the lives of the Trout editors have been very full lately, so we apologise
for the delay in bringing you this fourth but very large Trout.
was awarded a literary fellowship here at Auckland University, so I'm having
a wonderfully indulgent time writing for myself - I'm completing a novel,
Mokopuna Ocean, from which an extract appears in this issue, a book
of poetry called Star Waka, and working on an anthology of indigenous
Polynesian poetry in English co-edited with Albert Wendt and Reina Whaitiri.
this year I attended an English Department dinner for Australian poet Les
Murray - a genuinely interesting man, an artist who has lived off his writing
for the last thirty years, and one of this issue's contributors to Trout.
His voice is original, and his work that of a genius. I hope readers are
inspired to read deeply into his oeuvre as I have been. You're in for a
treat if you do.
recently read a perceptive article by Peter Wells in The
Sydney Morning Herald about the paucity of the trans-Tasman literary
relationship, how basically nobody from this side of the ditch reads anyone
from over there and vice versa. I have to agree with Wells. The turn-out
at Les Murray's two poetry readings in Auckland was appalling. Perhaps
we need a trans-Tasman literary event to get things moving? We've both
got the writers who foot it on the world stage, now we need to encourage
the readers to get in behind.
number of very good New Zealand books have already come out this year.
Anne Kennedy's A boy and his uncle
(Picador), Hone Tuwhare's Shape-shifter
(Steele Roberts), and Stephanie Johnson's new novel The
whistler (Viking). Mark Pirie has edited a very interesting anthology,
The next wave (Otago University Press), a compilation of writings by Generation
X-ers. Nice to know that I've got the x-appeal to get in! There's a lengthy,
wild and entertaining introduction which gets slightly strident in trying
to blame a few postmodernists for poetry's unpopularity. Now I'm not a
LANGUAGE poet but I think there's more than enough room on the planet,
the New Zealand bit even, to have different kinds of poets living alongside
one another, and amicably. Even so, it's still a very useful look at the
poetry scene through a youthful filter.
hope you enjoy Trout 4.