The latest graduates of Victoria University of Wellington’s International Institute of Modern Letters (IIML) feature alongside new and established writers in online literary magazine Turbine | Kapohau 18.
An interview with 2018 Victoria University/Creative New Zealand Writer in Residence and graphic novelist Dylan Horrocks delves into his love of the role-playing game ‘Dungeons and Dragons’, while this year’s fiction reflects what 2018 Master of Arts (MA) workshop member Johanna Knox describes as ‘these dark times’.
Wes Lee's darkly humorous story Everything is Jammed details the end of the world as we know it through the lens of a dog-obsessed woman, and MA Fiction Workshop member Cassandra Barnett's Lōemis foreshadows environmental catastrophe in the setting of a winter solstice festival.
Several pieces focus on sexual assault, including Laura Borrowdale's ‘ingenious and lyrical’ Gods' Gift, MA Fiction Workshop member Sinead Overbye's exploration of the effect of trauma on memory, Anywhere but here, and fellow student Michelle Rahurahu Scott's extract from her novel-in-progress, Pōhara.
Positive relationships are also showcased, with an emphasis on communication, and what gets lost in translation: Māori and Pasifika Workshop student Narada Kapao’s My Gardnfahters Luagnage takes us to—and across—a language barrier and a generation gap, while MA Fiction Workshop member Max Olijnyk gives a comic glimpse of two very different men getting to know each other.
The relationship theme spills over into nonfiction, where essays explore the many forms of love. Authors mourn a mother, a grandfather, a former student. MA Non-Fiction Workshop Rose Lu’s Cleaver shows how love is conveyed by preparing food. IIML undergraduate Joy Holley writes of the obsessive, idolising love of a female friendship, and there is love for a place and a time as Vita O’Brien reminisces in an empty ballet studio.
Poets too portray relationships in varying degrees of doubt and incompatibility, and contend with our place in a disorientated modernity. Associate Professor Anna Jackson from the University’s School of English, Film, Theatre and Media Studies, and Helen Rickerby give voice to women in myth, whereas Ella Borrie and United States poet Kelly Hoffer engage with the powers of natural landscape.
IIML senior lecturer Chris Price says Turbine | Kapohau 18 not only showcases the depth and breadth of talent emerging from the 2018 MA workshop, but also offers a lively sampler of the wider literary community, from rising stars such as Sarah Broom Poetry Prize winner and IIML alumna Jane Arthur to senior figures such as alumni Kerrin P. Sharpe and Professor Harry Ricketts. “Our writing community continues to go from strength to strength,” she says.
Turbine | Kapohau 18 is co-edited by Tim Grgec, Laura Southgate, and Alie Benge.