TROUT   [4] 

  Well, 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. 

I 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. 

Earlier 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. 

I 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. 

A 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. 

I hope you enjoy Trout 4. 

Robert Sullivan 

   © 1998