20 July 2008

Mark Pirie’s New Poetry Journal broadsheet Makes Its Debut

broadsheet 1: New New Zealand Poetry

(May 2008)

Published by The Night Press, Wellington. Available from: The Editor, 97/43 Mulgrave Street, Thorndon, Wellington 6011. Subscriptions $12.00 for 2 issues.

Mark Pirie initiated, and was one of the founders and co-editors of, JAAM Magazine, and is a prolific poet and anthologist. Now he’s embarked on a new venture: a new poetry magazine called broadsheet (no relation to the famous New Zealand feminist magazine).

broadsheet #1 consists of a series of poems which were, in fact, originally intended, and in some cases issued, as broadsheets: double-sided sheets each containing two poems by the same author. Bookshops found these difficult to stock, however, so Mark has taken the broadsheets, plus some further poems, and combined them into a magazine.

Sadly, broadsheet stands as a memorial volume to two of its contributors, Victor O’Leary and Meg Campbell. The other poets included are shown on the cover.

My favourites from this issue: Tony Beyer’s “Ode”, with its superb last stanza which is both a masterpiece of economy, and expresses a sentiment with which I thoroughly agree; Alistair Te Ariki Campbell’s two poems – I still don’t believe his poetry has received as wide recognition as it deserves; Evelyn Conlon’s “For Yana”; Basim Furat’s “The Buraq Arrives in Hiroshima”; and Michael O’Leary’s “Sonnet for Victor O’Leary”. But to single these out is not to denigrate the other poems: there was no poem in this issue that I did not enjoy.

broadsheet isn’t open to submissions at this stage (which didn’t actually stop me from submitting, but hey, I didn’t know the rules then!). Poems for inclusion are solicited by the editor. If Issue 1 is anything to go by, future issues of broadsheet will be well worth reading.

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