Publications from Titus Books

2005 ~ present



Click on covers to enlarge them.
Moonshine Eggs by Russell Haley
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Moonshine Eggs

July 2017
ISBN: 978-1-877441-57-8
$34.00

Moonshine Eggs is the third novel in a trilogy of works based around the whimsical and comedic character of Harry Rejekt. Inseparable from his dog and his inherited crumbling farmhouse, Harry dreams of worldly travel whilst rarely venturing out from the Waikato country town where he lives. Adventure and love, gypsy friends, a Japanese backpacker, and various eccentrics find him though, pottering about and nurturing the small plot of land he calls home.

Haley uses his often very funny sentences to traverse and transgress the borders between the real and the imaginary. Moonshine Eggs deploys the best of Haley’s highly original qualities.— Ian Wedde

I love the way his fiction presents us with a different New Zealand.— Roger Horrocks


White City by David Lyndon Brown
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Butades

July 2017
ISBN: 978-1-877441-58-5
$32.00

White City is a collection of short stories set mostly in and around Auckland’s Albert Park, but even those stories that travel far away from the park seem subtly inhabited by its breezes, colours, shadows and sounds.

Brown treats his characters with clear-eyed generosity, but never condescension. They are often resourceful, though lacking in resources, and tender, if tenuous connections are made between characters that are not firmly connected to the mainstream grid.

In succinct, streetwise but beautifully crafted prose, Brown gives a voice to those in society
who are seldom heard.
— Bob Orr

David fought hard for his words. They did not come easily. But they are true coin and a precious part of our literary heritage. — Mike Johnson


Butades by T.P. Sweeney
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Butades

Nov 2016
ISBN: 978-1-877441-56-1
$30.00

A series of murders breaks the dusty silence of a small rural town. Butades, the town’s resident artist, is given the job of drawing lines around the bodies. Without motive or suspect, and with the death count mounting, the Police Chief becomes unhinged, and events lead to a Kafkaesque impasse where no one remains free of suspicion.

A crime story that reads like a collaboration between James Ellroy, Borges and David Lynch: hot, dusty, slippery and smart. A meditation on the meaning of art and stories, life and death, isolation and connection. Like Butades herself, this book has secrets.” — Dylan Horrocks

A remarkable book, stylistically assured, layered, vivid. — Ian Wedde


The Burnt Hotel by Olivia Macassey
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The Burnt Hotel

Sept 2015
ISBN: 978-1-877441-51-6
$28.00

Taking the reader from inner-city Auckland to fairy-tale clearings and finally into the burnt hotel itself, these lyrical poems chart the terrain where the ordinary meets the fantastical, a vivid world of “other people’s lives” populated by lovers and rent-boys, sleep-walkers and monsters. At its core is a subtle exploration of embodiment and the nature of being human.

The Burnt Hotel plays out like a dark melody. With what one poem calls ‘the violence of dedication’, the writing returns to particular words, lines and feelings like a ballad does to a refrain: loss, love, lemonade, a razorblade. Olivia Macassey’s poems will lead you down strange, new streets. They’ll follow you home.  — Hinemoana Baker


Carbon Shapes and Dark Matter by Stephanie Christie
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Carbon Shapes and Dark Matter

Sept 2015
ISBN: 978-1- 877441-52-3
$28.00

Adventurous, curious and moving, Christie's work braves abstraction and socio-political insights.

After Luce Cannon (Titus Books, 2007) and The Facts of Light (Vagabond Press, 2014), Carbon Shapes and Dark Matter is Christie's third collection of poetry.

Time after time lines come into focus, excoriating and yet lyrically beautiful. — Jack Ross

‘Stephanie Christie releases poetry until the “mind is out of its debt.” Political, vulnerable, arresting and inviting, the lines swerve from cultural statement to imaginative implosion, often simultaneously. We are given space, along with a gently addressed “you”, to attend to the fracturable words of our ecological and bodily conditions. Dread was never so lovely.’  
— Lisa Samuels


Excerpts from a Natural History by Holly Painter
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Excerpts from a Natural History

Sept 2015
ISBN: 978-1-877441-50-9
$28.00

When the British natural philosophers of the 17th century founded modern natural history, they proposed finding a poet to compile a poetic account of everything that existed in nature, very broadly defined. Four hundred years later, the work is ongoing, made modern and rigorous with rules and style-guides, managers and research-poets.

This collection follows a year’s worth of submissions by one such researcher-poet, but the poems are only half the story. The rest lies in the revisions and comments—of both a professional and personal nature—between the poet and the editor back at corporate offices. As the relationship unravels, natural history becomes a tool of the heartbroken and obsessed.

Holly Painter is a trickster poet, you never know where she’s going next. Sometimes she wants to lick your ear. Over the page she might chew your leg off.  
— John Newton


No Relation by Thomas Pors Koed

No Relation

Published May 2015
ISBN: 978-1-8774414-9-3
$30.00

Thomas Pors Koed’s collection of short stories, No Relation, is a surprisingly ‘un-Kiwi’ book by a writer who has spent close to the last fifty years residing in Nelson. Koed’s stories wrestle with the constructs of character, identity, what is real and what must be intuited from information not provided. Coupled with elegant precise prose, an obsession with word and image, these short pieces comprise a unique addition to Kiwi lit.

There is a child, the same age as Leif perhaps, but so different, so thin, so pale. The skin is so pale I can see the veins, the arteries, written like two words, one red, one blue, on the forehead. The eyelids are stretched over the balls in their deep sockets. Do they twitch? The upper lip, the philtrum, is strangely pointed, protruding like a little soft beak over the underlip. The lips are dry, the breath, hardly a breath, like breath between two sheets of paper. But where has this child been? The skin is powdered with dry earth, the hair, hair that looks like it has never been cut, is full of earth, black dirt in the golden hair, hair pale like a lightless flower (could there be such a thing?). There is earth on the pillow, on the duvet, on the sheet. Quite a lot of it. The bed perhaps is full of earth, earth and this strange child, this stranger.




Percutio 2014 Edited by William Direen

Percutio 2014

Published November 2014
ISSN: 1953-1427
$15.00

Sandra Bell | Jo Contag | TJ Costelloe | Jacques Coulardeau | Jessica Denton | Bill Direen | Blossius Dracontius | Scott Hamilton | Jay Hinman | Arno Loeffler | Grant McDonagh | Stephane Mallarme | Sally McIntyre | Jessica L. Meyer | Stuart Page | Sextus Propertius | Sandra Sarala | Hayley Theyers | Campbell Walker | Ben Webb





Beyond the Ohlala Mountains
 Alan Brunton | Poems 1968-2002

Beyound the Ohlala MountainsPublished March 2014

ISBN: 978-1-877441-47-9
$38.00

Alan Brunton played a crucial role in developing a platform for New Zealand poetry and theatre. Brunton was the founding editor of poetry and arts publication Freed and co-editor of Spleen, he also established with partner Sally Rodwell the experimental theatre group Red Mole. Beyond the Ohlala Mountains moves chronologically, in five parts, from 1968 until 2002. Drawing on twelve published collections and the rich resource of his papers, editors Michele Leggott and Martin Edmond present a selection that shows for the first time the scope of Brunton's poetics as well as his trademark linguistic bravura.




The Ballad of Rue Belliard by Bill Direen

The Ballad of Rue Belliard

Issue 48 of brief magazine

Published June 2013
ISSN 1175-9313
$20.00

Occupying a complete issue of Auckland based writing journal brief, Bill Direen's The Ballad of Rue Belliard celebrates the subtleties of language and the humour of life in a "peripheral" sector of Paris. His inventive use of English is a function of his linguistic alienation from (but admiration for) the subtleties of local French language in all its registers - elegant, vulgar, argotic ....



Tourtagebuch
by Bill Direen

Tourtagebuch

Translated by Arno Löffler

Published Sept 2012
ISBN: 979-10-91280-00-6
$10.00

Tourtagebuch is the German translation of a tour diary Bill Direen kept while travelling 4,000 kilometres across 'German-speaking Europe' with a group of musicians in 1994. Translated by freelance journalist and arts and culture editor Arno Löffler, Tourtagebuch is Direen's second book to be translated into German.




Feeding the Gods by Scott Hamilton

Feeding the Gods

Photos by Kendrick Smithyman

Published Nov 2011
ISBN: 978-1-877441-44-8
$30.00

Scott Hamilton’s second book of poetry takes us back to the strange yet strangely familiar territory he began to map in his acclaimed debut. In these poems the tyrannies of linear time, Cartesian logic, and geometric space are overthrown, so that a Japanese U boat surfaces in Kawhia Harbour, Hongi Hika attacks twenty-first century Auckland, Ulysses comes home to a South Pacific Ithaca, Ozymandias is reborn as Hosni Mubarak, the Australian Outback fills with water, Philip Clairmont escapes from a police raid by stepping into one of his paintings, and the author returns to the South Auckland of his mispent youth.  

Last night I dreamed that history was correcting itself. A huge hand lifted houses off the plain, as though it were clearing the board after a game of monopoly. Cows swelled to the size of hot air balloons, and drifted away over the Firth of Thames. The eels made themselves into question marks, as their ditches ran like mountain streams. In the emptied fields kahikatea got slowly to their feet, stretched their branches, and shook themselves dry, like the resurrected dead on Judgement Day, or swagmen after a kip. All those straight roads were rolled up like barbed wire. I looked down, and saw both my legs dissolving into the cool forest air...



The Second Location by Bronwyn Lloyd

The Second Location

Published Nov 2011
ISBN: 978-1-877441-45-5
$30.00

‘Never Get Taken to the Second Location.’

This book abducts you. It takes you to unfamiliar places. Using the doomed love affair of painter Rita Angus and musician Douglas Lilburn as a backdrop, Bronwyn Lloyd’s first collection of stories is a leap into the surrealist dark. From her tale of doppelgänger suicide, ‘Sink or Swim,’ to the haunting cancer landscape of ‘Kaikuia,’ this collection may be strange, disturbing, and worrying, but it is never dull.

Bronwyn Lloyd completed a PhD in English at the University of Auckland in 2010. Her doctoral thesis provides a literary and art historical account of Rita Angus’s symbolic portraits. Since 1999 Bronwyn has published catalogue essays and articles on New Zealand painting, applied art and design as well as a number of short stories. She currently teaches Academic and Creative Writing at Massey University, School of English and Media Studies (Albany) and works as a freelance writer and curator.



Private Bestiary: selected unpublished poems, 1944-1993 by Kendrick Smithyman

Private Bestiary

Published Nov 2010
ISBN: 978-1-877441-17-2
$30.00

Kendrick Smithyman was regarded as one of New Zealand’s most important poets. For decades, though, the uncompromisingly intellectual, relentlessly experimental Smithyman had to endure marginalisation and even ridicule at the hands of conservative editors and critics. Some of Smithyman’s work was so far ahead of its time that it can only now hope to find a wide audience. Private Bestiary consists of poems discovered by Scott Hamilton during his exploration of the massive collection of private papers Smithyman bequeathed to the University of Auckland library. These previously-unseen pieces illuminate aspects of Smithyman’s life and work that were hitherto obscure, and help us appreciate the extent of his achievement as a writer and a man.

The editor of the book Dr Scott Hamilton, who is himself a widely-published scholar and poet, has complemented the poems with an introduction and extensive notes. “These poems are taonga”, Hamilton says. “They show us that Smithyman was a poet not just for the twentieth but for the twenty-first century. The rest of us are in some ways still trying to catch up with him.” Associate Professor Peter Simpson of The University of Auckland, who knew Smithyman as a friend and colleague and edited his Selected and Collected Poems, praises the new book for adding to our understanding of Smithyman. “Smithyman is the Walt Whitman of New Zealand” Simpson says. “He contains multitudes, because his interests were so vast. In many ways he is a mountain we have yet to climb. I hope this book helps find him a new generation of readers, and delights established Smithymaniacs.



Kingdom of Alt by Jack Ross

Kingdom of Alt

Published Sept 2010
ISBN 978-1-877441-15-8
$40.00

Is writing about staying on the sidelines, or getting involved - marginal observation, or “skyline operations” (Auden)? This book offers a series of takes on the possibility of a truly engaged literature. Not all the conclusions it comes to are entirely pessimistic.

Kingdom of Alt is Ross’s second book of short stories.


You’ll all have your own story about how you first encountered the magic kingdom of Alt. As a teenager growing up in the depths of the Auckland suburbs, I believe that discovery saved my life. – Roger Horrocks, launch speech for Monkey Miss Her Now (24/10/04) 



The Constant Losers by Alex Wild

Constant losers

Published Sept 2010
ISBN 978-1-877441-14-1
$30.00

A novel of text-talk, musomania, mix tapes, student bars and library intrigues, The Constant Losers starts with a google search for ‘boykrew fan club’ and ends in a ‘zine war’. The book’s heroes are two students whose strange relationship begins in print and develops through a series of chaotic encounters.

Packed with graffiti art, found notes, pencil sketches, music criticism and suprisingly sordid stories of worklife in an Auckland library in the early noughties, The Constant Losers celebrates and castigates twenty-first century youth culture. Wild has a sharp eye for the improvised spelling, grammar, and morality of the cellphone generation, but The Constant Losers also shows off her concern with literary form and tradition, and her almost anthropological ability to examine and interpret her characters. 



Travesty by Mike Johnson

Travesty

Graphic Art by Darren Sheehan

Published July 2010
ISBN 978-1-877441-13-4
$35.00

In a neglected corner of Travesty, in an apartment building called the rathouse, five marginals take on the universe. Drunk Len takes a gamble on salvation, but can he find the ticket? Nisa Michelangelo reconstructs his David with a vital difference, but can art defeat time? Dr Reingold, the keeper of the files, finds himself doing the bidding of his hidden masters, but will he betray his patient? Dilly Lilly goes exploring through her tunnels of soft toys in search of her mother’s funeral, but what will she do with the mutant baby rat? And Glow Harvey steps into the world of probabilities on an odyssey of discovery, helped by his mysterious girlfriend Hermes, but will he remember enough to avert the destruction of Travesty by The Lion King and his terrorist allies?

It all comes together on the Day of Delight.

Welcome to Travesty, where the stringent laws of purgatory rule and every nerve is put to the test. Mike Johnson’s first graphic novel and his strangest creation to date.



Wall by Ellen Portch

Wall by Ellen PortchPublished May 2010
ISBN 978-1-877441-12-7
$35.00


The drawings that comprise Wall allude to trauma and institutionalisation. They do not form a straightforward narrative or make some simplistic statement. They have the urgency of improvisations, yet they are carefully organised and almost painfully detailed with naked walls and bodies inside sparse antiseptic spaces. The drawings are not the literal representation of an experience so much as a protective editorial process of expression. Together the drawings have the elusive logic of a nightmare. Their mystery is part of their terror.



On the Eve of Never Departing by Richard von Sturmer

On the Eve of Never Departing

Published Sept 2009
ISBN 978-1-877441-09-7
$30.00

Gregory O’Brien described Richard von Sturmer’s last published work, Suchness: Zen Poetry and Prose, as “a book of almost hallucinogenic clarity”. In his new prose collection, On the Eve of Never Departing, von Sturmer shines his clear, poetic light on a number of subjects, ranging from growing up in Auckland in the 1970’s to Zen encounters in T’ang Dynasty China. Landscapes and paintings play a predominant role, and the reader will find him/herself exploring the south-western deserts of the United States as well as the canvases of Antonello da Messina and Casper David Friedrich. Gem-like details from the early Renaissance, echoes of German Romanticism, and the streets of Auckland city all form part of this unique work.




Free Fall by Rogelio Guedea

Free Fall

Published Sept 2009
ISBN 978-1-877441-10-3
$25.00.

Rogelio Guedea is a Mexican poet, essayist, and novelist currently residing in New Zealand. His last book Driving a Trailer Truck (Random House Mondadori, 2008). was awarded the Silverio Cañada Prize 2009 granted to the best Spanish novel published in 2008. He is a columnist for the Mexican newspapers Ecos de la Costa and La Jornada Semanal and currently coordinates the Spanish and Portuguese Programme at the University of Otago.

Just on the border between the prose poem and poetic prose these short narrations by Rogelio Guedea never cease to surprise with their powerful emotions locked in everyday scenes so that they acquire a strange tinge of exoticism. – Sandra Cohen.



Writers in Residence and other captive fauna
by Ted Jenner

Writers in Residence

Published May 2009
ISBN 978-1-877441-09-7
$25.00

Ted Jenner is a poet, translator, and classical scholar who was born and bred in Dunedin. He has spent the last forty years living in Africa, Europe, and the northern parts of Aotearoa, publishing his work in a variety of literary journals. Writers in Residence is a compilation of most of Jenner’s short fiction and prose poetry written in the last twenty years in New Zealand and Malawi. It has as its basic theme a search for meaning in a world which is resistant to such a search -- the meaning lies in the exploration itself.

Texts that combine a detailed scrutiny of place, and the objects and ‘spirit of place’, that become rather an archaeological ‘dig’ in the unstated but present, presence of Herakleitos – where ‘deep equals true’.  – Michael Harlow



Skin Hunger by David Lyndon Brown

Skin Hunger

Published May 2009
ISBN 978-1-877441-08-0
$20.00

Like Brown’s book of short stories Calling The Fish and his novel Marked Men, Skin Hunger explores a seedy but loveable Auckland of crumbling Bohemian villas, underfurnished apartments and twenty-four hour bars. The poems set amidst Auckland’s gay community have considerable sociological and historical value, despite the fact that they eschew generalisation and political rhetoric.

Here is a poet who ‘exposes himself to love’, sex and ‘life as legend’ with courage, exuberance and hunger. Gripping, nostalgic and ‘hot’, these poems, ‘gleaming with treasure’ and populated with lively literary ghosts, are a compulsive read. – Riemke Ensing




bad appendix
by Jen Crawford

Bad Appendix

Published June 2008
ISBN 978-1-877441-05-9
$20.00

Jen Crawford’s bad appendix may be the most daring book of poetry published anywhere this year. Crawford often writes about everyday, apparently uncomplicated subjects - a walk down the road, a kiss, a patch of grass with sun on it - but her language is dense and mysterious. Reading bad appendix is like walking through a formal garden that gradually becomes a tangled forest.






Enclosures
by Bill Direen

Enclosures

Published June 2008
ISBN 978-1-877441-06-6
$25.00

Direen’s fifth novel Enclosures is infused with restlessness: its interlocking stories move between France, Iraq, Wellington, and some of the wilder sections of the New Zealand coast. Like Direen’s 2006 novel Song of the Brakeman, which was full of frightening allusions to Guantanamo Bay, Enclosures is unified by the theme of imprisonment. Like Direen himself, the characters of Enclosures are shiftless figures, determined to escape the oppressive governments and obsolete and encumbering codes of behavior that threaten to overwhelm them.





EMO by Jack Ross

EMO

Published June 2008
ISBN 978-1-877441-07-3
$40.00

In the third volume of his REM trilogy, after the urban inferno of Nights with Giordano Bruno (2000) and the purgatorial stasis of The Imaginary Museum of Atlantis (2006), Jack Ross explores the closest thing to a paradise his cast of crazies can conceive of, let alone aspire to.

Ross is a lapidarian scholar, fluent in half a dozen languages, but he is also a passionate fan of America’s Next Top Model, and his writing has always refused to distinguish between ‘high’ and ‘low’ culture. The very look of EMO mocks the conventions of both literature and academic scholarship - texts are artfully layered on its outsize pages, alongside photographs, cartoons, and cryptic diagrams. Ross’s prose is full of dirty jokes, as well as learned asides and sad observations. EMO could keep you busy for years on a desert island – Scoop review of books.




Marked Men by David Lyndon Brown

Marked Men

Published Oct 2007
ISBN 978-1-877441-04-2
$25.00

Marked Men tells the story of love between two men. The drama has a dream-like quality, that affirms the isolation and fragility of a human being, bordered by skin, who aches for connection in the embrace of another. David Lyndon Brown draws us into a world in which the interplay of radiance and darkness, joy and terror would be relentless if it were not interspersed with moments of searing wit and solid friendship.





Conversation with a Stone by Richard Taylor

Conversation with a Stone

Published April 2007
ISBN 978-1-877441-01-1
$20.00

A former freezing worker and sparkie who has lived all his life in the working class Auckland suburb of Panmure, Richard Taylor combines a love of language and learning with an earthy vibrant humour. Mixing pub slang and physics, street yarns and chess tips, his poems are both intellectual and highly accessible.





To the Moon, In Seven Easy Steps by Scott Hamilton

To the Moon In Seven Easy Steps

Published April 2007
ISBN 918-1-877441-02-8
$20.00

Auckland Ph. D. student Scott Hamilton’s first book of poetry inhabits the twilight zone between fact and fantasy, prose and poetry. For Hamilton, writing is a game, a joke, a puzzle, a protest, and a quest - sometimes all at the same time.

Scott Hamilton’s heroes, like W.H. Auden’s ‘helmeted airman’, are forever setting out on some doomed quest...Scott delves into the mythopoetic past of New Zealand, showing that this past is alive and shared. — Jack Ross




Luce Cannon by Will Christie

Luce Cannon

Published April 2007
ISBN 978-1-877441-00-4
$20.00

Will Christie’s poetry is fascinated by the power of language to inhabit and be inhabited. Christie questions her words as she uses them — tearing them apart or gathering them up, chasing them around or wilfully creating new ones — with an alert attention to what they contain and how they affect us. By turns playful and violent, cerebral and romantic, funny and moving, these poems take nothing for granted. What they reveal will often surprise you.






The Vertical Harp: selected poems of Li He
by Mike Johnson

Vertical Harp

Published Feb 2007
ISBN 978-1-877441-03-5
$35.00

Medieval Chinese poet Li He lived in the last brief flowering of the T’ang dynasty from 790-816, his evocations of the heavenly and the netherworlds are unique, possibly in the whole of the Chinese canon, and are the source of his honorific title, ‘the demon talented one’. Working from this fertile source, Mike Johnson has produced a collection of poems that preserves the extravagant imagery of the originals, while allowing them to be read unfettered in contemporary English.



Song of the Brakeman by Bill Direen

Song of the Brakeman

Published June 2006
ISBN 0-9582586-7-8
$28.00

Bill Direen’s fifth novel takes place in a world where the earth’s resources are almost exhausted, the water supplies are contaminated and parts of the landmasses have imploded. A life and death struggle occurs between two irreconciliable forces: one in possession of the earth’s remaining wealth and power, the other carrying the genetic key to the survival of mankind. Vibrant language and a fast-paced narrative define this Ballardesque journey through a post-apocalyptic landscape.





The Imaginary Museum of Atlantis by Jack Ross

Imaginary Museum of Atlantis

Published June 2006
ISBN 0-9582586-8-6
$25.00

The subject of Jack Ross’s latest book is amnesia. A man washes up alone on a beach with no memory of who or where he is; a woman finds him and takes him back to her house. He scans her library to find some clue to his past, his location. Could this strange new world be Atlantis? Jack Ross captures the disoriented state of his lead character in the very layout of the novel. Fragments of text and narrative weave together to reveal a mind searching for its past, its identity.





Love in the Age of Mechanical Reproduction
by Olivia Macassey

Love in the Age of Mechanical Reproduction

Published Oct 2005 - unavailable -
ISBN 0-9582586-5-1
$20.00

Through public appearances and recordings Olivia Macassey has established herself as one to watch. Not only a distinctive voice, she is developing a compelling personal style. Her work dares to disrupt what have become poetic formulae. And yet, if you take time to read and reread it, you will not find one line in Love in the Age of Mechanical Reproduction that is obscure, not one page that does not raise a smile of recognition, not one poem that does not astound you. With the gentle balance of its lines, the craft of its composition and the depth of its perception of the deepest of emotions, Olivia has created a work which not only promises much, it is warm and intelligent work in itself.




New Sea Land by Bill Direen

New Sea Land

Published Oct 2005
ISBN 0-9582586-4-3
$20.00

Direen’s fifth book of poetry was generated by a stay south-east of Auckland in 2005. These poems are a response to place, to landscapes, to seascapes, and to the seasonal occurrences he found there. They are a personal, a psychological document, a poetic analysis of contemporary New Zealand, as well as a philosophical analysis of the past as it is contained in our present. If some of the poems are emphatically musical and require a musical sense to “hear” them, others are instantly-perceptible Whitman-like reflections upon the variety and force of today’s New Zealand -- and its Sealanders.




Either Side The Horizon by Stephen Oliver

Either Side the Horizon

Published Oct 2005
ISBN 0-9582586-3-5
$10.00

In Stephen’s work to date, he has never relented in his attacks. His satirical work, of which there is a fair representation in Either Side The Horizon, lampoons not so much political figures as their methods and the institutional hypocrisy they have inherited. His favourite targets are those who say one thing while doing another, be they oil lords controlling the happiness and destinies of millions of families, or those appointed by an elite to govern the standards of passionless culture. Either Side The Horizon is a fine example of Oliver’s nerve, his critical eye and his occasionally combative stance.




Curriculum Vitae by Olwyn Stewart

Curriculum Vitae

Published May 2005
ISBN 0-9582586-2-7
$15.00

Olwyn’s story is a concentrated hymn to slackers and bogans everywhere. All those ex-hippies, all those old metallers, all those drug-addled potheads have found, at last, their laureate. She understands them, she can paint them with devastating wit and accuracy — but, above all, they amuse her. One feels almost as Sargeson’s first readers must have felt when his Kiwi characters started Speaking For Themselves.




Coma by William Direen

Coma

Published May 2005
ISBN 0-9582586-0-0
$15.00

The actual present of this novella is a rock concert in Seattle, but seventeen years are contained in that present. William Direen (aka songwriter Bill Direen) explores pleasures and regrets, hopes and anxieties.

I’m feeling the cold and the thinness of the air. I’m gaining in size. I’m trying to turn. I’m swimming again in a fluid thickening. My head goes under. I thump into a wall. My head is throbbing, my skull is about to crack. The beat of a drum as loud as I can stand and the swirl of a deafening Wurlitzer. I am curled up in the ear of a dragon. Blood is pulsing under a membrane, I am in a tympanum, in a blood vessel in a dragon’s brain, on the warm side of a peritoneal wall that separates us - me and another - from others.



Trouble in Mind by Jack Ross

Trouble in Mind

Published May 2005 - unavailable -
ISBN 0-9582586-1-9
$19.95

Trouble in Mind is an intense voyage into the life of a young woman, and a serious reflection upon the art of novel-writing. It is at once a twenty-first century novel and not a novel at all, but an eyeball, subject and object, made up of a million cells.

Experimental, assured, contemporary and local, Trouble in Mind is a healthy new leaf in the old stick of New Zealand lit. — Katherine Liddy, Landfall #214



French/English Journal — Percutio | 2006-2010


Percutio 2010

Percutio 2010
ISSN 1953-1427
$20.00

This year’s theme, Necessity, was atmospheric rather than prescriptive in function, as you’d suspect from the multivalent epigraph while I am now come to you, for unbending necessity is upon me (Homeric Hymn to Aphrodite). A formally imposing Ted Jenner poem approached Necessity from a ballistic point of view (Newtonian), while the editor felt it was ... necessary ... to publish Michael Steven’s The Hatchet Blade (after Catullus) in its entirety. That the necessity of artistic expression (vs its commercial motivation or usefulness) can provide work of calibre, the rest of the contributions provide vibrant and ample proof. In Percutio 2010, Number 4 you will find work by Peter Olds, Sue Wootton, Silke Galle, Lisa Samuels, John Adams, Jacques Coulardeau, Nick Ascroft, Richard Reeve, Greg Kan, Vaughan Rapatahana, Gunther Dietrich, Stuart Page, Robin Maconie, Sandra Bianciardi, Arno Loeffler, K.M.Ross, Scott Hamilton, Mark Williams and Grant McDonagh. A few reviews of works that cross cultural lines impelled themselves, unbendingly, onto the back pages.



Percutio 2009

Percutio 2009
ISSN 1953-1427
$20.00

Taking performance as its starting point, Percutio 2009 includes poetry, playscript extracts, articles, fiction, reproductions of photographs, collages of performance artists, reviews and two obituaries of recently-deceased rock and alternative rock musicians. As ever there is a strong European-Antipodean element, featuring New Zealand, French-German, New York, USA, Sri Lankan and Indian content.




Percutio 2008

Percutio 2008
ISSN 1953-1427
$20.00

This year’s theme was Inspiration. The notion of the journal itself remains a cross-cultural one, and this alone provides a framework for potential contributors. This year the front cover artwork and an inner photographic series was offered by Nigel Bunn, a reclusive photographer and sound engineer from Dunedin. The rear cover and four drawings inside were offered by Sandra Bianciardi. A Reviews section has been added to group together contributions of this sort at the end. As usual work may be found here in different languages, or pertaining to different cultures (English, French, German, Ancient Greek, Singalese).



Percutio 2007

Percutio 2007
ISSN 1953-1427
$20.00
This year’s issue (82pp, A5 format) offered contributors the theme of “Crucial Moments in the Creation of a Work” as a starting point for poems, essays, photographs etc. Achievement and metamorphosis qualify many of the short works accepted, but, naturally, none can be described without paying specific attention to each. Here you will find thoughts on a painter’s reality, an ode to the city of Auckland, thoughts on a collaboration between a poet and a composer, and a fascinating three-sided text inspired by a work by Marie de France.




Percutio 2006

Percutio 2006
ISBN 0-9582586-9-4
$20.00

The Pilot Issue of a new cross-cultural literary and arts journal which features writing in its language of origin — where this is not English, a translation accompanies it. This is the point of the journal, to bring together poets, writers, political theorists, photographers, curators and researchers from many different cultures and backgrounds who might otherwise not be found in each other’s company! The editor, New Zealander William Direen, was astonished at the quality and extent of artistic output he encountered during his travels in Australia, the U.S.A., and Europe, and discovered that there was an equivalent in all these countries of the intense, serious, dedicated and often unrecognized literary and artistic forces in his native New Zealand. The result is a pilot issue that includes work by respected colleagues: historians, painters, musicians, poets...