new zealand electronic poetry centre

k a   m a t e   k a   o r a  

a new zealand journal of poetry and poetics
issue 12,  march 2013

Editorial Notes KMKO #12:


There was never any intentional theme to this issue of Ka Mate Ka Ora, but in Marcia Russell’s essay on Elizabeth Riddell and Dougal McNeill’s “Notes” on the 1960s magazine Dispute, and in Michele Leggott’s essay on Lola Ridge, the spirit of poetic reclamation and scholarly resuscitation walks abroad, retrieving ghostly figures and turning them into real poets and real publications and re-reading the past in the present. It is unlikely a future general anthology of New Zealand poetry will be able to ignore the work of Riddell and Ridge. They are globalised presences before their time, encompassing Ireland, Australia and the USA, but with Aotearoa/New Zealand central to any telling of their stories. Both Russell and Leggott provide invaluable indexing of the earlier work of Riddell and Ridge; and McNeill’s reading of Dispute as a “journal of poetics” samples the artwork that went with the magazine to situate the cultural niche the magazine occupied.

The rest of the issue is concerned with poetics. Eleanor Catton’s meditation on the poles of “showing” and “telling” and the categories “the shown” and “the told” was delivered as a public seminar talk during her time as Michael King Writing Fellow at the University of Auckland. Lisa Samuels’ reactive responses arise from the six months she recently spent in Spain. The contrast in approach in these two pieces demonstrates writing about poetics is not confined by mode. In Anna Jackson’s verse letter about previous issue of Ka Mate Ka Ora, #11, the “translation” issue, the poet exclaims: “I don’t know how the story gets out!” Poetics is all about how the story gets out, just as getting the story out is what editing is all about. Welcome to the confluence of these.

Murray Edmond


Last updated 29 April, 2013