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Poetry NZ Yearbook 2020


FRONT COVER:


Design by Jo Bailey /
Typesetting by Megan van Staden




Poetry NZ Yearbook 2020
Editor: Johanna Emeney

ISBN 978-0-9951229-3-2. 360 pp.

Auckland: Massey University Press, March 2020



TITLE PAGE:





CONTENTS:

    Editorial:
  1. Johanna Emeney / How the poems choose you / 10

  2. Featured Poet:
  3. essa may ranapiri / 12

    • Haunt / Hunt

    • poetry under capitalism / 14
    • my dream of a nonbinary prison / 15
    • that flaming brand / 17
    • the world is in death swings / 18
    • a cold sting / 19
    • by the grace of god / 20
    • swimming / 21
    • intimacy / 22
    • it is what these words tell me daily
      it is what they need from me that hurts the most
      / 23
    • you tried to kill yourself / 24
    • my tupuna / jesus of nazareth / 26
    • Boulder/Meteor / 28
    • the carpenter / 29
    • in the shade / 30
    • took their solitary way / 31
    • Modern-day Poi / 32
    • General Electric as an All-Powerful Immortal Being / 33
    • the end of Hawaiki / 35
    • Headline / 38
    • borrowed blue pale dead / 39
    • out/or not out / 40
    • Restless Land (afer Dinah Moengarangi Rawiri's 'The Resting Islands') / 41
    • loveletterunderdarkness / 42

  4. Johanna Emeney / An interview with essa may ranapiri / 45


  5. New Poems:
    Into the water

  6. Michael Spring / into the water / 54
  7. John Allison / Why we fish / 55
  8. Fardowsa Mohamed / The absurdity of fleeing / 56
  9. Marisa Cappetta / Boat children / 57
  10. Peter Clague / cut by water / 58
  11. Bryan Walpert / In the lull / 59
  12. John Howell / Shibboleth / 60
  13. Jeni Curtis / talking of goldfish / 61
  14. Marisa Cappetta / Six offices of a monk seal / 62
  15. Jessica Le Bas / The Reef, Mangaia / 64
  16. Bob Orr / Logbook / 65
  17. Kevin Ireland / The Literary Coast / 66
  18. Elizabeth Nannestead / Rain / 67
  19. Bryan Walpert / Experiments Touching Cold (3) / 70
  20. Alison Denham / Iron Bridge, Buller Gorge / 72
  21. Anne Kennedy / Two Waters / 73

  22. Encounter

  23. Michael Hall / Encounter / 76
  24. Fardowsa Mohamed / Tuesday / 77
  25. Emma Neale / White Noise / 78
  26. Robert Sullivan / Rock Art / 80
  27. Hana Tawhai / Māori is my Name: A poem for my father. / 81
  28. John Allison / Crows (slightly gothic) in Croydon / 87
  29. Chris Tse / Ghost poem #1 - Exciting new trends in necromancy / 88
  30. - / Ghost poem #2 - Identity crises / 89
  31. Rosetta Allan / Opening night with Dracula / 91
  32. Meagan France / 6 Laburnham Street / 93
  33. Tracey Slaughter / The light in hotels looks forward to welcoming you again soon / 94
  34. Emma Neale / Swerve / 96
  35. C. K. Stead / An encounter in Belsize Park Gardens / 98
  36. Chelsea Houghton / Home Video / 99
  37. Elizabeth Smither / Cilla, writing / 100
  38. Karen Zelas / Decline & Fall / 101
  39. Sue Wootton / Station / 102
  40. Emma Harris / Ward / 103

  41. I will take natural orders

  42. Peter Clague / prayer of convalescence / 106
  43. Sarah Penwarden / Canopies / 107
  44. David Eggleton / Muriwai, Te Henga, Anawhata, Piha, Karekare / 108
  45. Chris Holdaway / Albany / 109
  46. Ben Evans / Leaving the Old Slaughterhouse, Hector / 110
  47. C. K. Stead / Goats / 112
  48. Jack Ross / Zero is lying down today / 115
  49. Cindy Botha / Some days I want to un-bury my dead dog / 117
  50. Elizabeth Morton / We go down together / 118
  51. Peter Clague / navigation / 119
  52. Joanna Preston / Clemency / 120
  53. Robin Peace / On being asked to speak as an 'emerging' 'queer' 'poet' / 123
  54. Amanda Hunt / Galilee / 126
  55. Iain Britton / Holy Relic / 128
  56. Owen Bullock / sustainability quiz / 129
  57. Elizabeth Morton / Road trip with my adolescent self / 130
  58. Vaughan Rapatahana / mō ōtautahi / 131

  59. No hay remedio

  60. Sue Wootton / No hay remedio / 134
  61. Anuja Mitra / Waiting Room / 136
  62. Rachel J. Fenton / Green Lane / 138
  63. Cindy Botha / Superman / 139
  64. Susan Jacobs / In the Rest Home / 140
  65. Meagan France / Evening Star / 142
  66. Henry Ludbrook / The Dog Days are Over Now / 143
  67. Ivy Alvarez / Sumásala sa oras / 145
  68. Jane Simpson / Seeing silence for the first time / 146
  69. Sue Wootton / Anatomy / 147
  70. Ivy Alvarez / Sumugbá sa ningas / 148
  71. Jennifer Compton / my own sad, ordinary, ugly human grief / 149
  72. Gregory Kan / I wanted what happened to be something ... / 150
  73. - / I tell myself it's okay to just sit here ... / 151
  74. Leola Meynell / Lena / 152
  75. Doc Drumheller / The Alchemist / 153

  76. Other side up

  77. Ruth Arnison / Other Side Up / 156
  78. Robert Sullivan / Conservation / 157
  79. Johanna Aitchison / The girl with the coke can / 158
  80. Eric Paul Shaffer / Surviving the Ballistic Missile Warning, on the Windward Side / 159
  81. Stu Bagby / Go, boys and girls / 160
  82. Jordan Hamel / Tammy the Briscoes lady plans my funeral / 161
  83. Tim Saunders / How to Talk to Death if You Meet Him at a Party / 163
  84. Helen Lehndorf / Did you get my message? / 165
  85. Jack Ross / Are Kiwi women / 167
  86. Freda Morgan / Body Image / 168
  87. Aidan Coleman / Late / 169
  88. Ruth Arnison / En route to the city / 170
  89. Robert Sullivan / Steam / 171
  90. Laura Williamson / All leave is cancelled / 172
  91. Elizabeth Smither / Ruby's seventh birthday / 173

  92. Remember to understand love

  93. Tim Saunders / (Hills) / 176
  94. Hamish Ansley / Gate 2B / 177
  95. Vaughan Rapatahana / ki te tūāraki / up north / 178
  96. Britt Scott Clark / Zane / 180
  97. Dani Yourukova / I don't know how to talk to you so I wrote this poem instead / 181
  98. Semira Davis / Punkrock_lord & the maps to I_am_105mm / 183
  99. Courtney Sina Meredith / Magellanic Clouds / 185
  100. Ivy Alvarez / Walâng taínga / 186
  101. Rebecca Ruth Gould / On Loving Two Men / 187
  102. Art Nahill / Signs / 189
  103. Chris Tse / Brightest first / 190
  104. Elizabeth Smither / Ruby at her father's 47th birthday / 191
  105. Jeni Curtis / you used to hold my hand / 192
  106. Rebecca Ruth Gould / Muslim Prayers / 193
  107. Leola Meynell / Comet's glow / 195
  108. C. K. Stead / A Kevinish Poem for Kevin / 196
  109. Anuja Mitra / To You, In Late July / 197
  110. Wes Lee / Therapy / 198

  111. Competitions:
  112. Poetry New Zealand Poetry Prize
      First prize:
    • Lynn Davidson / For my parents / 200
    • Second prize:
    • Janet Newman / Drenching / 202
    • Third prize:
    • Michael Hall / Fencing / 203
    • Highly Commended:
    • Paula Harris / The first 146 minutes of knowing Rawiri / 204
  113. Poetry New Zealand Yearbook student poetry competition
      First prize (Year 11):
    • Poppy Hayward / ABCDEFGHIJKLMNOPQRSTUVWXYZ / 207
    • Joint First prize (Year 12):
    • E Wen Wong / Boston Building Blocks / 208
    • Annabelle Fen / October / 209
    • First prize (Year 13):
    • Phoebe Robertson / She is / 210

  114. Essays:
  115. Michael Hanne / Six New Zealand doctor-poets / 212
  116. Maria Yeonhee Ji / The hard and the holy: poetry for times of trauma and crisis / 224
  117. Sarah Laing / Jealous of Youth / 232
  118. Helen Rickerby / Boundaries are where connections happen: Some thoughts about essaying poetry / 237
  119. Roger Steele / On publishing poetry / 249

  120. Reviews:
  121. Bronwyn Lloyd / Heather Bauchop / 256
    • Heather Bauchop. Remembering a Place I’ve Never Been: The Past in Three Voices. ISBN 978-0-473-45367-1. Lyttelton: Cold Hub Press, 2018. RRP $30.00. 100 pp.
  122. Johanna Emeney / Jenny Bornholdt / 260
    • Jenny Bornholdt. Lost and Somewhere Else. Wellington: Victoria University Press, 2019. RRP $25.00. 75 pp.
  123. Matthew Harris / Janet Charman / 263
    • Janet Charman. 仁 surrender. ISBN 978-1-98-853110-6. Dunedin: Otago University Press, 2017. RRP $27.50. 118 pp.
  124. Allan Drew / Nicola Easthope / 266
    • Nicola Easthope. Working the tang. ISBN 978-0-9951107-2-4. Wellington: The Cuba Press, 2018. RRP $25.00. 88 pp.
  125. Elizabeth Kirkby-McLeod / Murray Edmond / 269
    • Murray Edmond. Back Before You Know. Auckland: Compound Press, 2019. RRP $20.00. 74 pp.
  126. Iain Sharp / John Geraets / 272
    • John Geraets. Everything's Something in Place: Writings 1980-2015. Auckland: Titus Books, 2019. RRP $42.00. 326 pp.
  127. Matthew Harris / Alison Glenny / 275
    • Alison Glenny. The Farewell Tourist. ISBN 978-1-98-853129-8. Dunedin: Otago University Press, 2018. RRP $27.50. 112 pp.
  128. Ted Jenner / Michael Harlow / 278
    • Michael Harlow. The Moon in a Bowl of Water. ISBN 978-1-98-853129-8. Dunedin: Otago University Press, 2019. RRP $27.50. 80 pp.
  129. Emma Shi / Saradha Koirala / 282
    • Saradha Koirala. Photos of the Sky. ISBN 978-0-9951107-4-8. Wellington: The Cuba Press, 2018. RRP $25.00. 58 pp.
  130. Elisabeth Kumar / Wes Lee / 285
    • Wes Lee. Body, Remember. ISBN 978-1-911335-54-2. Lorgnette Pamphlet Series. London: Eyewhere Publishing, 2017. RRP £6.00. 34 pp.
  131. Emma Shi / Owen Leeming / 288
    • Owen Leeming. Through Your Eyes: Poems Early and Late. ISBN 978-0-473-44419-8. Lyttelton: Cold Hub Press, 2018. RRP $19.95. 50 pp.
  132. Liz Breslin / Mary McCallum / 291
    • Mary McCallum. XYZ of Happiness. ISBN 978-0-9951092-2-3. Submarine. Wellington: Mākaro Press, 2018. RRP $25.00. 68 pp.
  133. Liz Breslin / Robert McLean / 296
    • Robert McLean. Figure & Ground. ISBN 978-0-473-45084-7. Lyttelton: Cold Hub Press, 2018. RRP $19.95. 52 pp.
  134. Jack Ross / Cilla McQueen / 300
    • Cilla McQueen. Poeta: selected and new poems. ISBN 978-1-98-853128-1. Dunedin: Otago University Press, 2018. RRP $39.95. 296 pp.
  135. Allan Drew / Michael Morrissey / 304
    • Michael Morrissey. Poems from Hotel Middlemore. ISBN 978-0-473-43853-1. Lyttelton: Cold Hub Press, 2018. RRP $19.50. 38 pp.
  136. Elisabeth Kumar / Robin Peace / 307
    • Robin Peace. A Passage of Yellow Red Birds. ISBN 978-0-9951092-6-1. Submarine. Wellington: Mākaro Press, 2018. RRP $25.00. 80 pp.
  137. Johanna Emeney / essa may ranapiri / 309
    • essa may ranapiri. ransack. Wellington: Victoria University Press, 2019. RRP $25.00. 96 pp.
  138. Iain Sharp / Vaughan Rapatahana / 313
    • Vaughan Rapatahana, ed. Ngā Kupu Waikato: An Anthology of Waikato Poetry. Hamilton: Waikato Press, 2019. RRP $15.00. 96 pp.
  139. Elizabeth Morton / Eleanor Rimoldi / 316
    • Eleanor Rimoldi. American Retrospective: Poems 1961-2016. ISBN 978-0-473-42208-0. Wellington: Hicksville Press, 2018. RRP $25.00. 56 pp.
  140. Helen Heath / Tracey Slaughter - Lynn Davidson / 319
    • Tracey Slaughter. Conventional Weapons. Wellington: Victoria University Press, 2019. RRP $25.00. 95 pp.
    • Lynn Davidson. Islander. Wellington: Victoria University Press, 2019. RRP $25.00. 80 pp.
  141. Elizabeth Morton / Rachel Tobin / 324
    • Rachel Tobin. Say it Naked. ISBN 978-0-9951092-5-4. Submarine. Wellington: Mākaro Press, 2018. RRP $25.00. 86 pp.
  142. Elisabeth Kumar / Kirsten Warner / 327
    • Kirsten Warner. Mitochondrial Eve. ISBN 978-0-9941123-4-7. Auckland: Compound Press, 2018. RRP $15.00. 20 pp.
  143. Jack Ross / Pat White / 330
    • Pat White. Watching for the Wingbeat: New and Selected Poems. ISBN 978-0-473-44420-4. Lyttelton: Cold Hub Press, 2018. RRP $39.95. 164 pp.

  144. About the Contributors / 335

    About Poetry New Zealand / 355

    Index of new poems / 358


EDITORIAL:
How the poems choose you


It is wonderful to be chosen by poems, and the very opposite of trying to choose poems. Choosing poems is hard work — it feels like rifling through perfectly serviceable clothes from a stockier, taller cousin. Being chosen by poems, however, is like winning a voucher from your favourite shop and being dressed by one of its very genial and talented personal assistants. The poems that choose you are must-have items.

Poems choose you when they howl without any sort of dissembling — and yet a howl is not necessary. Pain is not even a prerequisite. However, sincerity is integral to a poem’s ability to single you out as its guardian. Any sign of fraudulence, and it’s all off. When a poem says ‘but motherfucker’ to you in entreaty or complaint, it better not be playing around — see essa may ranapiri’s ‘my dream of a nonbinary prison’ for an example.

A poem chooses you the moment it takes you by surprise. To be clear, this cannot be any old surprise. It must have the qualities of what President Oprah Winfrey calls the ‘A-ha moment’ — a sudden insight which causes the pulse to quicken and galvanic skin temperature to rise. A poem like this is no riddle; it is a messenger imparting a truth about what it is to be human in the world. In fact, it probably touches on something you have already felt or secretly known, but never quite been able to admit.

Some poems don’t need electrodes to test your bodily response. Paula Harris’s poem brought me to tears on first reading. And second. Interestingly, it has some very humorous lines as well as some that agitate the lacrimal glands, and I am always in awe of poets who can produce this sort of work — poetry that blends fresh, funny lines with lines that expose the abject difficulty of being alive. It’s the sort of comedy–pathos amalgam that Jimmy Perry and David Croft achieved in Dad’s Army, Larry Gelbart achieved in M*A*S*H, and Ricky Gervais and Stephen Merchant achieved in The Office. Although they were working with made-up characters, and surely, by now, everybody knows that the poet is the ‘I’ of the poem. Wink emoji.

Because I am editing and not writing the poetry in this journal, I feel free to say: ‘Poems that choose you are like mille-feuilles — thoughtfully assembled and subtly layered’, which is a simply dreadful simile, but very true in terms of the type of poems I am describing. Whether those layers come by way of diction, imagery, mood or nuance, it doesn’t matter, but if you can’t get a few readings out of a poem because it’s a one-trick cupcake, then you’re wasting your time. Michael Hall’s ‘Fencing’ is a superb example of a compact poem with deftly constructed layers. It is a poem that will reward you with new insights every time you read it. The last stanza is fabulously dense, with its metaphor of the father and son tacking down the backdrop to a day:
Some days he tightened
The horizon
And started hammering
As I held the staple in place
Why does the son only appear in this last stanza? The son seems so small here in relation to his father! But, wait, he is steadying the staple — the thing that holds the horizon tightly in place once his father has hammered it in . . . so he is key to this whole enterprise. The son may be just the staple-holder, but he is his father’s right-hand-man here, helping him to hold the whole world in place (as fathers do, for a time). So many thoughts triggered by four lines, and we have not even addressed the sounds of the lines as Hall works them like fencing wire, lengthening, tightening and tacking. It has been a privilege, this year, to be chosen by so many moving, well-crafted poems written by people I know well and people I have never met. What a pleasure to be introduced to so many talented poets this way. I am grateful to Jack Ross and the team at Massey University Press for the opportunity, and for their guidance and trust.


— Johanna Emeney







ABOUT THE CONTRIBUTORS:









































ABOUT POETRY NEW ZEALAND:

Poetry New Zealand is New Zealand’s longest-running poetry magazine, showcasing new writing from this country and overseas. It presents the work of talented newcomers and developing writers as well as that of established leaders in the field.

Founded by Wellington poet Louis Johnson, who edited it from 1951 to 1964 as the New Zealand Poetry Yearbook, it was revived as a biennial volume by Frank McKay in 1971, a series which lasted until 1984. David Drummond (in collaboration with Oz Kraus’s Brick Row Publishing) began to publish it again biannually in 1990. The journal reached its 48th issue in 2014, the year Jack Ross of Massey University’s School of English and Media Studies took it back to its roots by renaming it the Poetry New Zealand Yearbook.

Poetry New Zealand has been edited by some of New Zealand’s most distinguished poets and academics, including Elizabeth Caffin, Grant Duncan, Riemke Ensing, Bernard Gadd, Leonard Lambert, Harry Ricketts, Elizabeth Smither and Brian Turner. The journal was overseen from 1993 to 2014 by celebrated poet, novelist, anthologist, editor and literary critic Alistair Paterson ONZM, with help from master printer John Denny of Puriri Press, and guest editors Owen Bullock, Siobhan Harvey and Nicholas Reid.

The magazine’s policy is to support poetry and poets both in New Zealand and overseas. Each issue since 1994 has contained a substantial feature showcasing the work of a developing or established poet. It also includes a selection of poetry from New Zealand and abroad, as well as essays, reviews and critical commentary.

Managing editor
Jack Ross
editor@poetrynz.net

Advisory board
  • Thom Conroy
  • Jen Crawford
  • John Denny
  • Matthew Harris
  • Ingrid Horrocks
  • David Howard
  • Jan Kemp
  • Bronwyn Lloyd
  • Alistair Paterson
  • Tracey Slaughter
  • Bryan Walpert

Website: www.poetrynz.net
Webmaster: Warren Olds
Blog: poetrynzblog.blogspot.co.nz/
Index: poetrynz.blogspot.co.nz/

Submissions: The submission dates for each issue are between 1 May and 31 July of each year. Submit either (preferably) by email, with your poems pasted in the body of the message or included as a MSWord file attachment; or by post, to the address below, with a stamped self-addressed envelope, and contact details in your covering letter.

Dr Tracey Slaughter
English Programme
School of Arts
Waikato University
Private Bag 3105
Hamilton 3240

Please remember to include a short biography and current postal address with your submission. Each contributor will receive a free copy of the issue their work is included in.




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