Monthly Archives: May 2018

Jesse Mulligan and Louise Wallace talk about Fiona Kidman’s Speaking with my grandmothers

 

 

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You can hear the discussion and read Louise’s fabulous  poem. Check out Fiona’s full sequence in Where Your Left Hand Rests (Godwit, 2010). It is poetry in an exquisitely produced book.

 

All the same, grandmother

how many hills are there left to stand on

because I tell you, it’s getting quite

lonely on this high moral ground

and now that I’ve found you, guilty secrets and all,

I can’t keep away, can’t stop looking at your picture

 

from ‘High ground’ in the sequence ‘Speaking with my grandmothers’

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Poetry Shelf audio spot: Amy Brown reads 13th August 2016

 

 

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The image is by Auckland artist, Peter Gouge, who drew it for Amy’s son Robin.

 

 

’13th August 2016′  is the first entry in what I’m calling Neon Daze: a verse journal of the first four months,

 

Amy Brown grew up in Hawkes Bay and now lives in Melbourne, where she teaches Literature and Philosophy. Her last book, The Odour of Sanctity, was published by VUP in 2013.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Fiona Farrell’s University of Auckland lecture at AWF 2018

 

‘I’ve asked a librarian who has assured me there will be novels in the library, up on the fourth floor. But it’s strange, this public dismissal of fiction. It feels like part of some more general diminution of the arts and humanities in our universities, part of the culture that focuses on the body, on sport, rather than the imagination, part of some vast movement of the zeitgeist under our feet, that mistrusts the imagination and what it might be capable of conceiving. Part of a new global politics.

But in the meantime, here we go, the writers of fiction, in our air machines, bobbing along, fifty feet above our country, looking down, seeing how it might have been, how it yet might be, making things up. Imagining.’  Fiona Farrell

An extract from a riveting must read/listen lecture with a link to the whole piece:

Fiction and Factions: the Political Novel in New Zealand

Fiona Farrell delivered this year’s University of Auckland lecture to a packed house at the 2018 Auckland Writers Festival. For a PDF and podcast of the lecture, please follow this link.

 

The brief was broad: around 40 minutes, talk about anything, whatever is on your mind. Well, what’s been on my mind lately is politics. And fiction. Last year I published a novel, my seventh. It’s routinely introduced at talks and festivals as ‘political’. The only one to be so labeled.

Now, from my point of view, everything I have ever written has been political. The fact that I can write at all – descendant of Irish famine refugees and dispossessed Highland crofters – that I have been delivered the necessary health and education and readers with money, inclination and time for books – has all been over to politics.

But why this book? What makes a work of the imagination ‘political’? Is it because it occupies the junction between fiction and journalism, fact and fantasy? Is it because references to political events or politicians are embedded in the narrative like hokey pokey in ice cream? Does it depend upon some notion of authorial intention, not simply to entertain but to critique the workings of power? Is it because the text suggests factional allegiance, to left or right? And can fiction that professes to be ‘not political’ drift free above the muddle of ideas, decisions, actions that we bundle together and label ‘Politics’? Or is the personal political, as Carol Hanisch and the 70s feminists insisted and is every novel, every one of our imaginings inescapably ‘political’? And as a novelist, is there something distinctive about writing  ‘political fiction’?

 

Full lecture here at Academy of New Zealand Literature

Poetry Shelf video spot: Sue Wootton’s ‘Sea foam at Gemstone Beach’

 

 

 

‘Sea foam at Gemstone Beach’ from The Yield, Otago University Press, 2017

This book was one of my favourite reads of 2017 – I was utterly delighted to see it shortlisted in the book awards. If you ever get a chance – go hear Sue read! Otherwise tuck up in some cosy warmth, when it is icy outside, and read this prismatic book.

 

Sue Wootton’s latest collection, The Yield, was shortlisted for the Ockham New Zealand Book Awards 2018. She has published five volumes of poetry, and has won several awards including the 2015 Caselberg Trust International PoetryPrize. Mākaro Press published Strip, her first novel, in 2015.  She co-edits the Health Humanities blog – Corpus: Conversations about Medicine and Life. She lives in Dunedin.

Sue Wootton’s website

Otago University Press page

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

At The Spin Off: Vana Manasiadis on Tātai Whetū: Seven Māori Women Poets in Translation

Following on from a Wellington Readers and Writers Festival highlight

 

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‘Because what language actually means in Aotearoa is a pretty big kōrero. It’s words, yes, but it’s also what our shared breaths mean, our stares, our ancestors under our skin, tā moko and occupation and recognition. In Aotearoa, as in any place where indigenous language has had no choice but to respond to colonisation and language tune-out (at best), translation to or from te reo is completely political. Of course it is. The language choices are political. The access is political. The results are political.’ Vana Manasiadis

‘When does it start’ Maraea Rakuraku’s poem