The other New Zealand literary journal

Year: 2018

Central Auckland Poets: Poetry in the Garden

Poetry in the Garden

What: 45 page chapbook featuring the work of new poetry group CAP (Central Auckland Poets)

Who:  Michael Giacon, Gillian Roach, Alexandra Fraser, Lincoln Jaques, Denise O’Hagan.
Chapbook designed by Anna Marshall and published by CAPpress.


to open the gate to the beautiful garden
open the gate

While stocks last!

Issue 56 Looking for a copy of brief 56? If you don’t get one from us, you can find brief at the following retailers: Unity Books Auckland, Vic Books Wellington, Unity Books Wellington, Volume One Nelson, Unity Online.

Poetry reading, Auckland

Lounge #65


lounge 65

Illustration by Marc Conaco

When: Wednesday 17 October, 5.30-7 pm
Where: Old Government House, cnr Princes St and Waterloo Quadrant, CBD, Auckland.
Who: MC Erena Shingade with readings from Richard von Sturmer, Jack Ross, Iain Britton, Selina Ershadi, JM Francis, Amber French, Chris Holdaway, Renee Liang, Bobby Park and Sam Te Kani.

Number 65 in a popular series of poetry readings hosted by the University of Auckland in the Old Government House lounge.

Issue 56 Supplement: The Only Time

Below are full colour reproductions of four paintings by John Downie which appear alongside their texts, in black and white, in brief issue 56. To mark the transition, we have also included a further poem and image by Downie here: Black White Colour.

John Downie’s book, The Only Time: an autobiography in twelve pictures, is forthcoming from Steele Roberts this year. (Click images to view them in more detail).


The only time
Black and white changed
Into colour
I was in the very room

A forward sense of myself
Had sneaked me
Through a broken back-window
Into the Magic Theatre
Convinced I alone could manipulate and mix up
Puppets, masks, light
With disputational voices
Into the reality
Of an illusion


The apparatus already had its own ideas
About the polychromatic possibilities
Of the spectacle

In which as many lives
As were seemingly being lived
In every scoured quarter of the Earth
Could be elided through past and future
Into a perpetual present
Pixellating pure motion
Incessant song
Agonies of the heart
Ecstasies of commodification
Bleeding scarifications of the political will

All together

Into vibrant, cool
Illusions of a reality
Available, night and day
With no more required effort
Than the restless flicking
Of opposable thumbs

Without any need at all
For my feverish monochrome adolescence
To help animate them

 John Downie: BLACK WHITE COLOUR 1967

John Downie: BLACK WHITE COLOUR 1967


John Downie: UNIFORM 1943

John Downie: UNIFORM 1943

CHE 1967

John Downie: CHE 1967

John Downie: CHE 1967

BED 1970

John Downie: BED 1970

John Downie: BED 1970


John Downie: ASYLUM 1989

John Downie: ASYLUM 1989

The accompanying text for these paintings appears in excerpt from The Only Time, which appears in brief issue 56.

Brief issue 55

Brief 55 Cover

brief 55

Edited by Olivia Macassey. 144pp.

Featuring work by: Ivy Alvarez, Aimee-Jane Anderson-O’Connor, Nick Ascroft, Victor Billot, Iain Britton, Isaac Brodie, Brent Cantwell, Stephanie Christie, Mary Cresswell, Brett Cross, Makyla Curtis, William Direen, John Downie, Doc Drumheller, John Geraets, Michael Giacon, Rata Gordon, Dale Johnson, Robert Kempen, Sid Khanzode, Rosalie Liu, Caoimhe McKeogh, joshua morris, Michael Morrisey, Janet Newman, Piet Nieuwland, Andrew Maximillian Niss, Keith Nunes, Vaughan Rapatahana, Sahanika Ratnayake, Jack Ross, Lisa Samuels, Carin Smeaton, Michael Steven, Fiona Stevens, Richard Taylor, Denys Trussell, Richard von Sturmer, E Wen Wong, Mark Young.

Reviews: Jen Crawford reviews Excerpts from a Natural History by Holly Painter and The Burnt Hotel by Olivia Macassey.

“an isle of amusements, mysteries and wonders…”

A supplement to the current issue is located here.
A supplement to issue 55 is located here.

Call for submissions – issue 57

Brief has re-emerged and is seeking all manner of changes, transformations, alterations, mutations, re-orderings, transfigurations, conversions, variations, reorganizations, evolutions, metamorphoses, modifications, and reconstructions.

brief has emerged

Submissions are to be received by September 30, 2018, and can be emailed to brief.the.journal[at] Non-electronic submissions up to A4 in size can be mailed to the editor by prior arrangement.

View our submission guidelines here.

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

Performance – Auckland

Expendable Animals: Songs and Improvisations by Bill Direen and Guests.

Direen’s new show brings together elements of music poetry and theatre in a live evening of texts, songs and improvisation. Direen will perform songs, some known, some new, counterbalanced by creative compositions by a small ensemble of select musicians.

Who:Bill Direen, Steve Cournane, others. Text by Direen and Alan Brunton.
When: Friday 18 & Saturday 19 May, 8pm
Where: Audio Foundation, 4 Poynton Tce, Auckland

It will be the first-ever public performance of a mini song-cycle written by Direen and poet Alan Brunton about Michael Joseph Savage.

Festival poetry reading – Auckland

Speakeasy (Same Same but different)

Who:Bring your original or favourite LGBTQI poetry to present or come to listen and enjoy in a welcoming word nest.”

When: Wednesday 7 February, 5.30pm-7pm
Where:The Leys Institute Library Courtyard, 20 St Mary’s Road, Ponsonby, Auckland.

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