Producing our debut edition has been something of an expedition, but we are certainly impressed with its final animation. So, welcome. We hope enough enjoyment comes to warrant future editions.
This volume was ‘curated’, in the sense that each contributor was known to us and invited to be included. Some are also known to the wider public through previous publication and success, while others have been fastidiously working without yet making great efforts for display.
The selected work comes to us from artists in a variety of locations—mainly Auckland, but also Wellington, Lyttelton, South Africa, Chicago, and an ex-patriot New Zealander living in San Francisco. Whatever the origin, it is our view that the material featured—ranging from the highly lyrical to the highly playful—presents a quite a hoard of contemporary poetry.
When asked what made us embark on this venture, ‘why not?’ is always a tempting response. But to answer seriously, we believe that the scene around any creative practice is only as big as the number of opportunities available to those within it. If we know of some quantity of quality not currently represented, then there is something to be done—and if we have the ability to create additional opportunities, we should not shy away from it.
Working on Issue One, Winter of Minarets, we found both much greater interest in the project and far more ‘unearthed’ work than expected, suggesting that there is by no means yet an oversaturation of opportunities for poets in New Zealand.
Therefore, for future issues, the door to submission will be open to anyone, ‘—may the great poet we are looking for never find it shut.’ It is our vision to continue soliciting international artists and to exhibit poetry that might not otherwise be seen in New Zealand. Currently, our ambition is to publish one issue per year, comprised of quarterly volumes (Winter, Spring, Summer, and Autumn). We’ll see how that goes.
No doubt we’ll also be fielding questions concerning the name. We simply chose a word that was pleasing both phonetically and typographically, referencing a type of object in the world that was also pleasing—visually and symbolically.
Lauren Strain (Auckland, NZ / London, UK) is the founding editor of min-a-rets. She holds an Honours degree in history from the University of Auckland, & works as a policy adviser in London.