new zealand electronic poetry centre

Rob Allan 

 Capital of the minimal  


Rob Allan works as a teacher of deaf children in Otago. In 1991 he published the prize-winning Karitane Postcards, noting:

The poems are a sustained post-modern attempt to write a long poem with an epic scope.
The poem is living in the place of language to capture the 'real'. Karitane is the focus:
a mix of politics, poetics, pushed in and out of place by listening, reading, and talking about –
the right words in the right place, for example.

This work has been widely anthologised. Creative New Zealand writing grants have assisted Allan’s passage to a four day working week, and he would like to complete two more books of poetry. He collaborated with Jenny Powell Chalmers on the poem Showbiz, which was collected in Double Jointed (Inkweed Press, 2003). In The Poet Nods Off During a Chinese Rhapsody he imagines

each word spoken in the voice of an English God
into the darker hall over there
the rich underworld evoked in strangeness
where we wander in our way
bargaining with words of appearance
creating our worlds of want
wanting the world this way.


  • Karitane Postcards (Hazard Press, 1991)


© Rob Allan 2004


Last updated 13 July, 2004