We are well served by literary journals at the moment. Each delivers slightly different treats, biases, focuses but all offer high quality writing that resist any singular NZ model.
The latest Landfall (as you can see) has a stunning cover with its Peter Peryer photograph.
Inside: poetry (37 poets!), fiction, non-fiction, art and book reviews (including an excellent review of Anna Smaill’s The Chimes, one of my top fiction reads of the past year).
The poets range from the very familiar, whether young or old, to those new to me. And that is as it should be. David Eggleton is keeping the magazine fresh whilst giving vital space to our literary elders and maintaining a strong and welcome Pacific flavour.
A tasting plate of lines that got me (I seem to have been struck by mothers, fathers, surprising images, little twists):
from Brian Turner’s ‘Weekends’:
think of what a place could be
when it’s not what we possess
that counts most
but what we are possessed by
from CK Stead’s ‘One: Like a bird’ (for Kay):
You were beautiful, and I
sang, as I could in those days
all the way home—like a bird.
from Leilani Tamu’s ‘Researching Ali’i’:
I searched for you in boxes
the archivist muttered poison
from Rata Gordon’s ‘A Baby’:
I want to make a baby out of one peach and one prickle.
I want to use the kitchen sponge, sticky rice and a rubber band.
I want to use the coffee grinder.
from Siobhan Harvey’s ‘Spaceboy and the White Hole’:
he pictures matter barely visible, the light
of white holes as they transmit their secret
messages, sharp elegies, about letting go.
from Ruth Arnison’s ‘The Visit’:
Even from the road her house gave us the creeps.
Pale, communion wafer thin, and disapproving,
its severe windows three-quarter blinded.
from Heather McQuillan’s ‘In which I defend my father’s right to solitude’:
our father has a fine tooth way
of finding vulnerabilities
on the outward flanks
the wolf is always at his door
from Doc Drumheller’s ‘My Father’s Fingers’:
Days after my father died I felt a sense
of urgency to take care of his hot-house.
from Koenraad Kuiper’s ‘from Benedictine Sonnets’:
Mother always knitted particularly socks.
Knitting socks is a fine skill under the lamplight.
from Elizabeth Smither’s ‘Three “Willow” Pattern Bowls’:
My father thought I meant the plate
and wrapped one from the china cabinet
I carried it close to my heart
all the way back for a second reprimand.
from Bob Orr’s ‘Seven Haiku’:
I don’t care about
from Will Leadbetter’s ‘Three Variations on “The Red Wheelbarrow” by William Carlos Williams’:
Nothing depends upon
the green wheelbarrow
Great winter reading!