Journal » Trout 11 » Editorial [Anne Kennedy & Robert Sullivan]
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Anne Kennedy & Robert Sullivan

Tena koutou katoa.

The concept of a 'mainland' – a big place to which we offer our gaze in profile, towards or from – is perhaps never more pertinent than it is today. As globalisation tags marketing, media, language and customs, even eating habits with a new super-imperialism, a mainland is no longer simply a land mass seen in relation to an island. It is a culture, a force, a psychological state. A growing thing. We all live, to some extent, under its shadow, or within it.

That our own mainland in Aotearoa is not a mainland in this sense makes a nice reversal in our topsy-turvy down-underness. Our mainland, the South Island, is the bigger of the two main islands that make up this country, yet is by far the less populated. It is our beautiful wilderness, and so remains a mainland in a geographical, perhaps a pure, sense – it is simply bigger.

Of course, there is that original mainland of Pakeha New Zealand culture, Europe. And to some people, Mainland means a block of cheese.

This issue of Trout places itself on the mainland of the internet, and some of its contributors consider mainland as a place, a state, a view.

Elizabeth Smither's Funeral at Saint Sulpice literally anchors itself to the land as a claim on sensibility, while the French setting of 7 Little Parisian Poems conjures up a European mainland. The mainland canvas for James Brown and Mark Pirie is the South Island. Pirie reflects on a tradition of South Island poets, while Brown writes of a South Island based on reportage and then on experience. For Anna Jackson the mainland is shifting as her family shifts to Wellington.

Richard Reeve's villanelle Dark Unloading spills like a South Island cascade, while Crib speaks of a cherished mainland linguistic and vacation icon. There is a reverence for the land in Te Anau Epiphany, the presence of 'John' encouraging associations with baptism.

Place features strongly in Sonja Yelich's poems in this issue. Fiona Farrell's delightfully understated Our Trip to Takaka spells the inner experience – that we take ourselves wherever we go!

There are just as many contributions from outside the Mainland this issue too. Vivienne Plumb, Jan Kemp, Jacq Carter, Trish Fong, Mark Young, Nick Ashcroft, Diana Bridge and Judy Haswell have all made memorable contributions to what we hope you will find to be a very enjoyable Trout.

This is our last editorial from New Zealand for a while. We?re travelling to Honolulu where Robert will be teaching creative writing at the University of Hawai'i, Manoa. It's thus appropriate, and oddly moving, for us that we have chosen the theme of 'Mainland' for Trout 11. In Hawai'i, our homeland-to-be, the 'mainland' is seen by many to be the continental United States.

Tony Murrow and Brian Flaherty will continue to edit Trout from Auckland, while Anne Kennedy and Robert Sullivan will edit from Honolulu. We are currently seeking submissions for our first North and South Pacific issue later this year.

Anne Kennedy and Robert Sullivan


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© Copyright 2003 Anne Kennedy & Robert Sullivan & Trout.