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.

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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issue 24 of broadsheet available now

broadsheet, no. 24, November 2019, featuring Nick Ascroft, is available now.

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Bill Dacker’s translation of O Te Koru

Bill Dacker’s poem ‘O Te Koru’ appeared in issue 23 of broadsheet, May 2019.

I asked Bill to translate the final passage from the poem for readers. It is written in te reo Māori.

Bill kindly sent us this translation:

Kapiti hono, tatai hono, te hunga ora ki te hunga ora;
[bind the living to the living
kapiti hono, tatai hono te hunga mate ki te hunga mate.
bind the dead to the dead.]
Kia ora te wairua kaha, te tautoko a te hunga ora
[Hello the strong spirit, the support of the living
mo te hunga mate, te tautoko a te hunga mate
for the dead, the support of the dead
mo te hunga ora.
for the living]

Thanks to Bill for the fine translation of his poem ending.

Mark Pirie, editor, broadsheet



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broadsheet 23 features Margaret Jeune

The latest issue of broadsheet 23, May 2019, features Auckland-born poet Margaret Jeune, of Wellington. Jeune began writing in childhood and was first published in the Children’s page of The Evening Post. Since then her poetry has been widely represented in regional journals and anthologies. In 2019, HeadworX published two books of her poetry.

Other poets included are: Anita Arlov, Karen Peterson Butterworth, Tony Chad, Bill Dacker, Michael Duffett (USA), Brentley Frazer (Australia), Siobhan Harvey, Alex Jeune, Annie Newcomer (USA), Alistair Paterson, Mark Raffills, P V Reeves (1927-2019), Marion Rego, Bill Sutton and Gill Ward.

The editor Mark Pirie writes in his Preface:

“This issue’s featured poet is Margaret Jeune. Margaret Jeune (also known as Margaret June and Margaret Webb) was born in Auckland in 1956 and grew up in Wainuiomata in the Hutt Valley. She lived in Wellington from the late 1970s and moved up to Otaki on the Kapiti Coast in 1990 and from there to Levin in the Horowhenua in 1999. She returned to Wellington in 2017. She has a BA in Education and a Post Graduate Diploma in Teaching (Early Childhood). She works as an Early Childhood Teacher. Currently she works as a relief teacher for Whānau Manaaki Kindergartens.

Margaret has lived a varied work life that has involved many occupations, including serving on the Otaki Community Board, under the Kapiti Coast District Council, from 1996 to 2001. She also served on the Waiopehu College Board of Trustees from 2001 to 2004. In 2002 and 2005, she was the Alliance candidate for Otaki.

This year, my publishing company, HeadworX, produced two books of her poetry: the first Flight Paths contains some of her best poems from her middle writing period (late 1980s till now). The second book Upbeat features a selection of her early poetry 1969-1987.

As her work has remained outside of book publication till this year, I have decided to feature her work in broadsheet by giving an overview of her writing starting with some of her recent poems from Flight Paths and ending with some of her early poems from Upbeat. Her writing certainly deserves more exposure and a wider audience of readers.

Tony Chad writes that Margaret’s poetry contains “…good solid images of urban and rural New Zealand mixed with a quirky sense of humour.”

Her poetry was first published in the Children’s page of The Evening Post. Since then her poetry has been widely represented in regional journals and anthologies. She has also had her poetry published under the name of “M.A. June”.

As with previous broadsheet features, some of her writing friends appear here alongside her: Marion Rego, Gill Ward, Tony Chad (publisher of Margaret’s poems in Valley Micropress 1997-2018), the late P V Reeves, and Karen Peterson Butterworth; and also Margaret’s son Alex Jeune.

A few poets outside of the feature appear again in broadsheet. I welcome back Anita Arlov, Siobhan Harvey, Alistair Paterson, Bill Sutton, Michael Duffett (USA), Brentley Frazer (Australia) and Annie Newcomer (USA).  Mark Raffills appears in broadsheet for the first time.

Mark Pirie,
Wellington, May 2019


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issue 23 of broadsheet available now

broadsheet, no. 23, May 2019, featuring Margaret Jeune, is available now.


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broadsheet 22 features Jeanne Bernhardt

The latest issue of broadsheet 22, November 2018, features the contemporary New Zealand author Jeanne Bernhardt, of Otago. Bernhardt has published seven collections of poetry and prose, and is the recipient of the Louis Johnson New Writer’s Bursary from Creative NZ in 1997 and the Earl of Seacliff Poetry Prize in 2016.

Poets included are: Sandra Bell, Jill Chan (1973-2018), Kay McKenzie Cooke, Michael Duffett (USA), David Eggleton, Bernadette Hall, Peter Olds, Michael O’Leary, Mark Pirie, Jenny Powell, Richard Reeve, Damian Ruth, and Laura Solomon.

The editor Mark Pirie writes in his Preface:

“Jeanne Bernhardt (b.1961), a contemporary New Zealand writer, has published seven books of poetry and prose, and has travelled extensively, working both in New Zealand and overseas. In 1997 she was awarded the Louis Johnson New Writer’s Bursary from Creative NZ and in 2016 she received the Earl of Seacliff Poetry Prize. Since her emergence in the Dunedin pub scene of the 1980s, she has forged a determined path staying true to her art. Early work of hers appears in Critic, Parallax and on a Dunedin poetry cassette directed by Luke Hurley. Hone Tuwhare was an early appreciator at the Cook pub readings.

I first read her work in the mid-1990s in the Dunedin Radio One newspaper, which I read as a night shift DJ at Radio Active in Wellington. Jeanne’s poems like ‘Fast & Slow’ and ‘th sex taste’ stood out, and I was at the time founding/co-editing JAAM magazine and also putting together The NeXt Wave, a collection of (mostly) younger Aotearoa/New Zealand writers. She also appeared in Takahe and Poetry NZ during the ‘90s and self-published the poem “Dereliction” and the book Vorare Lacuna (1996), an image/text collaborative work with a number of Dunedin artists.

Jeanne continued to feature in JAAM and Takahe magazines over the next decade as well as publishing two books with my small press HeadworX: baby is this wonderland? (1999) and The Snow Poems/your self of lost ground (2002). She left New Zealand for the States, and then returned to publish a series of well-received books: The Deaf Man’s Chorus (poetry, ESAW), Wood (short prose), 26 Poems and Fast Down Turk (a novel). These latter three were with Dean Havard’s hand-printed Kilmog Press.

Jeanne, a wholly individual artist, has long been admired by friends and writers in the Otago literary community. As a long-standing supporter, it gives me pleasure to feature her in broadsheet. Her writing is innovative, not afraid to take risks, and is energetic and highly charged.

Jeanne’s work in this issue is gathered together like small, polished stones, heartfelt and sinewy. Minimalist in technique, emotionally tense and highly personal, they are finely wrought and beautifully constructed.

As with previous broadsheet issues, some of Jeanne’s writing friends and editors appear here alongside her: Kay McKenzie Cooke, Michael O’Leary, Sandra Bell, Peter Olds, Jenny Powell, Richard Reeve, Bernadette Hall, David Eggleton, and myself.

A couple of poets like Damian Ruth, the late Jill Chan,  Laura Solomon, and Michael Duffett (USA) also appear in broadsheet outside of the main feature.

Mark Pirie
Wellington, November 2018


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issue 22 of broadsheet available now

broadsheet, no. 22, November 2018, featuring Jeanne Bernhardt, is available now.


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