Wednesday, November 17, 2010
broadsheet, Issue 6, November 2010 - Featuring Alistair Paterson poetry and essay
The feature essay is by poet/critic Siobhan Harvey on Alistair Paterson's 1973 collection Birds Flying.
broadsheet is published twice a year in May and November.
A limited paperback booklet is produced with an archival PDF edition available online at the HeadworX web site: http://headworx.eyesis.co.nz/broadsheet/
Subscriptions are $12.00 for 2 issues. Editorial Address: 97/43 Mulgrave Street, Thorndon, Wellington 6011.
Mark Pirie's Preface to Issue 6:
Except for a brief period in the late fifties and early sixties Alistair Paterson has been writing poetry for 60 years in this country and for close on 30 years has been editing literary journals, encouraging and nurturing numerous literary talents. He is one of our most distinguished poets and editors, known internationally and respected by literary scenes in America, Australia, Europe and the UK. His ‘open form’ anthology 15 Contemporary New Zealand Poets published by Grove Press, USA/Pilgrims South Press, Dunedin is in around 200 libraries worldwide according to WorldCat, the online library catalogue. It’s one of the very few New Zealand anthologies to have succeeded overseas. In 1976, he organised American poet Robert Creeley’s influential visit to New Zealand. In 2006, in recognition of his achievements, he received the ONZM for services to literature.
It’s both a privilege and a pleasure to be able to feature Alistair’s work in broadsheet. I have included mostly new work by Paterson, along with one rare and uncollected poem, ‘Song for Celia’, which I came across recently in an old issue of Noel Hoggard’s Arena magazine, 1973. The Arena poem gives a sense of his earlier lyrical impulse, while Paterson’s new poems continue his contemporary concerns, philosophical, witty and highly intelligent. One poem has already appeared in the highly regarded Evergeen Review in America edited by former Grove Press publisher Barney Rosset.
As well I commissioned an essay by Siobhan Harvey, one of our most thoughtful and observant critics. Her essay focuses on Paterson’s 1973 collection Birds Flying. Many of the book’s individual poems as Harvey points out continue to be well anthologised and have retained their power over nearly 40 years. As Harvey suggests: further overviews of the book and Paterson’s work are long overdue.
Alongside Paterson’s poetry, I’ve invited some of his friends to be in the issue with him. This is something unique to broadsheet. In the past I’ve featured Louis Johnson, Ruth Gilbert and Harvey McQueen. It’s nice to accord this sense of recognition to writers who have truly given their lifetime to literature. Johnson, Gilbert, McQueen and Paterson all fall into this category.