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Poet, photographer & blogger Mary Macpherson has posted an interview with me on her blog, about The Continuing Adventures of Alice Spider which was published recently by Anomalous Press.  You can read the interview here:



News in Brief: the boys are still winning; the girls haven’t yet caught up.

Since 2008, I’ve been looking at the Journal of Commonwealth Literature’s annual summary of what was published in New Zealand the previous year.  Despite a general perception that more female poets are being published here, it’s actually the other way around.  Here’s a little table showing that, in each year since 2008, male poets account for around six in every ten poetry books published in New Zealand; female poets for about four.

          F           M
2008 36% 63%
2009 43% 57%
2010 42% 58%
2011 43% 57%

Where it gets interesting, is breaking the books into those published by “larger” poetry publishers (and in here I’ve included AUP, VUP, Steele Roberts & Random House – who put out Hone Tuwhare’s collection in 2011) and those published by smaller presses (such as Headworx, Seraph Press, Titus and Earl of Seacliffe).  Women outnumber men at the larger presses (18 female poets and 15 male poets in 2011), while men outnumber women at the smaller presses (9 female poets and 22 male poets in 2011 + one person I couldn’t put into a gender box from their initials).  So that probably explains why people have a sense that more women are being published.  It would be interesting to look at sales figures too.

Previous posts on the matter:

Disclaimer: I haven’t checked all the books listed by the Journal of Commonwealth Literature, but I did notice they had included at least one novel on their list of poetry books (which I omitted from the analysis) – Mark Stephenson’s No Second Chance.

And because this is the internet, here is a picture of a cat.


US-based literary magazine Shenandoah (Vol 6 No. 2) features a selection of poems by New Zealand poets, including Hinemoana Baker, Emma Barnes, James Brown, Kay Cooke, Natasha Dennerstein, Nicola Easthope, Cliff Fell, me (Janis Freegard), Rob Hack, Bernadette Hall, Siobhan Harvey, Anna Jackson, Selina Tusitala Marsh, Frankie McMillan, Maria McMillan, Emma Neale, Bill Nelson, Chris Price, Maraea Rakutaku, Harry Ricketts, Sandi Santorelli, Alice Te Punga Somerville, Tim Upperton, Sugar Magnolia Wilson and Sue Wootton.  You can listen to audio versions of the poems too.

You can also read an essay on NZ poetry by editors Lesley Wheeler (who visited New Zealand on a Fulbright scholarship last year), Max Chapnick and Drew Martin, and enjoy additional poems by Robert Bense, Roy Bentley, James Brasfield, Nancy Naomi Carlson, Melissa Dickson, Richard Foerster, Brandan Galvin, Jeff Gundy, Jared Harel, Ben Howard, Luke Johnson, Susan Ludvigson, Tom Reiter, Austin Segrest and Corrie Williamson.

There is also flash fiction by Grazie Christie, Michael Devens, Trudy Lewis, Ryan Rising, Evelyn Somers , Melissa Wyse and Julian Zabalbeascoa.

My favourite poem so far is Emma Barnes’ poem Ohio

Over and out.



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March 2013

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