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”

broadsheet 17 cov

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Issue 17 of broadsheet available now

broadsheet, no. 17, May 2016, featuring the poetry of Michael Duffett (USA/UK), is available now.

broadsheet 17 cov

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The Night Press publishes netball poems

A small hand-stitched book of netball poems, 12 Netball Poems, has been published by The Night Press, Wellington, New Zealand.

The book by The Night Press editor Mark Pirie features poems on the Silver Ferns (Sandra Edge, Maria Tutaia, Casey Kopua, Laura Langman and Leilani Read), the Netball World Cup 2015 and children’s netball poems.

It is dedicated to Pirie’s mother who played and enjoyed the game.

The book’s title “12 Netball Poems” implies the number of players chosen in a netball squad (7 on court, and 5 replacements on the bench).

Some of the poems, written between 2012 and 2015, have been published in Valley Micropress and The Wellingtonian newspaper.

An addenda by Napier poet Bill Sutton comes in the form of a poem on Irene van Dyk, also reprinted from The Wellingtonian newspaper.

The book is printed in a limited edition and is made available for wider distribution as a free ebook from the author’s website ( and The Night Press website (see Other Publications).

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broadsheet 16 features Stephen Oliver

The latest issue of broadsheet, no.16, November 2015, features the Australasian poet Stephen Oliver. The issue is in honour of his significant contribution to transtasman poetry and features a mix of published and unpublished work.

Others included are: Pavel Arsenev (Russia), Roger Hickin, Peter Olds, Alistair Paterson, Mark Pirie, Patricia Prime, Nicholas Reid, Laura Solomon, Nicole Sprague (USA), Michael Steven, Bill Sutton and MaryJane Thomson.

Editor Mark Pirie writes in his Preface:

“Stephen Oliver is a leading transtasman poet. A true antipodean, he was born in 1950 and grew up in Brooklyn-west, Wellington. He left New Zealand in the 1980s and spent 20 years living in Australia after extensive travel (North America to the Mediterranean and Israel). He now resides in Hamilton, New Zealand, after returning around a decade ago.
Throughout his working life he has free-lanced as a production voice, narrator, newsreader, radio producer, columnist, copy and feature writer. In Israel he ‘signed on with the radio ship The Voice of Peace broadcasting in the Mediterranean out of Jaffa’.
Gifted with an oratorical voice and equally gifted with the qualities of true and genuine poetry, Oliver is a poet I’ve admired for two decades. I have published two collections of his 17 titles: Unmanned (1999) and the major retrospective Night of Warehouses (2001). Stephen in return mentored me and assisted my journal publication.
Stephen has an artist’s eye for elegant and handsome presentation, which informs his poetry, with its carefully chiseled and sculpted imagery and line structure. Recently Michael Morrissey considered Stephen was now ‘our greatest living New Zealand poet’ and worthy of Nobel candidature.
A close reading of the poetry of Derek Walcott (1992 Nobel Prize for Literature) supports Morrissey’s view. Walcott’s poetry has common principles in tune with Oliver’s poetry. Walcott, a modern oracle, essentially lyrical and narrative, ranging over forms between free verse and traditional rhyme and metrics, has much that favourably compares with Oliver’s oeuvre.
Both are exponents of the longer poem and also have written lighter verse. Oliver’s work has been translated into German, Spanish, Chinese, Dutch and Russian and has gained international attention.
It’s appropriate then that this issue is in honour of Stephen’s life-long commitment to poetry in his 65th year and his contribution to transtasman poetry, evidenced most tellingly in his recent long poem Intercolonial, one of the finest transtasman poems of the new millennium, in line with Walcott’s Omeros.
Working with Stephen I’ve invited a number of his friends and contacts to be in this special tribute issue. Thanks to those who readily sent in their work and shared in my aim of celebrating Stephen’s contribution—a major, Australasian poet.
A few poets here are contributors outside the feature: Laura Solomon, MaryJane Thomson and Bill Sutton, and represent broadsheet’s continuing diversity and commitment to new New Zealand poetry.

Mark Pirie
Wellington, November 2015″

b16 cover

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