Welcome to Turbine 2003


Six months have passed since we began reading early submissions for the 2003 issue of Turbine. The poets and writers whose work appears in this issue represent some of the freshest literary voices in New Zealand. We are also fortunate to publish the work of a few international writers who have formed special connections to New Zealand while traveling and working here.

Reading through the final selection, we were struck by a few themes that emerge from the work. There are a surprising number of trans-Pacific musings on ‘Home’ and ‘Away’: New Zealanders such as Paula Morris and Ingrid Horrocks looking at America, or living in America and looking back at New Zealand, and Americans such as Rick Moody and Ian Finch looking at New Zealand or at themselves.

The issue remains firmly grounded in the local, however. Readers may discover themselves on a tour of New Zealand, especially the North Island, in the works of James Brown, Briar Grace-Smith, Virginia Were and others. There are glimpses of the South Island, too, such as Naomi O’Connor’s view of the Catlins in Southland.

We have introduced a section for memoir in this issue, with Amanda Hanan, Griet Dierckxsens and Janet Hughes opening windows on the complex world of the family through the eyes of a child, a sister and a mother. Poetry by Jane England, Megan Dunn and others also delves into the transition between innocence and experience and the looming burdens of adulthood.

Turbine 03 was realized through the generosity of a few dedicated volunteers, most especially Fiona Wright with support from Griet Dierckxsens and Katie Hardwick-Smith. Thanks go to Elizabeth Styron, Sanjan Kar, Colin Doig and Tarn McDonald at the New Zealand Electronic Text Centre for patient technical direction and for hosting the Turbine site. Thanks are also due to Kirsten McDougall and David Long for the poetry recordings and to Matt Vickers, who designed Turbine 02, for returning to create the 2003 masthead featuring a young New Zealand artist, Ralph Hotere, ready for take-off. While the vehicle that bears our contributors aloft is more modern, Turbine 03 nonetheless hopes to give their propellers a good spin.

The final acknowledgement goes to the International Institute of Modern Letters and to its Director, Bill Manhire. The IIML’s workshops provide guidance and the necessary space in which writers hone their craft and significant new writing takes flight. Indeed, much of the work in this issue was written during 2003 workshops at the IIML.

We hope you enjoy Turbine 03!

Abby Joslin Letteri
Chris Price