Brown selected for Best New Zealand Poems 2010

February 11, 2011

James Brown‘s ‘The Green Plastic Toy’, which appeared in his & Dora Malech’s DUETS chapbook, has been selected for Best New Zealand Poems 2010. DUETS is extremely happy for James and grateful to this year’s BNZP editor Chris Price.

‘The Green Plastic Toy’ is a funny, sad, and beautiful meditation on memory, desire, and language.  Read it here:


2010 Releases

June 16, 2010

We are proud to present the following three new chapbooks for 2010:

Emily Toder‘s I Hear a Boat and Joan Fleming‘s Two Dreams in which Things Are Taken

Dora Malech‘s Pocket Money and James Brown‘s Against Gravity

Sam Sampson‘s Broken Architecture and Andrew Grace‘s Salt Away

Each cover is designed by Wellington printmaker and collagist Tom Henry. More of Tom’s work is featured at his website. To take a look at Tom’s covers, and to find out more about each chapbook and its authors, scroll down.

Emily Toder’s I Hear a Boat + Joan Fleming’s Two Dreams in which Things Are Taken

June 16, 2010

Emily Toder is the author of the chapbook Brushes with (Tarpaulin Sky, 2010). Her work has appeared in various journals, among them jubilatSixth Finch, New Ohio Review, and The Rialto, and her translation of Edgar Bayley’s short fiction is due out this fall from Clockroot Books. She lives in Northampton, Mass., where she runs the small Nor By Press.

From I Hear a Boat:

The Beetle

Because I have no judgment

seasonless leaves

stick to my heels

and when I go up hills

the heels leave leaves on the hills

For I have no judgment;

some bugs I like

some bugs I don’t like

like all beings

Like all beings

I compel myself to move

or something foreign

compels me

I later thank

Read more of Emily’s poems  here and here.

Joan Fleming‘s work has appeared in various journals, among them Best New Zealand Poems, Sport, JAAM, and Turbine. She lives in Golden Bay where she tutors creative writing for Massey University and works nights in a café. She also teaches poetry to children at the local primary schools, and sometimes makes short films.

From Two Dreams in which Things Are Taken:


A lake of foster children hold hands in her mind. But sometimes they are swimming, so all she can see is their backs, their white backs like the dark-lake creatures you can’t see and so are certain they’re there. This is the mind she will give birth with. The children must be still, and stand up from the lake streaming and changing before she can ask, what’s your favourite colour? Did you brush against the weeds? What’s it like being invisible? Have you come far? What did you see?

Read more of Joan’s poems here, here, and here.

Dora Malech’s Pocket Money + James Brown’s Against Gravity

June 16, 2010

Dora Malech is the author of two collections of poems: Shore Ordered Ocean (Waywiser Press, 2009 in the UK & 2010 in the US) and Say So (Cleveland State University Poetry Center, 2010). Her poems have appeared in various journals, among them American Letters & Commentary, The New Yorker, Poetry,  and Sport. This year she’ll serve as Distinguished Writer-in-Residence in Poetry at Saint Mary’s College of California.

From Pocket Money:

Sound Bites

This week, cheap Valentines.

Sign says half price, bee says Bee Mine.

At home, the sheets say a little blood

goes a long way. The list says dog food

and onions. The neighbor’s lazy gun says

what’ll they do, fire me? Hand says

clap and the trees throw crows.

Whatever the sky says is old news.

Rented house: don’t leave me like this.

The dog begins to pant and piss:

I never said I was your friend.

Summer: Strip. Winter: The End.

Before you say anything babe, I should say

ix-nay on the es-yes-yay, on the ove-lay.

Links to more of Dora’s poems are available at her website.

James Brown is the author of four poetry collections: Go Round Power Please (winner of the Jessie Mackay Best First Book of Poetry Award), Lemon, Favourite Monsters, and The Year of the Bicycle. He also authored the non-fiction booklet Instructions for Poetry Readings and, in 2005, edited The Nature of Things: Poems from the New Zealand Landscape. He has been a finalist in the Montana New Zealand Book Awards three times. He lives in Wellington with his partner and two children.

From Against Gravity:

Song of the Rising

Shells in the soil, oil in the sand.

This tells us, say the scientists, that the sea once covered the land.

It is millions of years since

I last held your hand.

The city shines like sunken treasure. I could never

be a writer. I could never be a sailor.

There’s too much imagination

in the water’s weathered mirror.

Your curves incline the hilltop

where no multitudes have fled.

The soft wind takes my hand.

The soft wind shakes my head.

Links to many of James’ poems, interviews, and essays are available at his New Zealand Book Council page.

Sam Sampson’s Broken Architecture + Andrew Grace’s Salt Away

June 16, 2010

Sam Sampson was born in Auckland, New Zealand, and grew up in South Titirangi, next to Little Muddy Creek. His poetry has appeared in various journals, among them JacketPoetry Review, The Iowa Review and Stand Magazine. He has collaborated on a number of publications and exhibitions with NZ artist Peter Madden, and in 2007, was the Curnow Reader at the Going West Books and Writers Festival.

Everything Talks, his first collection of poems, was published by Auckland University Press (NZ), and Shearsman Books (UK) in June 2008. It won the Jessie McKay NZSA Best First Book of Poetry at the 2009 Montana New Zealand Book Awards.

From Broken Architecture:

the dog sprang up to fetch,

arm struck out to overthrow a commanding gesture

startling rapidity of strange incidents

knit this notion, be aware of promises

instinctively distrust butyric words

the stealthily indignation galvanised opinion

For more information about Sam’s poems, interviews, and exhibitions, visit his website.

Andrew Grace is the author of three collections of poems: A Belonging Field (Salt, 2002), Shadeland (Ohio State University Press, 2008), and Sancta (Ahsahta, 2012).  He lives in Cincinnati with his wife Tory and daughter Lily.

From Salt Away:

Grief is the never ender in the raucous pond reeds.  Ursa Minor sets out its silver lice in the cypress.  Take one season and turn through it like these fruit bats, following sent-back abyss-ticks, here, and further out, here…I wanted this to be an epigraph.  I wanted rain for forty days.  I wanted a trigger.  I have a lake with a crown of bats.  I have intransience.  Salt away.

Read more of Andrew’s poems here and here.