new zealand electronic poetry centre


Tapa Notebooks


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Full text of Owen Bullock's Tapa Notebook [PDF: 4MB]

Owen Bullock's most recent publication is a bilingual collection of tanka, Uma rocha enorme que anda à roda ('A big rock that turns around'), translated into Portuguese by Francisco Carvalho (Temas Originais, 2021). He has also published five collections of haiku, Summer Haiku (2019), River's Edge (2016), Urban Haiku (2015), Breakfast with Epiphanies (2012), Wild Camomile (2009); three books of poetry, Work & Play (2017), Semi (2017), Sometimes the Sky Isn't Big Enough (2010), and the novella, A Cornish Story (2010). Originally from Cornwall, Owen lived in Aotearoa New Zealand for 25 years before migrating further to Australia in 2014, but he hopes to return to Waihi. He currently teaches Creative Writing at the University of Canberra.

Owen writes:

I was invited to participate in the Tapa Notebook project following a short residency at the University of Auckland where I was doing some follow-up research to my PhD, looking at the use of line and space in contemporary poetry. This included reading Louis Zukovsky's 80 Flowers and Michele Leggott's Reading Zukofsky's 80 Flowers. In response, I began a series of flower poems, about imagined flowers, and there are twenty-odd in the notebook, along with other poems, haiku, drafts, notes and momentoes. I felt I was behaving a little like a tourist and collecting tickets and maps, and reacting to art exhibitions and other events, as well as spending some much-needed time camping on our piece of land near Waihi. On the way back to Australia, we'd planned a holiday on the Sunshine Coast with a friend, so I continued in that vein. I realise what a performative space the notebook became, conscious that other people were going to look at it, rather than staying hidden, as most notebooks do.

Last updated 21 December, 2021