The other New Zealand literary journal

Book Launch: David Lyndon Brown, White City

Book launch for White City (Titus Books, 2017)

Who: Author David Lyndon Brown. Speakers include Olwyn Stewart, Tony O’Brien, Tim Leath
When: Thursday 27 July, 5.30 pm
Where: Albion Hotel – downstairs function room, 119 Hobson Street, Central Auckland.

White City by David Lyndon BrownWhite City is a collection of short stories set mostly in and around Auckland’s Albert Park.

 ‘No booze, no nothing for a week,’ I told her. ‘Just you and me and the good air and the sun and the sea.’

I can still see her curled up on that bed, the sound of the waves coming in through the window, peacefully sleeping like a little girl. We only lasted four days, but it was the best four days of my life.

Now Melissa’s fucked. We don’t get together so much. She’s too busy working the parlours for white.

“Brown treats his characters with clear-eyed generosity, but never condescension. They are often resourceful though lacking in resources, and tender, if tenuous, connections are made between characters that are not firmly connected to the mainstream grid.”

Poetry reading, Auckland

Lounge #54
illustration by Marc Conaco

Illustration by Marc Conaco

When: Wednesday  29 March, 5.30-7 pm
Where: Old Government House, cnr Princes St and Waterloo Quadrant, CBD, Auckland.
Who: Makyla Curtis, Chad Faries, Murray Edmond, Kelly Malone, Bob Orr, Ruby Porter, Blackfriars, Lisa Samuels, Frankie McMillan

Number 54 in a popular series of poetry readings hosted by the University of Auckland in the Old Government House lounge.

Conference and CFP: Poetry and the Essay

Conference: Poetry & the Essay

When: 6–8 December 2017 (Proposals due 17 July, 2017).
Where: Kelburn Campus, Victoria University of Wellington
Who: Organizers: Anna Jackson, Helen Rickerby, Angelina Sbroma. Confirmed keynote speakers include Jenny Bornholdt and Ian Rae.

“They forsake narrative line, discursive logic, and the art of persuasion in favor of idiosyncratic meditation.”
John D’Agata on the lyric essay.

“… some people might think it’s not poetry. Well …”
Jenny Bornholdt, from “Fitter Turner”

This three-day conference will bring together poets and scholars to explore the space where poetry intersects with the essay.

To view the call for papers please visit the conference website.

JNZL Special Issue: New Writing 1975-2000

NZJL special issue: new writingThe Journal of New Zealand Literature (JNZL) has a special issue which is likely to be of interest to brief readers.

Entitled New Writing 1975-2000 and edited by John Geraets, it contains essays by Owen Bullock, Wystan Curnow, Makyla Curtis, Murray Edmond, John Geraets, Roger Horrocks, Jack Ross, and Robert Sullivan.

For more details, visit the JNZL website.

“Talking queer, writing queer, seeing queer” literary festival panel, Auckland

Talking queer, writing queer, seeing queer

SameSame But Different LGBTQI festival panel. How do we think, how do we speak? How does a queer sensibility influence what to say, what to intimate, when to be blatant and when to be silent?

When: Saturday 18 February, 4-5pm

Where: AUT, Sir Paul Reeves Building, room WG126.

Who: Michael Giacon, David Herkt, Douglas Lloyd Jenkins, Urzila Carlson. Chaired by Peter Wells.

How do we think, how do we speak?

Full details and ticket prices are at the available here.

Also of note at the SameSame But Different festival: Michael Giacon will MC the Pride Poetry Speakeasy, Wednesday, 15 February, 5.30pm-7pm, (free entry). Leys Institute Library Courtyard, 20 St Mary’s Road, Three Lamps, Ponsonby.

Call for submissions: issue 56

“Passion is the rope kept taut between ourselves and Genius, the rope on which life, the tightrope walker, balances.”
Georgio Agamben [trans. Laurence Simmons], Profanations

The 56th issue of brief will be a general issue. Surprise yourself; surprise us!

brief unicornSubmissions are to be received by March 31, 2017, and can be emailed to Non-electronic submissions up to A4 in size can be mailed to the editor (Olivia Macassey) 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.

Issue 55 Supplement: How Many Miles To Babylon

How Many Miles to Babylon? Three Faces of Mike Johnson’s Lear

Did Mike Johnson know that there had once been a “Babylon” on the Kaipara when he chose that name for his imaginary village? I don’t know. I haven’t asked him.

Even if he had, would it make much difference to the nature of the novel he dreamt up: that strange mixture of courtly erudition and intense, provincial ignorance? Not directly, no. His larger point would, I’m sure, remain valid in either case.

Why bother to go and look for it, then?

I suppose, if I were to be honest, that the impetus for this quest – and the larger study of “Speculative Fictional” landscapes within New Zealand which it forms a part of – is largely supplied by its paradoxical nature…
Jack Ross

The following is a colour supplement for Jack Ross‘ essay, How Many Miles to Babylon? which appears in brief issue 55. All photographs: Bronwyn Lloyd (5/8/16).

 Mike Johnson: Lear (1986)

Mike Johnson: Lear (1986)

Mike Johnson’s dystopian SF novel is set on a waterway described only as “the river,” in a tiny settlement called “Babylon.”



Scaffolding at Tangiteroria, on SH14 between Whangarei and Dargaville.

 Northern Wairoa River

Northern Wairoa River


Northern Wairoa River

Northern Wairoa River

The upper reaches of “the river” – at Tangiteroria.

The view

The view

The view from Tangiteroria, looking towards the West Coast.



A prototype for Babylon? The tiny settlement of Tangowahine, on the way towards the coast.

Wairoa River (Dargaville)

Wairoa River (Dargaville)

Funnily enough, the Wairoa River was always referred to simply as “the river” by the inhabitants of the Kapipara. Here it is at its widest, looking over towards Te Kopuru.

Babylon Coast Road

Babylon Coast Road

The sign is on SH 12, 6 kms north of Dargaville.

 Babylon Coast Road

Babylon Coast Road





Babylon Coast Road

Babylon Coast Road

Storm clouds coming over the hills from Babylon: the former gum-digging settlement down near Baylys Beach.

The full text of How Many Miles to Babylon? Three Faces of Mike Johnson’s Lear by Jack Ross appears in brief issue 55.

Book launch: two chapbooks from Seraph Press, Auckland

Book launch for two chapbooks from Seraph Press.

Shipwrecks/Shelters: Six Contemporary Greek Poets, edited and translated by Vana Manasiadis, and Observations: Poems by Claudio Pasi, translated by Tim Smith with Marco Sonzogni.

When: Wednesday 16 December, 6pm
Where: St Paul St Gallery, 40 Paul St, Auckland
Who: Readings by Vana Manasiadis, Paula Green, Hemi Kelly, Glenn Colquhoun, Tulia Thompson, Siobhan Harvey, Doug Poole, and Jack Ross.

A multilingual poetry reading to celebrate the launch of the first the first two chapbooks in the Seraph Press Translation Series. Poetry readings in and from Greek, Italian, Maori, Fijian, Norwegian, Samoan, and French.

Launch: Richard von Sturmer, This Explains Everything

This Explains EverythingBook launch for This Explains Everything (Atuanui Press, 2016)

When: Friday November 18, 6 pm
Where: Onehunga Community House, 83 Selwyn Street, Onehunga, Auckland.
Who: Author Richard von Sturmer. Introduction by Scott Hamilton, music by Gabriel White.

This Explains Everything is part memoir and part adventure story, and also features recent poetry and prose poems.

“This is a gorgeous and poignant book, an intensely personal story of family love and yearning that also speaks to the formation of the imaginative self. Richard von Sturmer is the best New Zealand memoirist since Martin Edmond.” – Anne Kennedy

“This is beautiful writing; dream-like, precise, magnificent.” – Don McGlashan

Poetry Readings, Christchurch

Poetry in Performance

Christchurch 2016The following sessions are part of the Canterbury Poets’ Collective Poetry in Performance series, held at ARA. Each session is approx 2 hrs long and includes an open mic section.

When: Wednesday November 9, 6.30p.m
Where: ARA Imagetech Lecture Theatre, 5 Madras St, Christchurch
Who: Nick Ascroft, Greg O’Connell, Marisa Cappetta

Entry $5. Guests and open mic.

When: Wednesday November 16, 6.30p.m
Where: ARA Imagetech Lecture Theatre, 5 Madras St, Christchurch
Who: David Howard, best of Open Mic

Entry $5.

Event: “Writers Make With Music” (Auckland)

Writers Make With Music
Writers music When: Wed Oct 19th, 8.30 pm
Where: The Wine Cellar, Karangahape Rd
Who: Richard Taylor, Richard Von Sturmer, Stephanie Christie, Lisa Samuels, Bill Direen, Ross Brighton, Andrew McCully, Greg Kan, Jonathon Cratford,  Stu Page,  Auckland University Student Composers.

Free entry.

to celebrate the relationship between words and music.


Event: “Writers Make With Music” (Dunedin, Christchurch)

Writers make with music – Dunedin

Writers music

When: Thursday 6 October, 6pm
Where: Dunedin Library (Dunningham Suite)
Who: David Eggleton, Ian Loughran, Ian Chapman, Bill Direen, Lynley Edmeades with musicians Jackson Harry and Stuart Porter.

University Book Shop will offer book sales on the evening (EFTPOS available). Free entry.
Writers make with music – Christchurch

When: Sunday 9 Oct, 8.30 pm
Where: Lyttleton Coffee Company, London St, Lyttleton
Who: Bill Direen, Roger Hickin, Kathleen Gallagher, Frankie McMillan.
Free entry.

Performances will range from simple songs, to poems with backing, and from improvisations to syllabic artistry.

Poetry Reading, Titirangi

Titirangi Poets

Where: Titirangi Library
When: Saturday 10 September, 2pm – 3.45pm
Who: Jack Ross and Stu Bagby

Followed by a round robin where everyone is invited to read a poem, their own or anyone else’s. MC Piers Davies. Contact 5246 927 or for further information.

Jack Ross Stu BagbyJack Ross has been the managing editor of Poetry New Zealand since 2014. His publications to date include five poetry collections, three novels and three books of short fiction. He works as a Senior Lecturer in Creative Writing at Massey University’s Albany Campus.

Stu Bagby has published both as an anthologist and a poet. His poetry has appeared in several collections and has been included in the Best of the Best New Zealand Poems and Essential New Zealand Poems. He hopes to have a new collection of poems ready for publication later this year.

Poetry Reading, Takapuna

Celebrating Poetry

Where: Takapuna Library, Level 1
When: Tuesday 30 August, 6pm – 7.30pm
Who: Michael Giacon, Joy MacKenzie, Bronwyn Lloyd, Jack Ross (MC Stu Bagby)

Light refreshments will be served from 6pm, with the event starting at 6.30pm.

Cost: Gold coin/donation

Poetry reading, Auckland

Tika Tonu A Tu Ki A Koe – Be True to Yourself

Poetry Reading: Tika Tonu A Tu Ki A Koe – Be True to Yourself

Where: Time Out Bookstore, Mt Eden, Auckland
When: Friday 12 August at 7pm.

Who:  Makyla Curtis, Steven Toussaint, Kiri Piahana-Wong, Selina Tusitala Marsh, Vaughan Rapatahana, Iain Britton.

This is a BYO event. Come relax, have a drink and listen to some fantastic poetry!

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