Reviews are coming in for Ngā Ripo Wai | Swirling Waters

We think Ngā Ripo Wai | Swirling Waters: A Kerikeri Anthology is a fabulous volume that shows real connection between people & place and present & past, so it’s good to know others feel this way too. In this post, we share extracts from two reviews and will share more as they come to hand. If you know of anyone who would love this book, then please share this post with them.

Kete Books (online)

“Kerikeri is a vital landmark in my memory banks, so it is with delight I read Ngā Ripo Wai: Swirling Waters, an anthology of multi-genre writings linked to the area. … The opening piece, ‘Te Riu o Ngāti Rēhia’, stands as a mihi, welcoming us to writing that embraces place, people, experience, history and memory from multiple points of view. There is Tokerau Mountain, Kororipo Pā, Kerikeri River, the iconic stone store, the inlet, various mission houses, the arts communities. The physicality of place is enhanced by the way place is peopled; layered with complex and at times conflicting histories and experiences.… The anthology is structured like a piece of music that allows distinctive notes, chimes, chords, tones, ideas.… It begins with the local and it makes the local significant as it celebrates complexity, connection, creativity.… As readers and writers, we are breathing in and out the possibilities of words.”
Paula Green

North & South Magazine (February 2022, p88-89)

“This commendable anthology … attempts to do justice to the many facets of Kerikeri, and in general achieves that aim. It digs much deeper than the tourist-friendly establishments … As Lynne Hill’s untitled poem says: “history looks different here”.…One of the most attractive features of the anthology is the wide variety of contributors.… Dallon August’s beautiful cover artwork of a landscape with pou, shrouded in a mist that evokes the living presence of history and the need to make things clear sets the tone perfectly.”
Paul Little

A look inside Ngā Ripo Wai | Swirling Waters

Now that we have revealed the cover, we thought you might like a peek inside Ngā Ripo Wai | Swirling Waters. On the pages, Kerikeri’s uneven terrain is explored through poems, ultra-short stories, interviews and histories written in te reo Māori and English. Here is a taste of what you can expect.

Extract from “Central Motel” by Barbara Wrigley

Driving along Kerikeri’s main street one sunny morning, I saw our toilet and bath stark naked on the footpath. 

Extract from “Orangins” by Vivian Thonger

We spot a laden branch hanging over the pavement.
You twist one round fruit off its stalk—warm, blemished
the colour less dazzling in close-up. Sweet juice stickies
our hands. You ask which came first, the fruit or the colour.

Whakatauki by Kipa Munro

ko te ārautanga
o tōku herenga
he ātarangi

tomorrow’s sunshine
is my reward
for yesterday’s shadows

Extract from “Northland river koromiko” by Piet Nieuwland

In summer, on the forested banks of the Kerikeri River, there are plants with dense masses of white to pale-mauve flowers. One of these plants is called Hebe acutifolia

Hebe was the goddess of youth …

Extract from “Safe landing” by Bruce Hudson

An in-flight emergency
above a bay full of islands
my face contorts
paper bag ready
no lives at risk

“Take the controls” says the pilot …

Extract from “Flood of ‘81” by Tania Aslund

We nudged a dead sheep away from the rocks with an oar and rowed out to look at the boats. Launches and yachts listless at slack water, their dock lines shredded, paintwork dinged, hulls bashed. Some were still attached to their pole mooring, like towing a battering ram.

Ngā Kupu Waikato and Scoria book launches in Northland.

Ngā Kupu Waikato: an anthology of Waikato poetry and Scoria: Short Prose from the cinder cone, two anthologies featuring Northland writers, will be launched in Northland in the next two weeks. We hope you can join us at one (or both) of our launch celebrations.

Kerikeri launch of Scoria:
Featuring information about Pavlova Press, new calls for submission and readings by Kathy Derrick and Jac Jenkins.
When: TOMORROW Thursday 28th November at 5.30pm
Where: Cherry Park House, Landing Rd, Kerikeri

Whangārei combined launch of Ngā Kupu Waikato and Scoria:
Featuring readings by Vaughan Rapatahana, Piet Nieuwland, Olivia Macassey, Jac Jenkins, Alistar Tulett, Terry Moyle, Kathy Derrick and other talents
When: Saturday 7th December at 1.30pm
Where: The Book Inn, Kamo, Whangārei

About Ngā Kupu Waikato: an anthology of Waikato poetry

Ngā Kupu Waikato is an anthology of work from poets with a strong Waikato connection including Northland poets, Piet Nieuwland, Olivia Macassey, Alistair Tulett and Jac Jenkins. The collection, compiled by Vaughan Rapatahana, also contains poems from Vincent O’Sullivan (former New Zealand Poet Laureate), Stephen Oliver, and Bob Orr. Poem style and content is wide-ranging, and with titles such as ‘With Jean-Paul Sartre on the Banks of the Waikato’ and ‘Waikato-Taniwha-Rau’ the Waikato river is an overarching presence.

In its review of Ngā Kupu Waikato, Poetry Shelf says: Reading the collection is like sitting by the river through all seasons, feeling the way it runs through the blood of the poet writing, a lifelong current, carrying anecdote, beauty, history. It is both the spine and heart of the collection that draws me in closer again and again. A Waikato treasure.

About Scoria: Short prose from the cinder cone

Scoria: Short Prose from the cinder cone is Pavlova Press’s own collection of short prose by Kathy Derrick and Jac Jenkins. These pieces are shaped by examining the small bubbles and glassy fragments of the human condition, just as bubbles and fragments combine to form scoria rock. With sections titled Arrhythmia, Severance and Elasticity, the volume explores themes of connection, separation and regeneration. Scoria’s cover was designed by the award-winning Keely O’Shannessy and perfectly reflects the book’s content. Vaughan Rapatahana says of the authors and the anthology: Their joint imaginations run amok in this conjuring trick of a collection—at times wicked bitch brutal, at other times fairy modmother magical. But always superbly crafted nuggets of hypnogogia.

A sneak preview:


My mother, a pug-breeder and amateur stigmeologist, showed me the space that can be held in punctuation—how we can exhale commas into chaos, settling a paragraph like a hound winding down around its tail to rest, nose propped on the basket’s edge; how the question mark with its raised brow opens the eyes to that tock between two thoughts; how the full stop holds the tongue of the panting sentence against the next rush of unleashed sound. 

My mother also said that flesh is a hyphen, holding soul to soil. My life with five pugs is a chaos of leashes.