There are a couple of new issues of literary magazines featuring NZ writers on the shelves.
The Griffith Review is an Australian quarterly featuring new writing and ideas. This time, issue 43, Pacific Highways, features all NZ writers. It is edited by Julianne Schultz and Lloyd Jones, and is chock full of essays, memoirs, reportage, fiction, poetry and photography. It has been very well received and I can understand why: it is very good mix of famous stalwarts and exciting newcomers. I do like this approach, it is like a sampler box of chocolates, you get a taste of all sorts, including people and works you might otherwise overlook, and the pieces are long/short enough to intrigue and make you go looking for more by the authors you love. I have found it is useful to read such journals from cover to cover, not cherry-picking the works I think I will like – it is interesting what strikes you that you might have otherwise missed.
The other new issue at the moment is #42 of Sport the literary magazine edited by Fergus Barrowman, the publisher at Victoria University Press who published Eleanor Catton’s Man Booker-prize winning The Luminaries (now available, btw, in a gorgeous new livery to celebrate the new edition). This issue features the essays, fiction and poetry of 42 new and established NZ writers, if you click here you can read several pieces. Pleasingly, the clever photo on the cover, by writer Damian Wilkins was taken out at the Albatross colony on Dunedin’s peninsula. As well as very big seabirds, the colony also encompasses the military/industrial remains and tunnels of some of NZ’s old wartime defences – complete with appropriate signs!