Welcome to Turbine | Kapohau 18
These are a selection of poems I was simply lost in: lost in individual lines, sounds, and ways of seeing. I hoped to give a lively range of subject and form. Several poems, like Joy Holley’s ‘Anastasia wakes up in a foreign city without ever having fallen asleep’, and Tim Saunders’ ‘A Question of Art’, contend with our places in a disorientated modernity. And in just two wonderfully succinct lines: ‘I remember that night more / than entire years’, for example, Anna Rankin captures both the clarity of particular moments in time, and the foggy banalities that constitute the urban existence. Anna Jackson and Helen Rickerby give voice to women in myth, whereas Ella Borrie and Kelly Hoffer engage with the powers of natural landscape. There are pieces on relationships in varying degrees of doubt and incompatibility, on the quaint belongings we inherit, and a philosophical investigation of credence. These poems present palpable worlds, where both fragments of the extraordinary—and what is already familiar—find themselves coming up for air.
— Tim Grgec
This year’s fiction reflects what 2018 MA workshop member Johanna Knox’s novel-in-progress describes as ‘these dark times’. Wes Lee’s darkly humorous story ‘Everything is Jammed’ details the end of the world as we know it through the lens of a dog-obsessed woman; James Pasley takes us to a pub where a deranged would-be meat worker holds forth; and Cassandra Barnett’s ‘Lōemis’ foreshadows environmental catastrophe at a winter solstice festival.
Several pieces also shine a light on the dark subject of sexual assault: Laura Borrowdale’s ingenious and lyrical ‘Gods’ Gift’, Sinead Overbye’s gutsy exploration of the effect of trauma on memory, ‘Anywhere but here’, and Michelle Rahurahu Scott’s funny and heart-breaking extract from her novel-in-progress, Pōhara.
More positive relationships get a look-in too, with an emphasis on difficult communication: Narada Kapao’s ‘My Gardnfahters Luagnage’ takes us to — and across — a language barrier, as well as a generation gap, Tracey Schuyt portrays a couple trying to make it work, and Max Olijnyk gives us a sweetly comic glimpse of two very different men getting to know each other.
— Laura Southgate
I didn’t choose the non-fiction pieces according to a theme. I was looking for a kind of music. I wanted the onomatopoeic rhythms of Rose Lu’s cleaver splattering a thumb of ginger, the observant melodic turning of Catherine Russ’ scent memories, the staccato sentences of Madison Hamill’s instructions on how to play the computer game. It’s only now as I sit down to write this editorial that I realise something else is holding the selected essays together. So many of these essays are about love, how love is conveyed by preparing food for someone, or by the attention paid to how a father decapitates a fish. Authors mourn a mother, and grandfather, a former student. Joy Holley writes about the obsessive, idolising love of female friendship as she plays into stereotypes and refuses others. There is love for a place and a time as Vita O’Brien’s reminisces in an empty ballet studio. There are sinister imitations of love in Anna Rankin’s flower vending machine, and Charlotte Forrester’s constructed interview with a sex robot.
These essays show the polytropic nature of love, and the many forms hidden inside such a small word.
— Alie Benge
Role-play and the Reading Room
We’re also lucky enough to have an interview with this year’s Victoria University/Creative New Zealand Writer in Residence, graphic novelist Dylan Horrocks. Andrei Seleznev from the 2018 MA Fiction workshop talks with Dylan about his love of the role-playing game Dungeons and Dragons, which underpins the project he’s been working on this year.
If you’re hungry for more, you can sample some of what MA workshop participants have been reading and thinking about over in the Reading Room, in the journal extracts selected by MA Page convenors Chris Price and Emily Perkins.
— Tim, Laura, and Alie