PN Review Print and Online Poetry Magazine
News and Notes
The PN Review Prize 2017 - Now Open!
ENGLISH PEN: time to join!
English PEN relies on the support of its members and subscribers. read more
Most Read... Kei MillerIn the Shadow of Derek Walcott
1930–2017

(PN Review 235)
David Herdin Conversation with John Ashbery
(PN Review 99)
Daniel Kaneon Ted Berrigan
(PN Review 169)
Henry Kingon Geoffrey Hill's Oraclau/Oracles
(PN Review 199)
Kate BinghamPuddle
(PN Review 236)
Alejandro Fernandez-OsorioPomace (trans. James Womack)
(PN Review 236)
Poems Articles Interviews Reports Reviews Contributors
Gratis Ad 1
Gratis Ad 2
Next Issue Meet Michael Edwards at the Brasserie Lipp David Herman reads Milosz's life Sumita Chakraborty's five poems Judith Wilson's encounter with Giovanni Pascoli Simon Armitage revives Branwell Bronte

This report is taken from PN Review 235, Volume 43 Number 5, May - June 2017.

Letter from New Zealand Stephen Burt
TO LIVE IN CHRISTCHURCH at the end of 2016 is to encounter, daily and seemingly everywhere, construction: cranes, scaffolds, burly workers in lemon-fluorescent vests, bright orange cones, PVC pipes jutting up from the ground, all of it part of the ongoing, city-wide multi-year recovery after the earthquakes of 2010–11. The fences and pits are a great inconvenience, a melancholy sight for those who grew up in what was (I’m told) the most sedate and stable of NZ cities. For me, on the other hand, the construction is mostly inspiration: I see a city that’s putting itself back together, a nation that has recognised (and chosen to pay for) a shared public good, while my own home country, the United States, is tearing itself apart.

Christchurch city centre still holds vacant lots, sagging buildings and exposed rebar; the suburbs include a red zone where demolished homes have become de facto parkland, where no one can build on the unstable ground. But the city centre also includes the brand-new Margaret Mahy Playground, where big shiny slides, a zipline designed for eight-year-olds, a three-story rocketship-shaped climbing structure, bouncy synthetic turf, and even the metallic high-tech toilets represent public investment, and kid-friendly planning, of a kind almost inconceivable in much of the USA.

If kids at the playground want snacks, you can walk with them to the Re:Start Mall, three blocks of food and apparel stores made from repurposed shipping containers, opened in late 2011; if you live on the University of Canterbury campus, as we do, you can then take the bus ...


Searching, please wait... animated waiting image