blackmail press 16
5 years of blackmail press
doug poole - editor
Kia ora, talofa lava, welcome indeed,
Ben Kemp, recently toured NZ. Anja and I were privildged to attend his concert at the Odeon Lounge. Ben’s music ( fills my kete, my soul. I have been reflecting on Blackmail Press and how much lighter the load has been working with poets like Ben. His belief in his music and poetry inspires me. Ben told me “a performer has got to live with rejection” from publishers to off hand audiences, the key is the people who do participate in the performance.

Tusiata Avia’s interview on NZEPC’s Pasifika Poetry ( )
is insightful, the distinction of audience reactions. a receptive audience gives her energy. Lack of audience participation, means for her as a performer, she has to have that much more energy. Tusiata is highly regarded as a performance poet, Wild Dogs Under My Skirt, (  is a show of 17 poems. The book came after the show and took considerably longer to develop into book form. Tusiata’s methodology to distinguish what works on the page and what works on the stage is instictive “Some stuff belongs on the page, some stuff belongs on the stage, and some stuff can live in either place, there is no checklist, only the dramatic qualities and voice of the poem."

At times, as an editor and publisher I wonder who our audience is ? However the energy we receive back, the energy to continue, comes from our contributors. The poets who submit with humble enthusiasm. This is our audience and one we are incredibly thankful to.
The technology to produce Blackmail press has certainly improved, we kicked off with dial up and there was little functionality for importing text, html or media files. Now with broadband, full functionality and more, Blackmail Press has become more about the "Audience" and less about the production, which is satisfying.

Again, Fa'afeti, Thank you, to all our contributors, supporters and a special thanks to Anja and my beautiful children, Jarah, Waipapa and Parone.


Doug Poole
Blackmail Press