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Thanks to poet Mary Cresswell, who has done a bit of sleuthing, I can add a postscript to my post about Poetry & Gender in NZ Publishing. Mary has looked at all the poetry books published in New Zealand over the 5 years 2008-2012 and noted which ethnicity the poets identify with, based mainly on their author/publisher webpages.  So it may not be 100% accurate, but I think it’s a good estimate.

Apologies for the poor quality of the graph below – there’s a clearer version if you click on the link underneath it.  What it shows is that, over the five year period, 90% of the poetry publishing pie went to Pākehā/European poets, 4% to Pasifika poets, 3% to Māori poets and 2% to Asian poets. Middle Eastern and African poets accounted for 0.4% of books respectively.  When you compare this to proportions in the New Zealand population (70% Pākehā; 14% Māori; 11% Asian, 7% Pasifika and 1% Middle Eastern/Latin American/African – figures from Stats NZ Census 2013) it’s not looking very representative.  I do think it’s important for a country’s literature to reflect the diversity of voices in its population.

 

poetry books x ethnicity 2008 - 2010

poetry books x ethnicity 2008 – 2012

 

In a comment on the ‘Poetry and Gender’ post, Tina Makereti said that her research for her PhD “also identified a lack of any real indigenous literary studies in New Zealand (no courses at tertiary level, limited commitment to indigenous literatures in high schools), and few Māori literature scholars. I think if the commitment were there from the universities, and Māori saw themselves represented in the study of literature, the numbers would increase.”  So – universities, high schools, publishers – over to you!

 

PS: I should have mentioned that, as with the ‘Poetry & Gender’ data, the source for titles and authors, etc is The Journal of Commonwealth Literature and I’m grateful to Rebecca Pilcher for providing the 2012 information.

The e-book version of Tales for Canterbury has now been released, with copies available from Random Static Press.  A paperback version will be released soon. I’m very pleased to have a story in it (The Magician).

Tales for Canterbury

Tales for Canterbury is an anthology of 34 short stories loosely themed around survival, hope and future. All profits will be donated to the Red Cross Earthquake Appeal. 

It features stories by RJ Astruc, Philippa Ballantine, Jesse Bullington, Anna Caro, Cat Connor, Brenda Cooper, Debbie CowensMatt Cowens, Merrilee Faber, AJ Fitzwater, Janis Freegard, Neil Gaiman, Cassie Hart, A.M. Harte, Karen Healey, Leigh K Hunt, Lynne Jamneck, Patty Jansen, Gwyneth Jones, Tim Jones, Kim Koning, Jay Lake, Helen Lowe, Kate Mahony, Tina Makereti, Juliet Marillier, Angel Leigh McCoy, Linda Niccol, Ripley Patton, Simon Petrie, Grant Stone, Jeff Vandermeer, Mary Victoria and Sean Williams.

Pre-orders are now available from Random Static Press.

Many thanks to editors Anna Caro and Cassie Hart who made it all happen.  So far, they’ve raised over $2,000 for Christchurch.

Here’s another great initiative to support Canterbury.  Anna Caro and J.C. Hart have put together a short story anthology – Tales for Canterbury – with stories donated by international and New Zealand writers.  Contributors include Neil Gaiman, Sean Williams, Jay Lake, Tim Jones, Tina Makereti, Helen Lowe and me.  It’s being published by Random Static Press in both print and ebook forms and all profits will go to the New Zealand Red Cross 2011 Earthquake Appeal.  For more information and to watch the promo video, visit talesforcanterbury.wordpress.com

Isn’t the cover beautiful?  The anthology is expected to be available by late April, but you can pre-order now.  ($12 for the ebook and $24.95 for the print version – I’ve ordered my copy already).  As of this morning, the editors had raised $880 towards their target of $5000.

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Wordle: janisfreegard.com

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