PN Review Print and Online Poetry Magazine
News and Notes
Digital Access to PN Review
Access the latest issues, plus back issues of PN Review with Exact Editions For PN Review subscribers: to access the PN Review digital archive via the Exact Editions app Exactly or the Exact Editions website, you will first need to know your PN Review ID number. read more
PN Review Prize winners announced
Carcanet Press and PN Review are delighted to announce the winners of the first ever PN Review Prize. read more
Most Read... Vahni CapildeoOn Judging Prizes, & Reading More than Six Really Good Books
(PN Review 237)
Drew MilneTom Raworth’s Writing
‘present past improved’: Tom Raworth’s Writing

(PN Review 236)
Alejandro Fernandez-OsorioPomace (trans. James Womack)
(PN Review 236)
Kei MillerIn the Shadow of Derek Walcott
1930–2017

(PN Review 235)
Eavan BolandA Lyric Voice at Bay
(PN Review 121)
Kate BinghamPuddle
(PN Review 236)
Poems Articles Interviews Reports Reviews Contributors
Gratis Ad 1
Gratis Ad 2
Next Issue CELEBRATING JOHN ASHBERY Contributors include Mark Ford, Marina Warner, Jeremy Over, Theophilus Kwek, Sam Riviere, Luke Kennard, Philip Terry,Agnes Lehoczky, Emily Critchley, Oli Hazard and others Miles Champion The Gold Standard Rebecca Watts The Cult of the Noble Amateur Marina Tsvetaeva ‘My desire has the features of a woman’: Two Letters translated by Christopher Whyte Iain Bamforth Black and White

This report is taken from PN Review 154, Volume 30 Number 2, November - December 2003.

Auckland Letter Peter Bland

Les Murray has been visiting Auckland recently, reading at the Auckland Writers Festival. A full house, a relaxed, surprisingly fast delivery, and some interesting asides (much practised I would guess) on the nature of the poetic trance and its relationship to other spiritual insights. The man rests so securely, so comfortably, on the huge body of his work, ambling his way through his Carcanet Selected and choosing what he'll read as he goes. It was a pleasure tuning in to that laconic no-nonsense vernacular, earthed so strongly in a deep sense of place. The poems are intimate but mysterious. At their best they stretch out to a huge beyond, just as the red-earthed Australian desert stretches out to its enormous nightly horizons.

Auckland isn't without its own elemental qualities, plunging sunsets, its little coves and estuaries in the inner-harbour, where you can swim and fish within ten minutes of the city. The latter has come alive over the last few years, with thousands of Asian students living centrally and casually behaving as though they're back in Shanghai or Hong Kong. The city's Pacific atmosphere has been augmented by the buzz of a Korean or Vietnamese lifestyle, with dozens of streetstalls and good cheap Asian restaurants. A low-key grumbling racism occasionally makes itself felt among the more elderly locals, but most people have responded well to this sudden increase of inner-city energy and excitement.

I've always thought of Auckland as a frontier town, a hotch-potch city ...


Searching, please wait... animated waiting image