Monthly Archives: October 2018

Two bird poems from Brian Turner


Birds Bathing


A friend reports watching ‘a conflagration

of birds feasting, fighting and bathing

in their personal lake.’ And I’m eyeing


my blackbirds, fussy frenzied delinquents

flinging food scraps from the compost heap,

a speckle of sparrows pecking seeds


and my ginger and white long-haired puss

sleeping under the scruffy hedge. All

are oblivious of a continuation of clouds


and showery spasms of rain slowly descending.



No Flurries


Each morning I put out

more sugared water,

bird seed and dripping,

so much in abundance

that in their darting

antic fluttering flurry

they’ve little if any

interest in me. So

it’s good to be able

to provide and not

require gratitude.

When you understand

that it settles you

down. No flurries.


©Brian Turner


Brian Turner is best-known for his poetry and numerous books of non-fiction. He was the Te Mata Estate NZ Poet Laureate 2003-05. Turner won the 1978 Commonwealth Poetry Prize and the 1993 New Zealand Book Award for Poetry for his collection Beyond. In 1994-5 he held an Arts Council Scholarship in Letters. He was Robert Burns Fellow at the University of Otago in 1984 and Writer in Residence at the University of Canterbury in 1997. He was the Te Mata Estate NZ Poet Laureate 2003-05.

In 2009 he was awarded the Prime Minister’s Award for Literary Achievement in Poetry. He lives down south, in Central Otago’s quirky small town of Oturehua.

Peter Porter Poetry Prize now open

Australian Book Review welcomes entries in the fifteenth Peter Porter Poetry Prize. The Porter Prize, which is worth a total of AU$8,500, is open until 3 December 2018.

The Porter Prize is one of Australia’s most lucrative and respected awards for poetry. It honours the life and work of the great Australian poet Peter Porter (1929–2010), an honoured contributor to ABR for many years. All poets writing in English are eligible to enter.

First Prize: AU$5,000 and Arthur Boyd’s etching and aquatint The lady and the unicorn, 1975
Second Prize: AU$2,000
Three other shortlisted poets: AU$500 each

Judges: Judith Bishop, John Hawke, Paul Kane.

Entries close at midnight 3 December 2018

Entries must be an original single-authored poem of not more than 75 lines written in English. Poems must not have been previously published or on offer to other prizes or publications for the duration of the Porter Prize. The five shortlisted poems will be published in the March 2019 issue and the winner will be announced at a ceremony later that month.

Click here for more information about past winners and to read their poems.

Congratulations to those who have been awarded a 2019 MKWC residency

New in this year’s programme is the splitting of the University of Auckland/MKWC Residency into four time slots throughout the year, in order to attract a wider range of established writers. In 2019 we will welcome playwright Gary Henderson, novelist Emma Neale, non-fiction writer Jenni Quilter, and historian Joanne Drayton.

Other writers to receive residencies include Diane Brown, Ivy Alvarez, Dominic Hoey, Philippa Werry, Gigi Fenster and Murray Edmond.

The Pasifika residencies will be held by Makareta Brown and Mariana Isara, who will each spend two weeks at the centre.

The recipients of the Māori writers’ residencies are Colleen Lenihan and Jade Kake. Jade’s project explores experiences of indigeneity, race and racism in the diaspora. The novel-length work will be structured around 12 thematically linked short stories.

Other writers awarded residencies are Rachel O’Neill, Yvette Walker, Steven Toussaint, Meagan France and Rijula Das.


Full details here

Poetry Shelf audio spot: Lynley Edmeades reads ‘The Age of Reason’


Author Photo May 2016.JPG

Photo credit: Rory Mearns



Lynley Edmeades’s ‘The Age of Reason’ appeared in Landfall 235 edited by Emma Neale


Lynley Edmeades is currently working on her second collection of poems, which explores ideas of listening. Her first book, As the Verb Tenses, was published by Otago University Press in 2016. She is the 2018 Ursula Bethell Writer in Residence at the University of Canterbury and is living in Lyttelton for now.








Turbine | Kapohau submissions must be received by October 29, 2018

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Submission guidelines

What to submit

Turbine | Kapohau cannot consider work that has already appeared online (including personal blogs), or work that has been previously published in New Zealand.

Prose: short essays or fiction pieces are preferable, to a maximum of 2,500 words (longer pieces may be considered at the editors’ discretion). Send only two pieces.

Poetry: Send only five poems.

Photographs or artworks with a literary theme may be considered.


Full details here

Prime Minister’s Literary Awards announced

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Warm congratulations to Renée, Michael Harlow and Wystan Curnow.


Trailblazing Māori dramatist and fiction writer Renée, revered critic, curator and poet Wystan Curnow and admired poet, publisher and librettist Michael Harlow are the winners of the 2018 Prime Minister’s Awards for Literary achievement, Jacinda Ardern announced today.

“As both Prime Minister and Minister for the Arts, Culture and Heritage, I am delighted to congratulate this year’s recipients of the Prime Minister’s Awards for Literary Achievement. Each of these writers has broken new ground in their art form and helped lead the way for others.”

Each will be awarded $60,000 in recognition of their outstanding contribution to New Zealand literature. Renée will be honoured for fiction, Wystan Curnow for non-fiction, and Michael Harlow for poetry.

Every year New Zealanders are invited to nominate their choice of a writer who has made a significant contribution to New Zealand literature in the genres of non-fiction, poetry and fiction.

Nominations are assessed by an external expert panel and recommendations forwarded to the Arts Council of Creative New Zealand for approval. This year’s selection panel was Jill Rawnsley, John Huria and Murray Edmond, chaired by Lauren Hughes.

“This year’s recipients join a tradition of writers who have shaped the way we see and understand ourselves as New Zealanders – Janet Frame, Margaret Mahy, Bill Manhire and Dame Fiona Kidman to name just a few. Reneé, Wystan and Michael’s awards are richly deserved and will inspire future generations of Kiwi writers,” Jacinda Ardern said.

The awards will be presented at a ceremony at Premier House in Wellington on Monday 15 October.

full list of previous recipients can be found on the Creative New Zealand website.