John Gallas Poetry


barn in Paterau





'the greatest New Zealand poet no one has ever heard of' (Spinoff)








video-poem for December 2018


Paterau Sonnet

'if your enenmies are enemies, you may fear less' - Samoan proverb


just published in 'The Friday Poem : 100 New Zealand Poems' by Luncheon Sausage Books


view below with YouTube.


I bought a bull in Paterau. Some bastard

tailed me home. I parked the pickup quick.

The bandogs howled and twanged their chains. A Buick

bumped across the 'aopu field. I hid

in Halberg's barn. A bashed Toyota truck

behind the Buick. Jeez. They stopped. The sun

burned through a scarf of mist. I got my gun.

They both got out. The dogs cringed down. I snuck

towards the hop-shed. Sssh ! They waved their arms.

The tall one took two steps - and something popped.

The fat one hunched and fell. The tall one dropped.

The echo thumped across the misty farms.

The police said did I know them ? I said No.

They zipped them up. The fog turned into snow.








What's Afoot ? Top Ten

1. 'The Extasie - 50 love poems - now completed, and with Carcanet, awaiting a decision.

2. 'Here They Come ! 200 Loaded Tankas Delivering Goodness Fresh to Your Doorstep' (yup, a collection of 200 tankas, syllables long) also completed. Bunches appearing in STAND and other magazines next year.

3. A sequence of little poems, 'The History of Mid Wales', written there, is due out in the forthcoming 'PN Review'.

4. 'Foggy Identities in Paterau' just out in 'The Friday Poem' (Lucheon Sausage Books NZ - see above.

5. Don't forget 'The Little Sublime Comedy', out from Carcanet. See schedule and catalogue, and order from

6. To complete the Year of 3 Books, 'Mad John's Walk' still available from Five Leaves ( and '17 Pacific Poems' from Indigo Dreams (

7. Won the National Association of Writers Group competition with 'At That Leicester Cafe'.

8. Won the Earlyworks Poetry Competition.

9. The Blood Book, the tale of my ancestors from 10,000 BC to me, is now finished. To be published in NZ, 2019.

10. Go to STAND magazine's website ( for 4 love poems, and, forthcoming, more translations of Joachim de Bellay and some nutritious Tankas.


Complete Book List

Practical Anarchy (Carcanet)
Flying Carpets Over Filbert Street (Carcanet)
Grrrrr (Carcanet)
Resistance is Futile (Carcanet)
The Ballad of Robin Hood and the Deer (Agraphia Press), pictures by Clifford Harper
The Ballad of Santo Caserio (Agraphia Press), pictures by Clifford Harper
The Song Atlas (Carcanet)
Star City (Carcanet)
The Book with Twelve Tales (Carcanet)
Fucking Poets (3 vols) (Cold Hub Press NZ)
40 Lies (Carcanet) pictures by Sarah Kirby
Fresh Air & The Story of Molecule (Carcanet)
52 Euros (Carcanet

Pacifictions (Cold Hub Press NZ)

The Alphabet of Ugly Animals (Magpie Press)

Mad John's Walk (Five Leaves : Occasional Pamphlets) January 2017

The Little Sublime Comedy (Carcanet) now out

17 Very Pacific Poems (Indigo Dreams) now out



John Gallas Poetry


Carcanet blog

John Gallas Facebook

Cold Hub Press (NZ)

Five Leaves publishing/bookshop (Mad John's Walk)

Agraphia / Clifford Harper

YouTube (Paterau Sonnent / The Blobfish Sings Under the Sea)

STAND Magazine

Indigo Dreams publishing

Spinoff (NZ)

Mmm ...:
"God accommodates our happy lies" - 'Umm Lahai Sonnet'



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