Story: Magazines and periodicals

Page 6. Literary magazines, internet publishing, 1960s to 2010s

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New literary magazines

By the end of the 1960s new generations of writers and poets began to react against the modernist and nationalist bent of New Zealand literary culture, which they saw as antiquated, white and male-dominated. This led to the creation of literary magazines that were influenced by new literary theories like postmodernism, and emphasised the political and cultural contexts of writing and issues like gender, race and diversity. Among the new magazines were:

  • Freed (1969–72). An Auckland University student venture, it featured experimental poetry from new poets like Alan Brunton, Russell Haley, Murray Edmond and David Mitchell, and lasted five issues.
  • Islands (1972–87). Started by Robin Dudding, the quarterly featured the work of emerging writers and poets, including Vincent O’Sullivan, C. K. Stead, Bill Manhire and Ian Wedde.
  • Parallax (1982–83); And (1983–85); Antic (1986–90). These short-lived Auckland University initiatives published radical work informed by feminist and critical theory from the likes of Ngahuia Te Awekotuku and Juliet Butler.
  • Sport (1988–). Founded by Fergus Barrowman, with Elizabeth Knox, Nigel Cox and Damien Wilkins, Sport (published biannually until 2003, then annually) has provided an avenue for important new writers like Barbara Anderson, Jenny Bornholdt and Eleanor Catton.
  • Takahe (1989–). Published in Christchurch three times a year, it focused on short stories poetry and art.
  • New Zealand Books (1991–2019). The quarterly published critical reviews and essays on new books.
  • Poetry New Zealand (1993–). The annual volume was the successor to the New Zealand Poetry Yearbook (1951–64) and published both local and overseas work.


In 2013 Sport magazine received a severe shock when it was refused a publishing grant from the government arts-funding agency Creative New Zealand. This highlighted how the government was a pivotal supporter of New Zealand’s literary production. However, its 42nd issue appeared in March 2014 after Victoria University of Wellington stepped into the breach with a grant.

Arts magazines

The 1970s saw the first of a number of new magazines that profiled and promoted contemporary art. Some also considered literature. These included:

  • Art New Zealand (1976–). The quarterly quickly became the pre-eminent visual arts journal, focusing on contemporary art, but also including historical articles.
  • JAAM (Just Another Art Movement) (1995–). Started by Victoria University students, the annual journal publishes fiction, poetry, essays, photography and artwork from New Zealand and overseas contributors.
  • Art News New Zealand (1997–). A quarterly that promotes contemporary visual art.
  • Hue and Cry (2007–). An annual Wellington-based literary and arts journal, which encourages dialogue between the literary and arts communities.

The internet

The rise of the internet at the start of the 21st century challenged traditional periodical publishing. During the early 2000s the circulations of magazines like the Listener and the Woman’s Weekly declined steeply, although many specialist titles maintained or increased their circulation. One reason for the fall was the growing availability of periodicals on the internet. Many print publications, including New Zealand Gardener and the Listener, responded to the change by creating their own websites where readers could access both current and archival content.

Don’t be ridiculous

In 2010 Woman’s Day editor Sarah Henry doubted the internet would threaten print editions of newspapers and magazines: ‘You don’t go to your laptop and log-on and go “I’m going to read the Dominion Post online”, because that would be ridiculous.’ 1 In the same year the iPad (tablet computer) was released, making it easy for many readers to do just that.

The internet encouraged most literary magazines to create an online presence while also leading to the creation of new digital magazines. Following in the tradition of Phoenix, many of these were student initiatives. In 2014 they included Trout (Auckland University), Three Islands Magazine (Victoria University) and Deep South (Otago University).

  1. Daniel Simmons Ritchie, ‘Slaughter on the news-stands – Why our mags are in trouble’,, 27 March 2010, (last accessed 18 March 2014). Back
How to cite this page:

Ben Schrader, 'Magazines and periodicals - Literary magazines, internet publishing, 1960s to 2010s', Te Ara - the Encyclopedia of New Zealand, (accessed 13 April 2024)

Story by Ben Schrader, published 22 Oct 2014, updated 1 Apr 2020