new zealand electronic poetry centre

Murray Edmond 

Friday 23 August  7.30-10pm  once and for all
Saturday 24 August  2.15 – 3.45pm  John Tranter 

Murray Edmond, poet, playwright, theatre director, editor and critic, was born in Hamilton, New Zealand, in 1949. He lives in Auckland, having lived and worked throughout New Zealand and in Europe.

Since the 1970s Murray has been active, both in New Zealand and overseas, in alternative theatre groups including Living Theatre, Beggars Bag Theatre, Theatre Action and the Town and Country Players. He has had an equally long involvement with writing and was a founder member of the influential magazine Freed.

He was the writer in residence at the University of Canterbury in 1983, after which he moved to Auckland to work with Mercury Theatre. Since 1985 he has taught the University of Auckland’s Post-graduate Diploma in Drama.

Murray has written seven books of poetry, including Laminations (2000), From the Word Go (1992) and The Switch (1994) and a musical – A New South Pacific, edited two anthologies, and completed a doctoral dissertation on New Zealand theatre history, Old Comrades of the Future. He appears on Seeing Voices (AUP, November 1999), New Zealand’s first poetry anthology on CD.

Murray’s latest projects have included editing, with Alan Brunton and Michele Leggott, Big Smoke: New Zealand Poems 1960–1975. This revealing look at New Zealand poetry in the sixties and seventies – the era of protest and revolution, beads and flowers, love not war – was launched to critical acclaim on Montana New Zealand National Poetry Day, 21 July 2000.

From A Piece of Work

          in 33        like a flea in a fit
                    a box of birds
like something out of the ark
          she straightened her hair as she stood
                    the Boat of a Million Years
under attack by German raiders
such dalliance at the door
          would try the patience of Job
                    which after all is said and eaten was only
          writ on papyrus reeds
          the same stuff they used
to build the boat to carry the dead
                               she fanned her burning cheeks
like the bull at the gate                of the china shop
                    she knew she looked like one
of the Pale People
          who had taken an overdose
                  of the famous Pink Pills for Pale People
          she smoothed her uniform
mirrorless maiden at the gate of images
                                      with a twist slung
the red cape round her shoulders
                                                should she knock
                    only two women
sat on juries in the next 16 years
you look nice dear
she said that
         like it was the last thing she said
                             you you you you
the sound she made
           Mercer died just before the rescuers arrived
names ache              on mother’s maiden knee
on the last of the last lasty-last
          as if there’s no tomorrow
                              getting a woman into Parliament was
          like getting a camel through the eye of a needle
the last thing we need
                                        pipe-smoking women
moko on their chins sitting on the footpath from    the train window
                     those born out of wedlock were excluded
she flopped in the chair
          but nobody else was in a hurry
when we wanted to say good-bye
          we said                   hooray
                    my rod and staff to comfort me

  A Piece of Work (Honolulu: Tinfish, 2002).

  • Catch (nzepc)
      lo-fi (rm : 195KB, streaming)
      hi-fi (mp3 : 748KB)
  • Gone Dogs
      lo-fi (rm : 221KB, streaming)
      hi-fi (mp3 : 837KB)
  • Ballad of the eighth day of the week
      lo-fi (rm : 260KB, streaming)
      hi-fi (mp3 : 975KB)
  • Elegy for Mama
      lo-fi (rm : 444KB, streaming)
      hi-fi (mp3 : 1.6MB)
  • Venice Unrevisited
      lo-fi (rm : 135KB, streaming)
      hi-fi (mp3 : 537KB)
  • The Ballad of the Penguin
      lo-fi (rm : 180KB, streaming)
      hi-fi (mp3 : 694KB)
  • The Cold War
      lo-fi (rm : 177KB, streaming)
      hi-fi (mp3 : 682KB)
  • Ballad of Child Rearing
      lo-fi (rm : 136KB, streaming)
      hi-fi (mp3 : 542KB)
  • Saint Cebria
      lo-fi (rm : 284KB, streaming)
      hi-fi (mp3 : 1.1MB)
  • Inland
      lo-fi (rm : 209KB, streaming)
      hi-fi (mp3 : 794KB)
  • Sleeping Rabbit
      lo-fi (rm : 56KB, streaming)
      hi-fi (mp3 : 258KB)
  • Landrynka
      lo-fi (rm : 190KB, streaming)
      hi-fi (mp3 : 730KB)
  • Jungle
      lo-fi (rm : 160KB, streaming)
      hi-fi (mp3 : 626KB)
  • Voyager
      lo-fi (rm : 938KB, streaming)
      hi-fi (mp3 : 3.3MB)
  • Starfish Streets (from Laminations) (nzepc)
      lo-fi (rm : 1.1MB, streaming)
      hi-fi (mp3 : 4.2MB)


© Murray Edmond


Last updated 18 March, 2003