Monday, 31 March 2008

2007's Best New Zealand Poems online today

You have been warned: the 2007 Best New Zealand Poems collection could make you laugh, weep or even want to write your own poem.

Best New Zealand Poems is an online anthology of the finest poetry by New Zealand writers in the preceding year. It is published annually by the International Institute of Modern Letters (IIML) and hosted by the New Zealand Electronic Text Centre, both based at Victoria University.

This year's editor, poet Paula Green, says the task of selecting 25 poems in a year "rich in good poems" was difficult.

"A good poem has the ability to lift us out of the mundane and make us laugh, weep, reflect and wonder, to entice us to re-read it again and again, or to write poems of our own," she says.

A NZ Listener review by Gerry Webb describes Ms Green's poetry as "musical, sensuous, tender, quick witted…she sketches subtle emotional shapes that only real writing talent can bring to light".

IIML director Bill Manhire says the aim of the Best New Zealand Poems is to introduce readers to leading contemporary New Zealand poets. He says poems are chosen to show the vitality and range of current writing, and over half the site's readers come from beyond New Zealand.

"This year we stretched the contributor rules slightly to include a poem by the visiting US writer Dora Malech. It's a lovely riff on her habit of mishearing certain parts of the New Zealand accent."

Other poets published this year include Alistair Te Ariki Campbell, Jenny Bornholdt, and C K Stead.

Best New Zealand Poems is supported by a grant from Creative New Zealand which goes entirely to the contributors and editor.

The 2007 edition, of 25 poems, can be viewed online at:

Monday, 17 March 2008

New Texts

The New Zealand Electronic Text Centre would like to draw your attention to another batch of texts which have recently been made available online. Details are given below. As always, we would be thankful for any feedback on the selection of material. Among other things we are currently working on the 1897 Cyclopedia of New Zealand the New Zealand Railway Magazines which we hope to make available in the next few months.

In this batch of texts several are related to Pacific Exploration and the Journals of Joseph Banks include many of his famous illustrations:

The Endeavour Journal of Joseph Banks 1768–1771 [Volumes One & Two] edited by J. C. Beaglehole
Explorers of the Pacific
by Te Rangi Hiroa
Discoverers of the Cook Islands and the Names they Gave by Alphons M.J. Kloosterman

We also have a number of biographies and autobiographies by or about notable New Zealanders: nurse and hospital matron Hester Maclean, cricketer Daniel Reese, politician Sir Donald MacLean, teacher and farmer Helen Wilson, Nga Puhi leader Eruera Maihi Patuone, taxidermist and collector Andreas Reischek, and agent and farmer E Earle Vaile,

Nursing in New Zealand: History and Reminiscences by Hester Maclean
Sir Donald Maclean by James Cowan
The Life and Times of Patuone
by C. O. Davis
My First Eighty Years by Helen Wilson
Was It All Cricket?
By Daniel Reese
Yesterdays in Maoriland by Andreas Reischek
Pioneering the Pumice by E. Earle Vaile

Finally we have another eight texts which we hope further enriches the cluster of New Zealand and Pacific history material online:

Maori and Missionary, by T. A. Pybus
The Maoris of the South Island by T. A. Pybus
The Maori Situation by I. L. G. Sutherland
Anthropology and Religion by Peter Henry Buck
An Introduction to Polynesian Anthropology by Te Rangi Hiroa
A Sketch of the New Zealand War by Morgan S. Grace
Historic Poverty Bay and the East Coast, N.I., N.Z. by Joseph Angus Mackay
Takitimu by Tiaki Hikawera Mitira