Asian poets.

Readers in New Zealand now have the chance to read a larger portion of his recent poetry and to see the impressive knowledge and intellectual acumen present in his work.

Mark Pirie,
Wellington, May 2016”

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