Last spring, catastrophic climate-altered bushfires brought freakish firestorms with huge walls of flame and smouldering debris to the east coast of Australia. Suffocating particulate smoke spread out across the Tasman Sea and Pacific Ocean as far as Aotearoa, Chile and Argentina. Then, in March, the stealthy corona virus pandemic wreaked further dislocation and consequent behavioural change on the entire planet. Ways of living were fractured as restrictions on movement and congregation were instituted by governments. Socialisation became almost completely virtualised.
Compelled to stay at home, I appreciated Chris Holdaway’s earlier invitation to choose some poems for Minarets during these time-bending disruptions.
Here, we present work that was selected from over two hundred local and international poems of diverse scope and enlivening attitude that we read, re-read and read again. Reluctantly surrendering to the exigencies of page space in a small print journal we reduced the scale to a concise cluster of poems that came, inadvertently, from Aotearoa, Singapore and Australia (give or take an expat or two).
I think we can parcel them up as ‘eastern hemisphere poems’ mostly engaged with ironic acts that push established meanings (as, in general, poetry must) into a variety of imaginative takes on disentangling language from its limits.
Let’s salute the minimal, the fragmentary, the acerbic, the complex, the indefinite and the conceptual. Here is Minarets 11—ready for reading, ruminating and reflecting.
BRETT CROSS co-founded and runs the two small presses: Titus Books and Atuanui Press.
ELLEN MORGAN BUTLER is originally from Nashville, Tennessee, and has been living and writing in Wellington since 2017. You can read more of her poetry and short fiction in Takahē, Mayhem, Turbine|Kapohau, and elsewhere.
LISA SAMUELS is a transnational author of many books of poetry and prose, recently The Long White Cloud of Unknowing (2019). She also works with sound, visual art and film, e.g. Tomorrowland (2017). Her essays and editing focus in theory and poetics and experimental arts, and she lives and teaches in Aotearoa.
MURRAY EDMOND is known variously for his work as a poet, playwright and fiction writer, and as an editor, critic and dramaturge. His poetry collections Letters And Paragraphs, Fool Moon, Shaggy Magpie Songs were finalists in the New Zealand book awards for poetry. His most recent book Back Before You Know, published by Compound Press, was a finalist in 2020.
ESSA MAY RANAPIRI (Ngāti Wehi Wehi / Ngāti Takatāpui / Clan Gunn) /////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////idkanymore
RUBY SOLLY (Kai Tahu, Waitaha) is a writer and musician living in Pōneke. She has been published in journals such as Landfall, Starling, Mimicry, and Poetry NZ. Her poem ‘Six Feet For a Single Eight Feet For a Double’ was recently featured in Best New Zealand Poems 2020. Her debut poetry collection, Tōku Pāpā is being released by Victoria University Press in 2021.
AMY LEIGH WICKS is an American poet in New Zealand. She holds a PhD from Victoria University of Wellington and an MFA from The New School. Author of The Dangerous Country of Love and Marriage (Auckland University Press) and Orange Juice and Rooftops (Eloquent Books), she likes poetry, finger painting, and motorcycles.
VANESSA MAY CROFSKEY is an artist and writer based in Tāmaki Makaurau. Her essays can be found at the Pantograph Punch, and her latest collection of poetry is available in AUP New Poets 6. She can be found lying dead in a ditch called the Internet.
HAO GUANG TSE 谢皓光 is a Singaporean poet and the author of hyperlinkage (2013) and Deeds of Light (2015); the latter was shortlisted for the 2016 Singapore Literature Prize. He co-edits the literary journal OF ZOOS, is the consulting editor of poetry.sg, and co-edited UnFree Verse, an anthology of Singaporean poetry in received and nonce forms.
DAVE DRAYTON worked at a single-screen cinema whose owner claimed to have invented tight-arse Tuesdays.
JAKE GOETZ currently resides in Sydney’s Inner West. In 2019 his first book, meditations with passing water, was shortlisted for the QLD Premier’s Award. He is the editor of the sporadically-published online magazine, Marrickville Pause, and recently began a DCA in Writing at WSU.
PASCALLE BURTON is an Australian experimental poet and performer with an interest in conceptual art and cultural theory. Her collection About the Author is Dead is available through Cordite Books and was shortlisted for the 2019 Mary Gilmore Award for best first book of poetry. pascalleburton.wordpress.com
MICHAEL FARRELL lives in Melbourne. His books include Family Trees (Giramondo, 2020) and the edited Australian tribute, Ashbery Mode (TinFish, 2019).
JUDY ANNEAR is a writer living in Australia on the land of the Dja Dja Wurrung of the Kulin nation, never ceded. She is Honorary (Fellow) at the School of Culture and Communications, University of Melbourne. A small book of experimental texts THE Ls was published 2019.
LOUIS KLEE is an Australian writer. He grew up in the Australian Capital Territory on Ngunnawal land and is currently a student at Gonville & Caius College, Cambridge. His poems have won the Peter Porter Prize and been anthologised in Best Australian Poems.
CLAIRE ALBRECHT was the 2019 Emerging Writers Festival fellow at the State Library of Victoria, and will (COVID willing) be a resident at the Helene Wurlitzer Foundation, New Mexico in 2020. Her manuscript sediment was shortlisted for the 2018 Subbed In chapbook prize, and her debut chapbook pinky swear launched in 2018.
LOUIS ARMAND is an Australian author living in Prague and is the author of the poetry collections East Broadway Rundown (2015), The Rube Goldberg Variations (2015), and Synopticon (with John Kinsella, 2012), as well as numerous novels and critical books, most recently Glasshouse (2018), and Videology (2015). louis-armand.com
TOBY FITCH is poetry editor of Overland, and the author of the poetry collections Rawshock, which won the Grace Leven Prize for Poetry 2012; Jerilderies; The Bloomin’ Notions of Other & Beau; ILL LIT POP; and, most recently, Where Only the Sky had Hung Before (Vagabond Press 2019). He lives in Sydney on unceded Gadigal land.
AJ CARRUTHERS is an Australian-born critic and experimental poet, author of the poetry collections AXIS Book 1: Areal, AXIS Book 2 (Vagabond 2014, 2019), the critical volume Stave Sightings: Notational Experiments in North American Long Poems, 1961-2011 (New York: Palgrave, 2017), and the sound work Consonata (Version one: 2019).
EMILY STEWART is the author of the poetry collection Knocks (Vagabond, 2016), winner of the Noel Rowe Poetry Award, and three chapbooks: Like (Bulky News Press 2015), Australia’s Largest DIY (SOd Press 2016) and The Internet Blue (First Draft 2017). She lives in Sydney.
PAM BROWN has been writing, collaborating, editing & publishing in diverse modes both locally & internationally for decades now. Her most recent books are Missing up (2015) & Click here for what we do (2018) both published by Vagabond Press. She lives in Sydney on Gadigal land.