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Reviews – a little light conversation

Why does takahē publish reviews? Because, like the content of the magazine, reviews reflect on the creative and critical endeavours of our various and varied communities. And why do the reviewers write the reviews? Certainly not for the kudos or the coin! No. In keeping with takahē’s mission, reviewers keep the reflective conversations amongst us – writers, readers, listeners and publishers – flowing. And why do YOU read reviews? Please feel free to add to this conversationreviews@takahe.co.nz

 At their best, reviewers are a generous and searching breed, eyes and ears attentively tuned to the themes, aims and intentions plied by diverse writers. They will comb a text and – frequently scrutinising the wider context – proceed to compare and critique it against earlier works by the author concerned, and/or with works by other writers. In doing so, reviewers will often snare our attention, prompt questions and promote curiosity about a writer’s goals and progress. Indeed a considered review can function in many ways. Most reviewers aim to share and inform with their findings. Their observations and evaluations may encourage writers and foster dialogue. Their critiques can also operate like open letters to publishers concerning not only content, but also matters of editing and design. How many layouts (be it of poetry, prose or academia) achieve alliances of form and content? For some effective collaborations of content and design have a look at the number of small presses reviewed in takahē 86, particularly Giant Sparrow Press (Wellington) and the Black Doris Press (Port Chalmers).

Like the distinctive current of contemporary writing, the little and large world of Aotearoa New Zealand publishing has matured significantly, at long last addressing silences and imbalances and genuinely embracing diversities and differences. In a world that has (as that man said) neither certitude nor peace, let’s hope these ‘conversations’ continue to flow and increase.

Cassandra Fusco

Reviews Editor

 

Introducing the Essays section

Those of you who are particularly sharp-eyed will have noticed that what was once the Cultural Studies section has been renamed Essays. This has been done largely for the sake of clarity, for the term ‘cultural studies’ can be a little opaque. The shift is also designed to signal clearly the sort of writing we would like to promote and share with you: works of creative non-fiction and cultural criticism that engage with culture or cultural practice in New Zealand and the South Pacific, with the term ‘culture’ being read in a broad and inclusive way.

I look forward to reading your submissions and am happy to answer any queries. You can find more specific guidelines on content and length under ‘Submit’.

Earthquake Poetry Anthology Launch

LtRZ cover – finalLeaving the Red Zone was launched last night at a packed and very suitable venue, The Laboratory in Lincoln (furnished with recycled materials salvaged from the Christchurch earthquakes).

These earthquakes have shaken up Cantabrians’ lives for the last five years, and shaken out many moving and impressive poems.

On this fifth anniversary of the deadly February 2011 quake, an anthology has been drawn together by our very own poetry editor Joanna Preston and her predecessor James Norcliffe. It includes work by all but one past poetry editor of takahē – David Howard, Bernadette Hall, James Norcliffe, Siobhan Harvey; and also a number of the current takahē team – Joanna Preston, Janet Wainscott, Catherine Fitchett, Erik Kennedy and myself . So, a takahē fest!

I sat down to browse Leaving the Red Zone when i got home after the launch and couldn’t put it down. Between its covers lie the hearts and minds of 87 New Zealand poets, the hearts and minds of a community.

Secure your copy now. $39.95 per copy. Free delivery within NZ.

EITHER
Post your order & cheque to Clerestory Press, PO Box 21-120, Christchurch, 8143.
Please send me … copies of Leaving the Red Zone
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OR
Bank deposit to 03 1704 0049456 025 (your name as reference) & tell your details by phone +64 3 355 3588 or email clerestory@xtra.co.nz

Short Story Competition

three takaheReminder Reminder Reminder

Deadline 31 March. – Five weeks to go – It’s not too late to pull out the pen, or crank up the computer.

Wow the judge with your startling storyline, quirky plot and astute description all neatly packed into 2000 glorious words. This is a chance to have YOUR story read by one of the best, receive a cash bonus and the opportunity to be published in our illustrious magazine.

And don’t forget the three most important words: Edit, Edit Edit.

Juliana – Competitions Secretary

Poetry selections complete for takahē 86

Format Status

“The Arts – Poetry” by Alfonse MuchaAll the selections for the poetry component of the next issue have been made, and sent off to the tender ministrations of our layout designer, Peter Fitchett. (Yep, all this stuff happens quite a while in advance of the publication date of the issue.)

Our guest poet for takahē 86 is Robert Sullivan, and we have poems from fifteen contributors, ranging geographically from Otago to Auckland, via Scotland. It’s looking like a very interesting issue, with a real mix of topics. There’s a slightly higher-than-average number of humorous poems, and quite a few examples of formal work (what can I say – I’m a sucker for both, done well).