This first issue includes an interview with Xiaole Zhan on prose poetry, her novella The Extinct, and her love of both words and music. Xiaole writes with such a strong and steadfast voice in her prose poems, and her words as an interviewee will leave you feeling inspired. If you haven’t had a taste of her writing already, hop on over to the National Schools Poetry Award website and read her 2019 winning poem, mammalian. Here, Xiaole brings out a narrative of striking and visceral images, but she does it in such a tender way that it almost lovingly exposes the delicate patches in us all.
Tim Grgec writes on how form is used to comprehend the world around us. With the uncertainty of lockdown as the backdrop, Tim searches for something grounded. He thoughtfully talks us through both an introspective and chaotic poem from Sam Duckor-Jones’ new book, Party Legend, which borrows a form outside of literature to bring something new and unexpected.
Maddie Ballard writes on the differences between prose and poetry, as well as the spectrum that lies between them. With her love of and attention to these hybrid forms, investigates the features of what makes something feel closer to prose or poetry—as well as how the appearance of prose in poetry, and vice versa, can further heighten the story that’s being told.
Xiaole Zhan (詹小乐) is a writer and composer currently in second-year university studies. Her name in Chinese is 小乐 and means ‘Little Happy’ but can also be read as ‘Little Music’. She was the winner of the National Schools Poetry Award 2019 and the first-equal winner of the 2019 Secondary Schools Division of the Sargeson Short Story Prize.
Having failed to achieve his childhood dream of playing for the Black Caps, Tim Grgec now has delusions of becoming a great writer. His first book of poetry, All Tito's Children, is out now with VUP.
Maddie 文麗 Ballard is a writer based in Tāmaki Makaurau. By day, she works as the deputy editor of dish magazine, but she is always trying to get more poetry into her life. Her work can be found at The Pantograph Punch, Starling, The Oxford Review of Books and on her blog, fieldnotesoninbetweening.substack.com.