When Chris asked me to guest edit Minarets my first thought was that I was not “cool” enough to edit a journal which I’ve always seen as a place for young and experimental poets. Would I be contemporary enough to be a good editor? The fact that I’m using the word “cool” without irony signals that I’m a child of the 80s—but even I know that being “cool” isn’t cool anymore. Because to be “cool” when I grew up was to wear a particular designer or listen to a particular type of pop. The “coolest” kids conformed with more commitment than anyone else.
We had around one hundred submissions for this issue, and so many of these poems deserved to be published. But one of the gifts of Minarets is that it’s short. It invites you to spend time with a handful of poets—to repeatedly sink into their words, to bring them into your body and let them change you.
In the end I had nothing to worry about. The poems I’ve selected are beautiful, painful, challenging, thought-provoking, heartbreaking and funny. They reminded me that good poems shine no matter their genre or when they were written. They make life feel intense and bright. While this issue includes mid-career poets, there’s definitely a new generation stepping forward, and I have admiration for their commitment to craft, and to sharing an authentic experience—to not conforming. That’s cool.
Sarah Jane Barnett
ESSA MAY RANAPIRI (Ngāti Raukawa, they/them/theirs) is the author of ransack (VUP, 2019), their first book of poetry [if they die before the end of the settler colonial nation state of NZ you owe them a revolution]
ELIZABETH WELSH is a poet, short fiction writer and academic editor. Her debut collection of poetry is Over There a Mountain (Mākaro Press, 2018). Her poetry and short fiction have been published in journals and anthologies in both New Zealand and the United Kingdom. In 2012, she won the Divine Muses – NEW VOICES – Emerging Poets Award. She lives in Titirangi with her husband and daughter.
ERIK KENNEDY is the author of There’s No Place Like the Internet in Springtime3:AM Magazine, Hobart, Landfall, The Manchester Review, Poetry, and Western Humanities Review, and his criticism has been in the Los Angeles Review of Books and the TLS. Originally from New Jersey, he lives in Christchurch, New Zealand.
AIMEE-JANE ANDERSON-O’CONNOR was awarded the 2018 Charles Brasch Young Writers’ Essay Prize, and was the co-winner of the 2017 Monash Prize for Emerging Writers. Her work has appeared in a number of literary journals, including Starling, Mayhem, Poetry New Zealand, Landfall, Mimicry, and Minarets.
LOUISE WALLACE is the author of three collections of poetry published by Victoria University Press, most recently Bad Things (2017). She is the founder and editor of Starling. Louise lives in Dunedin with her husband and their young son.
JOAN FLEMING is the author of two collections of poetry, The Same as Yes (VUP, 2011) and Failed Love Poems (VUP, 2015), and the chapbook Two Dreams in Which Things Are Taken (Duets). Her new collection Dirt is forthcoming. She holds a PhD in ethnopoetics from Monash University, and is the New Zealand/Aotearoa Commissioning Editor for Cordite Poetry Review. She currently lives in Madrid, and in 2020 she will travel to Honduras for the Our Little Roses Poetry Teaching Fellowship.
TRAVIS TATE (US) is a queer, black playwright, poet and performer from Austin, Texas. Their poetry has appeared in Borderlands: Texas Poetry Review, Underblong, Mr. Ma’am, apt, and Cosmonaut Avenue. Their plays include It’s A Travesty! One Night With Jazzie Mercado, MotherWitch, and Queen of The Night. They earned an MFA from the Michener Center for Writers. You can find more about them at travisltate.com
JACKSON NIEUWLAND is melting. Soon they will be a puddle on the floor. The puddle will soak through the floorboards and be absorbed by the earth beneath. The earth is very thirsty; it needs all the fluids it can get.
ELIANA GRAY is a poet mostly from Ōtepoti. They have had words in: Mimicry, Oscen, Baby Teeth and honey & lime, among others. Their debut collection is Eager to Break (Girls On Key Press, 2019), and they received the 2020 Villa Sarkia writers residency in Finland. You can find them on the internet @foxfoxxfox and sometimes in real life.
RACHEL O’NEILL is a filmmaker, writer and artist based in Te Whanganui-a-Tara, Aotearoa. Her debut collection is One Human in Height (Hue & Cry Press, 2013). She was awarded a 2018 SEED Grant (NZWG/NZFC) to develop a feature film, and held a 2019 Emerging Writers Residency at the Michael King Writers Centre.
TOYAH WEBB is a writer and student at the University of Auckland. They currently live in Titirangi.
SARAH JANE BARNETT is a poet, creative writing teacher, and book reviewer, living in Wellington, New Zealand. She has had a number of poems selected for inclusion in various journals and anthologies in New Zealand, Australia and the US. Her first collection of poetry A Man Runs into a Woman was published by Hue & Cry Press in 2012, and was a finalist in the 2013 New Zealand Post Book Awards. Her latest collection of poetry, WORK, was published in 2015. You can find her at sarahjanebarnett.net