Category Archives: NZ poetry journal

A launch: Compound Press presents Minarets Issue 8


Compound Press presents Minarets Issue 8  Autumn 2018

Edited by Erena Shingade

Illustrations by Harry Moritz

Launch at 7pm, Saturday 28 April at the Compound Press headquarters, 5c 55-57 High Street.


Minarets Issue 8 presents the freshest new writing from a mix of emerging and established New Zealand poets, alongside contributions from two international poets. Humorous, adventurous, and though-provoking, the journal brings a slice of the most intriguing new writing from here and overseas to the table.

Featuring the following New Zealand and international authors: Victor Billot, Freya Daly Sadgrove, Lee Thomson, Zack Anderson (USA), Murray Edmond, Courtney Sina Meredith, Manon Revuelta, Naomi Scully (USA).






Summer Postcard: min-a-rets,  issue 7, spring 2017




This slim adorably-produced poetry journal is a treat to read and hold (my favourite looking NZ volume – who wouldn’t want a poem in here!). It is rich in voice and edges.

The editor:

Zarah Butcher-McGunnigle has brought min-a-rets to life after a three-year hiatus. She states the original aim was to champion ‘openness & intensity in poetry, with a focus on NZ, but also including a few international writers each time’. She has stuck to the same poetic impulse and she has included some Melbourne poets – she is currently based there.


The poets:

Hana Pera Aoake, Eden Bradfield, Owen Connors, Anna Crews, Craig Foltz, Rebecca Nash, Rachel O’Neill, Ursula Robinson Shaw


The poems:

I open upon Rachel’s title, ‘The sky is a wide, unmoving chest’, and then fall into a poem that is wide but full of movement, strange and supple. Three poems from Eden catch air in their double spacing, floating talk, the everyday adrift. Ursula’s ‘2 Poems’ also float on the page, but here the talk static intensifies. The fragments startle first as little pieces, and then achieve a stuttering breathfilled momentum.

Voice – the speaking surge and spurt – marks Owen’s ‘4 untitled fragments’. This is not disembodied writing but is flush with sex and disenchantment and living.


Highly recommend this. Check out the journal here

Submissions closed for the next issue at the end of January – so look forward to that!




Submissions open for next Sweet Mammalian



Send us your writing, be it a roar, purr, or pip-squeak.

Sweet Mammalian aims for diversity and inclusiveness—we want all different kinds of poetry, from all different kinds of writers. In order to make this possible we need your submissions, so send us your thrilling writing!

Submit up to 5 poems of any length. Please send your work in a single word doc attachment to , and include a short bio note and the titles of your poems in the body of the email.

We are now accepting submissions for Issue Five. The submission deadline is 31 December 2017.

Issue Five will be published in the early months of 2018.


See here






Ora Nui 3 – a symphonic treat of art and writing




Ora Nui is a journal edited by Anton Blank devoted to Māori experimental literature;  writing that pushes the borders of identity as much if not more than it pushes the ‘how’ of writing. The latest issue draws upon issues of identity, nationhood and migration and includes a diversity voice.  Amy Leigh Wicks and Jan Kemp, for example, place European perspectives alongside those of Vaughan Rapatahana, Reihana Robinson, Robert Sullivan, Jacqueline Carter, Apirana Taylor and Marino Blank.

I think Ora Nui takes apart the whole notion of experimental and transforms it; I am thinking of writing that is testing something out, that might be tethered or prompted by experience, that doesn’t necessarily demolish stylistic traditions, and might have productive talks with them. Experimental writing is often aligned with the avantgarde, however this journal refreshes the experimental page. The journal promotes conversation that tests who and how we are and gives space for voices – some with traditions of marginalisation – to speak from the local and converse with the global. Anton Blank writes: This collection is a glorious celebration of diversity and change.

The cover showcases an image from from Lisa Reihana’s astonishing art installation, Pursuit of Venus (she has assured me we will get to see this again in New Zealand). I have propped the journal on a shelf so I can fall back into her mesmerising work. The image is the perfect gateway into writing that navigates questions of identity and belonging from multiple vantage points.


What I love about this journal though is the utter feast of voices and sumptuous artworks –  I cannot think of anything that has challenged, inspired or awed me in such diverse and distinctive ways. The poetry is symphonic in its reach and shifting keys. Here is a small sample of some of the poetry treats – I am till reading! I have just flicked to the back and got hooked on the lines of Robert Sullivan’s fruit poem, Reihana Robinson, Apirana Taylor, Briar Wood …. and then still sipping breakfast coffee, back to the dazzling currents of Reihana (especially ‘What is a nation?’).  I just bought a book of Reihana’s poetry – I am so hoping there is more in the pipeline.


Jacqueline Carter‘s  poetry often tenders a political edge. The poems included here underline her ability to get you rethinking things. These poems dig deep and resonate on so many levels.


‘The paepae

of the city’s children


is littered

with waewae tapu



who haven’t


been welcomed  on



in fact


who aren’t welcome at all’


from ‘Aotea Square’ (you just have to read the whole poem!!)



Rangi Faith pays homage to Janet Frame as he imagines the seat she sits in on a train; I have never read a portrait of Janet quite like this, and I love it.


‘When I was six years old

& running around the backyard

of our brick house in King Street,

a train steamed across the old airport

between us and the sea

carrying Janet Frame the poet.’


from ‘Janet Frame Passes through Saltwater Creek’


Rangi moves further south to pull Hone Tuwhare into a luminous rendering of place.


‘this place was always good for a waiata

to sing softly, or loudly if you preferred,

andto drum your tokotoko in time

to the incoming tide

on the earth’s Jurassic skin.’


from ‘To Hone at Kaka Point Seven Years On’


This is my first encounter with Teoti Jardine‘s poetry and I am struck by its clarity, its fluidity, its striking images.


.My Great Great Grandmother

wove her korowai with clouds.

and braided bull kelp lines

to hold the tide.’


from ‘Kuihi’


Kiri Piahana-Wong ‘s lyrical poetry holds the personal close, with both movement and stillness, little pockets of thought. I was drawn to her recounting Hinerangi’s broken heart and death.


‘On the day I died

it rained. Not just any rain,

but rain accompanied by

a sapping, brutal wind

from the southwest, the

kind that wrenches doors

from their hinges,

breaks down trees

and fences.’


from ‘On the day I died’


Two essays really struck a chord with me:

Dr. Carla Houkamau’s  ‘Māori identity and personal perspective’

Paula Morris’s ‘Of All Places: A Polemic on “International Book Prizes”‘


This is a substantial journal, a necessary journal, a must-read issue, and I have still so much left to savour. Bravo, Anton Blank for getting  this writing and this artmaking out where we can see it. I wish I could linger and share my engagement with every piece but must get back to writing my big book. I now have some new women to bring into my writing house. Thank you.





Poetry Shelf reviews Mimicry 3 – a cracking good mix


Mimicy 3 is edited by Carolyn DeCarlo and Jackson Nieuwland, is published by Holly Hunter and features a cracking good mix of poetry, prose and images.

Find Mimicry at Unity Auckland, Time Out, University Bookshop Auckland, Unity Wellington, Vic Books, Volume (Nelson), Scorpio Books (Christchurch) and University Bookshop Otago, or order online with dirt-cheap NZ postage.

I love the way you can’t pin the mix of voices, sometimes young, sometimes a tad older, sometimes familiar, sometimes not, sometimes widely published, sometimes just emerging, sometimes lyrical, sometimes not, into a singular style.

As usual I read my way through the poems before slipping elsewhere (bar the arresting red pages ‘Tear sheet – Red’).


I am simply going to give you a taste of the poetry static that this suite of poems generates by quoting you the first lines of the poems (you can track the prose and images yourself).

This is the kind of journal that just makes you want to write.


A very fine first-line sampler from Mimicry 3


Stacy Teague from ‘ko au te awa, ko te awa ko au / i am the river, the river is me’

you could love wide-open / against the natural framework  / of this forever


Ruby Mae Hinepunui Solly from ‘Custard’

When I was smaller than the family dog


Aimee Smith from  ‘This is where first-year friendships come to die’

Aro Valley is haunted by ghosts,


Holly Childs from ‘Closing websites’

She said I said, ‘I can’t store energy inside me, can’t retain it, so it makes sense I’


Rachel O’Neill from ‘The good bastard’

I hope Mother and Father buzz around me till Kingdom Come.


Chris Stewart from ‘fluff’

I used to lick damp fluff


Nina Powles from ‘Dialectal’

this dialect has no written form / only hands feeling for the sound / only wings


Nina Powles from ‘Yellow notebook fragments’

#5c85d2 | smoke blue made of melting clouds


Annelyse Gelman from ‘Excerpts from Heck Land, a series of centos culled from William Burroughs’s Naked Lunch [note it’s cut and paste]

I can feel the heat closing in And I luuuuuuuuve it !


Courtney Sina Meredith from ‘eye’

drove to your house            parked across the road        ‘m n town


Courtney Sina Meredith from ‘the night sky is an immigrant coming from somewhere unknown’

half the group went into the past


Joan Fleming from ‘The optimism of our generation’

Dear X. Ruin porn


Eleanor Rose King Merton from ‘narcissus’

on a beach which is the edge of another planet


Eleanor Rose King Merton from ‘this is also how ownership is indicated’

why not just welt me up and vacate the area with a pillar of salt in each of my corners


Helen Rickerby from ‘Time and I’

The thing is, I have problems with time. Time and I, we just


Maria McMillan from ‘Snow, the reflective properties of’

You grow up, the city you grew up in and left,


Briana Jamieson from ‘Light’

Sun seeped into the van


Amy Leigh Wicks from ‘Log no. 1’

There is no blanket of fog. I am running through the woods today. Last night,


Anna Jackson from ‘Surprising news about your hairstyle’

Is it possible to sail through the air out


Anna Jackson from ‘Hurricane lamp’

Erin invites me to supper (thank you) and the heat


Caroline Shepherd from ‘fog girl’s diary’

how to tell my mother that yes, I did say that I could that thing and


Caroline Shepherd from ‘love lies’

my friends all had grand ambitions of love filling


Freya Daly Sadgrove and Hera Lindsay Bird from ‘Big time talk show with Freya and Hera’

Life is like a sad bucket, old men