new zealand electronic poetry centre






Big Smoke Index

Big Smoke:

New Zealand Poems 1960 - 1975

beatniks ... malaya ... vietnam 50 megaton bombs ... strontium ninety ... johnston island ... mixed flatting overseas experience peace power and politics ... bombings ... pot ... grass ... speed ... te reo rangatiratanga ... nga tama toa ... the land march freezing works ... loony bins ... seagulls . . . trendies ... ship girls ... fuzz pigs ... johnson's napalm baby powder ... women's liberation ... suffrage day ... we are everywhere ... oil shocks ... rock n roll psychedelia . . . free love ... gurus recuperation ... absurdity ... nudity identity ... addiction insanity holiness ... exploitation ... revolution all for the hell of it

Big Smoke will be the first ever collection of poems in New Zealand which sets out to represent the poetry of an era.

Such a concept in anthologising has long been well-established overseas. Big Smoke will present poetry from the period loosely known as the "The Sixties.' Allowing for the fact that The Sixties started rather late in New Zealand and went on well into The Seventies, the time period covered by Big Smoke will be fifteen tempestuous years - from the last year of the Nash Coven-iment into the endless Holyoake interregnum, and on through the Kirk blip of ohus and cancelled rugby tours to the dawning of Muldoonism.

Big Smoke's emphasis will be on work which speaks of and for that time, rather than simply a collection of "the best poems" written during those years.

The Sixties have been a subject of revival and imitation in popular music and the notable year of 1968, thirty years on in 1998, has been the subject of many books and essays. Here, at last, is a chance to find out what new work was being written over that period in New Zealand.

The contents of Big Smoke will be arranged by chronology rather than by author. Big Smoke brings back from the past the work of more than 50 poets from that time. Some of these are names still remembered today, but the poetry of many has disappeared from memory for a variety of cultural, social and political reasons.

Big Smoke will contain two essays, one about "Poetics" and one about

"Community and Context" which will introduce and critically assess the period. The book will also contain an extensive "Chronology" and "Bibliography."

Big Smoke is edited by three New Zealand poets: Alan Brunton, Murray Edmond and Michele Leggott.



Last updated 21 March, 2004