new zealand electronic poetry centre


M U R R A Y   E D M O N D 

Tapa Notebooks


Harakeke Notebook 2003   |   Tapa Notebook 2007

Murray Edmond is a poet, editor and dramaturge who teaches drama at the University of Auckland. He is the editor of Ka Mate Ka Ora: A New Zealand Journal of Poetry and Poetics and his recent poetry books include Fool Moon (2004) and Walls to Kick and Hills to Sing From: A Comedy with Interruptions (2010), both from Auckland UP.

Tapa (actually Harakeke!) Notebook

Murray Edmond writes:

‘Words Not My Own: A Journey to Noh’ is a diary I kept over nine days in Japan, from 9th to 17th September 2003. The intent of my visit was to see and experience Noh Theatre. 

This diary forms part of a book titled Noh Business which will be published by Atelos Press, Berkeley (editors Lyn Hejinian and Travis Orvitz) in 2004. Atelos Press is publishing a series of fifty ‘mixed genre’ books.  Noh Business is composed of an essay, ‘No Paragraphs’ which was published in Jacket 16, the diary (‘Words Not My Own’) and five short plays which to some extent mimic the traditional sequencing of Noh plays.

May 2004

Tsuiji-sensei from Kumamoto, visiting Noh master of the Komparu School,  ties on a mask during a workshop at the University of Auckland marae,  April 2004. Photo Joanna Forsberg.  Hidemi Tanaka as the God of Sumiyoshi in Takasago by Zeami,  performance at Kumamoto, 15th Sept. 2004. Photo Murray Edmond.  Noh workshop, University of Auckland marae, April 2004. Murray Edmond  receives instruction in Noh walking. Photo Joanna Forsberg. 

Tapa Notebook 2007


Murray Edmond writes:

This tapa notebook records the time I spent at the ‘Pamirs Poetry Journey: The First Chinese-English Poetry Festival’ in 2007 at Huangshan Mountain in Anhui Province, China. The Festival lasted from 14 October (Katherine Mansfield’s birthday) until 22 October, when I flew back from Beijing to New Zealand. There were six Chinese poets attending, Wang Xiaoni, Yan Li and Yang Lian from the ‘Misty’ generation, Xi Chuan and Zang Di from the next generation (born in the early/mid-sixties), and Luo Ying, entrepreneur and poet, whose financial backing was one of the supports that allowed the festival to happen. Arts Council England support allowed Bill Herbert, Robert Minhinnick and Pascale Petit from Great Britain to attend – and also present were Arthur Sze from the  USA and Odia Ofeimun from Nigeria. Altogether, twelve poets, eight days, a stunning landscape, Li Bai’s mountain, and time to trade talk, to talk poetry, and present the stuff itself in performance. For a published account of the festival occasion that draws on this Tapa Notebook, see my article ‘It’s a Lot Bigger than in the Photographs,’ (photos are included) in Ka Mate Ka Ora: A New Zealand Journal of Poetry and Poetics 5 (March 2008).

There was a return English staging of the festival, under the title ‘The Poetry of Yellow Mountain (Huangshan),’ a second leg, held 1-7 June 2008 at St Donat’s Castle in Glamorgan, Wales, with the same poets plus Fiona Sampson, and public readings in Cardiff at the Welsh Senned and in London at the Purcell Room in the South Bank Centre.

Tutorial session, Zhong Cheng Mountain Villa.  Left to right: Zang Di, Pascale Petit (partly obscured), Murray Edmond, Shao Xueping (interpreter), Yan Li, Arthur Sze, Yang Lian.  Poets on Huang Shan. Left to right standing: Odia Ofeimun, William Herbert, Robert Minhinnick, photographer from Beijing, Shao Xueping (interpreter), Yang Lian, Murray Edmond, Wang Xiaoni, Zang Di, Pascale Petit, Zhao Si (organiser), Tang Xiaodu (critic and poet), Kate Griffin (British Arts Council), Arthur Sze.   Left to right in front: Yan Li, Wang Yan (interpreter).  Photo: Yan Li..  Murray Edmond on Huang Shan.  Photo: Yan Li. 


Last updated 19 July, 2011