10th anniversary issue with founding editors.
Some 10 years ago, likely in the late summer of 2012, out the back of a Devonport house looking towards Takarunga Mount Victoria… One friend says to another that he’s thinking of starting a literary journal, just to see what it takes, not even sure how serious he is about it. But the other, she calls the bluff and says: “Great let’s do it!” By winter’s breath the two twenty-somethings had resolved to produce a journal of poetry once a quarter for as long as they could manage. So began Minarets, birthed in August of that year with a reading at the Snake Pit gallery (RIP) on High Street in Tāmaki Makaurau Auckland.
That editorial pair did manage a full calendar of quarterly issues, and an attendant suite of launch readings in whatever artist-run spaces we could get access to, but there was no way to keep it up. Changing circumstances, international departures… Minarets went on in different forms—sometimes online, sometimes in print—between various periods of hiatus, and different guest editors. For the 10th anniversary issue, it’s nice to sing that original duet once again; to search through what poetry in Aotearoa New Zealand has lately to offer, and compose something of it.
It would have been easy to assemble a self-congratulatory lineup of usual suspects, but in fact the greater part of the names in these pages are new to us. What remains constant is a commitment to wide variety, favouring a landscape of more poems by fewer poets, and connecting work across national and oceanic boundaries.
So many of the journals that were once our contemporaries have fallen to the vagaries of time. With a bit of luck and temerity, perhaps Minarets will keep finding someone and some reason to guide it along for a while yet.
Chris Holdaway & Lauren Strain
CRAIG FOLTZ is a writer & visual artist whose work has appeared in numerous journals, anthologies & galleries. He has previously released two books on Ugly Duckling Presse, and most recently published LOCALS ONLY with Compound Press. He currently lives & works in New Plymouth, pinched between the wild & remote west coast & Mt Taranaki.
JONATHAN CHAN is a writer and editor of poems and essays. Born in New York to a Malaysian father and South Korean mother, he was raised in Singapore and educated at Cambridge and Yale Universities. He is the author of the poetry collection going home (Landmark, 2022). He has recently been moved by the work of Lucille Clifton, Christian Wiman, and Wong May. He has an abiding interest in faith, identity, and creative expression. More at jonbcy.wordpress.com
EMMA SHI (石艾玛) is a writer based in Wellington. Her work has appeared in journals such as Landfall, Poetry NZ Yearbook, and Starling. Emma has self-published a few chapbooks, including a picture book about a bear named Moonbear, who lives on the moon.
GRACE PRODANOV is 20 years old and between jobs, cities, universities, and states of being. She occasionally terrorises the staff of The International Institute of Modern Letters at Te Herenga Waka – Victoria University of Wellington with her poetry. Grace is currently catsitting a cat named Pheobe. Pheobe likes it when Grace reads poetry to her.
MARK PRISCO is working on his phd at Waikato University. His poems and reviews have been published in NZ and overseas journals. He was guest editor for Mayhem in 2021 and contributed an editorial.
JESSIE FENTON (she/her) is a JAFA slam board member and an incurable show-off, who’s won poetry slams everywhere from the Writer’s Festival, to WOMAD, to the Nuyorican Poets Cafe. Her poems can be found in Starling, Stasis, Wild Honey, Sweet Mammalian, and Landing Press. When not writing poetry she can be found wobbling through the streets of Auckland on her pale blue rollerskates.
ABBRA KOTLARCZYK was raised on Bundjalung Country in the subtropical ruins of a decommissioned banana plantation. She has been finding ways to understand and communicate the tensions between bodies surviving off and with stolen lands, ever since. She makes art, curates, reads, writes, edits, parents and gardens—sometimes all at once—in an attempt to outmanoeuvre the forces that pit us against enmeshment. Her poetry has appeared in Australian Poetry’s Best of Australian Poems 2021, Cordite Poetry Review, un Magazine, Lieu Journal, Island Magazine and in various exhibition catalogues.
ERENA SHINGADE (Pākehā) lives and works in Tāmaki Makaurau Auckland. She is a graduate of the Seagull School of Publishing, Kolkata, India. Her writing can be found on platforms such as The Spinoff, Art + Australia, Landfall, Mimicry, Blackmail Press, Atlanta Review, Ka Mate Ka Ora, and the New Zealand Electronic Poetry Centre.
LORETTA RIACH is twenty-two, an artist, and a student, living in Te Whanganui-a-Tara. Some of their poetry can be found in Starling, and some of their art can be found on their website.
VICTOR BILLOT is a Dunedin writer. His poetry collection The Sets was published in 2021 by Otago University Press. He writes regular satirical verse for the Newsroom website.
EMER LYONS is a lesbian writer from West Cork living in New Zealand. She is the Irish Studies Postdoctoral Fellow at the Centre for Irish and Scottish Studies at the University of Otago. Most recently, you can find her writing in The Stinging Fly, Queer Love: An Anthology of Irish Fiction, The Pantograph Punch, and 1964.
TOYAH WEBB is a bookseller, writer, and graduate student at the University of Sydney. Her writing can be found in Eel Mag, Canadian Literature and Poetry New Zealand Yearbook. Her microchap THE ARCHIVE AS A SITE OF TENDER FORGETTING was published by Ghost City Press this winter.
NIAMH HOLLIS-LOCKE decided she wanted to be a writer at age 9, and hasn’t ever stopped to figure out whether that was actually a good idea. She holds a BA(Hons) in English Literature from VUW, and is currently working towards a Masters in Creative Writing at Massey University. Her work can be found in Starling, Rat World, and in the pile of notebooks taking over her room which she’ll never let anyone read.
BREE HUNTLEY lives in Auckland. She was recently published in Landfall.
DANNY BULTITUDE is a Jewish Pākehā writer and film archivist hailing from Porirua. His writing has been featured in Ōrongohau | Best New Zealand Poems 2021, Landfall, The Spinoff, The Poetry New Zealand Yearbook 2022 and several other national publications. He was a recipient of the 2019 Newsroom / Surrey Hotel Writer’s Residency and was named the overall winner of the inaugural Bell Hill Apartments Poetry Competition in 2021. Everything moves as a beautiful maelstrom.
CHRIS HOLDAWAY is a poet and publisher from Te Tai Tokerau / Northland. He is the author of Gorse Poems (Titus Books, 2022), and the director of Compound Press.
LAUREN STRAIN is from Auckland, NZ but lives in London, UK. She likes seconds.