Notebook (page 2 of 3)

August, 2016

Fast Fibres 3The latest call for submissions for brief is here.

What I am reading: Mike Johnson, The Angel of Compassion, and the timely, satisfying anthology Three Words: an Anthology of Aotearoa/NZ Women’s Comics ed. Rae Joyce, Sarah Laing and Indira Neville. My review of Roger Horrocks’ book The Song of the Ghost in the Machine is in the current issue of brief, and my review of Thought Horses by Rachel Bush is in the current issue of Takahē.

Look for me in: Fast Fibres 3: Poetry from Northland

Brief journal – issue 54, Love

I am now editing the literary journal brief.

Brief 54 Our new issue, brief 54 – a special issue on Love – is out now, and has tons of great work in it: writing by John Adams, Nick Ascroft, Cassandra Atherton, Stu Bagby, Cassandra Barnett, Iain Britton, Isaac Brodie, Berengaria Burns, Stephanie Christie, Mary Cresswell, Rene Harrison, Ted Jenner,  Robert Kempen, Sid Khanzode, Harvey Molloy, Janet Newman, Piet Nieuwland, Keith Nunes, Sugu Pillay, Vaughan Rapatahana, Sean Redmond, Jack Ross, Carin Smeaton, Ruby Solly, Fiona Stevens, Richard Taylor, Richard von Sturmer,  and Mark Young; art/graphic work by Bill Wolak and Matt Kelly; and reviews of books by Stephanie Christie (reviewed by Michael Onslow-Osbourne) and Roger Horrocks. It also has a selection of poems by the late David Lyndon Brown,

Brief‘s website is at


“To the extent that the body is a wound, the sign is also nothing but a wound. Are we still capable, are we already capable of confronting the wound of the sign, this flaying where sense gets lost? Sense is lost in this pure sense that is also the wound. The wound closes the body. It multiplies its sense, and sense gets lost in it.”

Jean Luc Nancy,  (1994)
‘Corpus’ trans Claudette Sartiliot in Thinking Bodies ed. MacCannell & Zakarin. Stanford: Stanford UP.

I seldom dream of him but when I do we are always dancing,

it is always a waltz, the old-fashioned kind

it is always light, filtered sunlight

and gardenias, and blond wooden floors.

(There is always a part of this that is for you).

February, 2016

Poetry NZ Yearbook 2

The full text of Poetry NZ Yearbook 2 is now available online as a free PDF. The feature poet is Robert Sullivan, and the issue is packed full of too many poets – both established and new – for me to name here, along with  essays by John Geraets, Janet Newman and Alistair Paterson, and a number of reviews. As the editor, Jack Ross, comments, this “is a gift to poetry-lovers everywhere”.

What I am reading: The Best American Poetry 2015, ed. Sherman Alexie
Look for me in: Perspectives in Biology and Medicine Vol 58 No 1, ed. Annemarie Jutel. You can view a PDF of my piece here.

December, 2015

Paula Green invited me to make some picks of NZ poetry I enjoyed in 2015 for Poetry Shelf: Poet’s Choice: Olivia Macassey makes some picks. Reading the other poets’ choices was a good reminder that there are still lots of books I want to read and haven’t.

What I am reading: David Coventry, The Invisible Mile
Robert Louis Stevenson, Kidnapped

Look for me in: Poetry NZ Yearbook 2

What I am working on – ‘Adventures in the Country of Death’ sequence:

Adventures in the country of death

(I use a lot of grayscale in these works)

Some of these have appeared in various issues of Brief[Read The Death of Porthos here].

November, 2015

I’m guest editing an issue of Brief, on the theme of love, which is fun and a little scary because I’ve never edited a journal before. You can read the Call for Submissions here (due Feb 29).

The list of stockists for The Burnt Hotel has been updated – it’s now in Masterton and Palmerston North.

What I am reading: Stephanie Christie’s thoughtful, twisty questioning Carbon Shapes and Dark Matter.

Look for me in: Landfall, issue 230
and there are 2 poems from The Burnt Hotel in Brief, issue 53

Call for Submissions: Brief issue 54 – love

Call for Submissions: Brief issue 54 – love

“Love, exciting and new/ Come aboard, we’re expecting you” (Paul Williams, Love Boat Theme)
“Once the first avowal has been made, “I love you” has no meaning whatever; it merely repeats in an enigmatic mode – so blank does it appear – the old message (which may not have been transmitted in these words). I repeat it exclusive of any pertinence; it comes out of the language, it divagates – where?” (Roland Barthes [trans. Richard Howard], A Lover’s Discourse)

Submissions are invited for the 54th issue of brief, which will be a thematic issue on love, guest edited by Olivia Macassey. Submissions are to be received by February 29, 2016, and can be emailed to brief.the.journal or to me. Non-electronic submissions up to A4 in size can be mailed to the editor by prior arrangement.

Brief, a biannual print journal (founded in 1995), is a space for new experimental writing, work that does something interesting, etc. It publishes poetry, prose, essays & criticism, hybrid forms, and occasionally visual art. Contributors receive an issue of the journal as payment.

Where to buy The Burnt Hotel

The Burnt Hotel is now available in shops…The Burnt Hotel *updated

Auckland: University Bookshop, and Unity Books
Wellington: Unity Books, and Vic Books
Christchurch: UBS Canterbury, and Scorpio Books
Palmerston North: Bruce McKenzie Booksellers
Masterton: Hedley Bookshop

Or order online:
Titus Books
UBS Books
Unity Books
Vic Books

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