Landfall Review Online – July 1, 2017
The reconstructed skull* on the front cover of Enclosures 2 is a fair signifier of the book’s content: floating in negative space, the skull’s fissures give the impression of coastlines, continents, isles, waterways. Also Life. And Death. For two decades Bill Direen, novelist, poet and musician, lived in and travelled between the Northern and Southern Hemispheres.… More,,,
Landfall Review Online – April 1, 2016
‘The Dreaming Land,’ said Martin Edmond at the launch of this memoir at Wellington’s Unity Books, ‘had its genesis in a failed manuscript.’ He’d set out to write a book about his parents’ early years together, ‘But it hadn’t worked for the obvious reason,’ he says: ‘I wasn’t there.’… More,,,
Landfall Review Online – August 1, 2015
Packing two books of poetry into the same waka can lead to conflicting points of view, but Apirana Taylor’s The Breathing Tree and David Eggleton’s The Conch Trumpet are,with their three-word, four-syllable titles, in tune from the get-go.
Both poets, in their early 60s, have Polynesian mothers: Taylor, born in Wellington, is ‘proudly’ affiliated to Ngāti Porou, Te Whānau-ā-Apanui and Ngāti Ruanui; and Eggleton’s mother was born in Fiji to a Tongan mother and a Polynesian father from the village of Motusa on the island of Rotuma, which was annexed as part of the Fiji Islands colony by the British in the 19th century.… More,,,
Landfall Review Online – July 1, 2014
In the nineteenth century John Polson, my maternal great-great-grandfather, downed tools as a cooper in the herring trade in West Helmsdale and said goodbye to his family at their croft in Marrel, a neighbouring village in Sutherlandshire, Highland Scotland, and sailed for New Zealand/Aotearoa.… More,,,
Listener – January 16, 2014
Olivia Laing’s compassionate study of six alcoholic American writers.
“You never start out life with the intention of becoming a bankrupt or an alcoholic or a cheat and a thief. Or a liar,” confessed Raymond Carver in an interview published in the Paris Review. At the time, he was a famous writer in a happy relationship with poet Tess Gallagher, whom he met after he left his wife, Maryann, and their two children and had achieved sobriety with the help of Alcoholics Anonymous’s 12-step programme.… More,,,
Landfall Review Online – October 1, 2012
At the launch of her book of poems and essays Lynn Davidson said she feels more like herself when she is writing. Was she saying that when she finds the time to write, and read the literature that informs the work, it also affords her the space to think and feel – deeply?… More,,,
Listener – May 31 2008
Femmes fatales and animal-human creatures mingle in the other worldly landscapes of Séraphine Pick.
“Is the baby crying or yawning?” a woman asks Séraphine Pick at her exhibition of paintings After Image. It’s hard to get a word in edgeways as we walk around Waikanae’s Mahara Gallery.… More,,,
Listener – March 24, 2007
Language and literature run in poet Andrew Johnston’s family. His father was an English lecturer and his grandfather a newspaperman. After 10 years in France, Johnston has come home and published a new book, Sol, which includes “The Sunflower”, a long, impressive elegy to his father.… More,,,
Listener – January 12, 2007
As a child, I enjoyed listening to my father (of Galway Irish Catholic stock) on the rare occasions he told stories about his Southland childhood. They were stories about rabbit-hunting with ferrets and ploughing his father’s farm behind a team of draught-horses, and when he talked about his grandparents he slipped into their Irish brogue. … More,,,
Listener – December 10, 2006
The Man Who Loves to Hate
In the new Landfall, poet and critic John Dolan takes on New Zealand poetry. It’s a bloodbath: “Poets like Mark Pirie have a huge ‘kick me’ sign on their backs … I just wonder why a good poet like Eggleton would waste time on a bad dead one like Fairburn … By far the worst is C K Stead’s smirking gloss …” So who exactly is John Dolan?… More,,,