new zealand electronic poetry centre




Doc Drumheller

Recorded 24 October 2014 at the University of Auckland

Doc Drumheller
 Photo credit: Dylan Brennan

Doc Drumheller was born in Charleston, South Carolina and has lived in New Zealand for more than half his life. He has worked in award winning groups for theatre and music and has published ten collections of poetry. His poems have been translated into more than twenty languages, and he has performed in Cuba, Lithuania, Italy, Hungary, Bulgaria, Romania, Japan, India, Nicaragua, USA, and widely throughout New Zealand. He lives in Oxford, where he edits and publishes the literary journal Catalyst and teaches creative writing at the School for Young Writers.

Poem notes

Three Poems from The Cardinal's Humour (The Republic of Oma Rāpeti Press, 2012): 'Peace á la carte': This poem was inspired by my experiences of working as a chef in Wellington. The Iraqi kitchen hand and Israeli head chef both had served in their respective country's military, and both had the bullet wounds to prove it.

'The Wunderbar': The Wunderbar is a bar in Lyttelton, where I began my performance career as a musician, poet, and performance artist. The characters in the poem are based on performers in the weekly Cabaret on Friday nights.

'El Cycle': For over a decade I kept a palindrome notebook and read almost everything I saw backwards, each line in this poem is a palindrome, and I have claimed that this is the world's nerdiest rap.

Three Poems from 'The Hotel Theresa' (work in progress):
'The Second Coming': My friend Ben Brown has a poem based on Baxter's 'The Maori Jesus', only Ben is the Maori Jesus. When I lived in Lyttelton, we were neighbours, and there was a church in my front yard that fell down after the many earthquakes.
'The Republic of Oma Rāpeti': One of my hobbies is self-sufficiency and the inspiration for this poem comes from my garden and hot-house.
'The Wait': I wrote this poem in a hotel room in Istanbul, after a visit to Taksim Square and Gezi Park where protestors demonstrated against the development of the park into a shopping mall.

Haiku from: Beyond the Borderlands: Empire of Strays (The Republic of Oma Rāpeti Press, 2015). In 2013 I travelled to Bulgaria, Romania, Greece, and Turkey, and kept several haiku and poetry notebooks from each of the countries. Throughout the Balkans there are many stray dogs, and cats, and these haiku are a selection of the many haiku I composed on my trip.

Excerpt from: 10 x (10 + ‾10) = 0 (The Republic of Oma Rāpeti Press, 2014). There are ten books (1 per year) published in this series, which was completed in 2014. There are twenty poems in each book, inspired by the most significant events of that particular year, written using restriction writing techniques, e.g. restricted by the number of syllables or words per line. Parts 10 & ‾10 in each book are palindromes. Each book is designed to be cut up and reassembled and the poetry creates shapes inspired by DNA strands and explores phonemes like a mathematic symphony.


Last updated 1 December, 2015