Sunday, 3 December 2017
In the past, it's often been a rush to get all the reviews ready to go before the deadline for each issue of Poetry New Zealand Yearbook. Also, books that arrived too late to be sent out have tended to end up with a notice rather than a review, which is a bit unfair.
Our solution to this dilemma is to start a brand-new website, the Poetry New Zealand Review - modelled loosely on the excellent Landfall Review Online. The advantage of this is that we will be able to publish reviews of local poetry books all year round, rather than trying to gather them all up in time for the Yearbook.
Mind you, I still feel that a reviews section is an essential part of any literary journal, so - like Landfall - we will continue to publish a substantial selection in each annual issue. Decisions about which books to include in the print edition and which to post online will be made on an ad hoc basis: certainly not because we consider one venue more prestigious or valuable than the other. The same people will be writing for both.
We have the wholehearted cooperation of our publisher, Massey University Press, in taking this step. While they don't wish us to post reviews which have already appeared in the print issues they've published, they're happy for us to trim the number of books we try to cover in each one (33 in each of the last two yearbooks). I'll be careful to list all the books reviewed in the print edition only on a separate page of the site, though.
I've kicked off the website by reprinting all the book reviews published in Poetry New Zealand Yearbook 1 & 2, just to give you an idea of what it could eventually look like. If you think you'd like to try your hand at a poetry review, please drop me a line and we'll be happy to give you a try-out. You can find further instructions here.