The 10th anniversary issue
Some 10 years ago, likely in the late summer of 2012, out the back of a Devonport house looking towards Takarunga Mount Victoria… One friend says to another that he’s thinking of starting a literary journal, just to see what it takes, not even sure how serious he is about it. But the other, she calls the bluff and says: “Great let’s do it!” By winter’s breath the two twenty-somethings had resolved to produce a journal of poetry once a quarter for as long as they could manage. So began Minarets, birthed in August of that year with a reading at the Snake Pit gallery (RIP) on High Street in Tāmaki Makaurau Auckland.
That editorial pair did manage a full calendar of quarterly issues, and an attendant suite of launch readings in whatever artistrun spaces we could get access to, but there was no way to keep it up. Changing circumstances, international departures… Minarets went on in different forms—sometimes online, sometimes in print— between various periods of hiatus, and different guest editors. For the 10th anniversary issue, it’s nice to sing that original duet once again; to search through what poetry in Aotearoa New Zealand has lately to offer, and compose something of it.
It would have been easy to assemble a self-congratulatory lineup of usual suspects, but in fact the greater part of the names in these pages are new to us. What remains constant is a commitment to wide variety, favouring a landscape of more poems by fewer poets, and connecting work across national and oceanic boundaries.
So many of the journals that were once our contemporaries have fallen to the vagaries of time. With a bit of luck and temerity, perhaps Minarets will keep finding someone and some reason to guide it along for a while yet.
Chris Holdaway is a poet and publisher from Te Tai Tokerau / Northland. He is the author of Gorse Poems (Titus Books, 2022), and the director of Compound Press.
Lauren Strain is from Auckland, NZ but lives in London, UK. She likes seconds.