November 2019

Gathering Places:
Dinah Hawken and Airini Beautrais

‘Two recent poetry collections by Pākehā poets interrogate ecological loss and settler belonging within the context of colonialism as cultural and ecological displacement. There Is No Harbour (2019) by Dinah Hawken explores place and belonging in relation to colonial injustices against Māori from which her family benefitted. Flow: Whanganui River Poems (2017) by Airini Beautrais investigates ecological and cultural colonial degradation, stressing the importance of reckoning with the past in order to address present environmental challenges.’

Hope and Carnage:
Tim Corballis and
Brannavan Gnanalingam

’In the New Zealand imagination there are no credible spies because there are no credible threats. We never dreamed that foreign images of mass shootings were being beamed back from a future that would one day be ours.’

My Brilliant Gal Pal:
Attraction by Ruby Porter

It is like an inverted and far more complicated version of Sedgwick’s erotic triangle (in which two men bond over their rivalry for a female’s affection). What I keep seeing is variations on this: two young women, both of them queer or queer-adjacent, intensely connected and wavering between the platonic and the erotic; and then the added complication of an older straight man, with whom one of the women sleeps.