ReadingRoom

A poem on the killing of New Zealand Books

Harry Ricketts is - was - the co-editor of New Zealand Books, the distinguished literary journal which was forced to close down last week after Creative New Zealand declined its funding application. His poem marks the occasion.

Creative New Zealand to New Zealand Books

"We simply 'declined your application';

we didn't cut off your grant.

After twenty-nine years - what an accusation!

We simply 'declined your application'.

Closing down: entirely your decision;

You can't blame us; you just can't.

We simply 'declined your application';

we didn't cut off your grant."

The online petition calling on CNZ to save New Zealand Books now has over 600 signatures. It will be addressed to arts minister Jacinda Ardern, who pays wonderful lip service to New Zealand literature, next week. Meanwhile the latest - last - issue of New Zealand Books (Peppercorn Press, $10.50), containing superb writing by Lydia Wevers, Martin Edmond and others, is available nationwide.

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