Fresh Ink, Various authors
Once again, fresh fiction from a group of highly talented Kiwi authors has been collected together into an anthology.
Fifty-five contributors, most of whom are Master of Creative Writing graduates and some of whom are already well-known published authors, grace the pages of this new collection. Whatever your mood or taste, there is a story, poem or image to match or to challenge it.
From the historical to the fantastical, the real to the surreal, this exciting anthology of New Zealand fiction, poetry, and artwork presents the varied voices and styles of New Zealand writing at its best – exhibiting work from established and award-winning authors as well as some lively “fresh ink” from previously unpublished literary voices. The second in this popular series, Fresh Ink 2019 was collated by James George.
The collection has just the right mix of new and established authors, offering readers plenty of surprises and an ache to hunt out more by the authors.
Sarong by M A Wilkins - a new author to me - is a haunting, touching short story that took me right back to being beside my grandfather as he too lay on a bed. It's a poetic, lyrical read, full of emotion and hope, but quiet understanding.
The collection is full of diverse authors, Whakatāne high school student Jacob Hagan's story sits alongside a poem by the first Secretary for Education in New Zealand Maris O'Rourke.
Family and relationships are a common theme - whether it's Lee Tupuola-Madsen's dedication to her maternal grandmother, a poem called Mama, or Crispin Anderlini's Apple of My Eye, a terrifying story of life with a newborn.
Art also appears in the book - photographs, pencil drawings, and woodcuts - telling their own stories in visual form.
The cover of the book was designed by Suzanne Day, a graphic artist who is also a Master of Creative Writing. The kārearea, the endemic New Zealand falcon featured on the cover, is Aotearoa’s most threatened bird of prey. To help ensure the voice of kārearea continues to be heard by future generations, $1 from the sale of each book will contribute to falcon conservation.
Fresh Ink is a refreshing collection that showcases the unique talents we have here in Aotearoa.
Reviewer: Rebekah Fraser
Cloud Ink Press, RRP $29.95