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Press Release: for Immediate Release
brief Editorial Committee
5th June 2006
Kiwi Writers Asked to Take Sides
One of the country's longest-running literary journals is asking Kiwi writers to take sides on the issue of war.
The editors of brief, a journal which has been publishing for more than a decade and specialises in experimental writing, have e mailed a questionnaire to some of the country's most prominent writers, asking them to state their views of George Bush's 'War on Terror' and on the deployment of Kiwi troops to the Solomons and East Timor. brief's editorial committee plans to publish the responses it receives in the journal's upcoming 34th issue.
"We want to put New Zealand writers on the spot" said Scott Hamilton, the head of brief's editorial committee. "In the 1930s a British journal called the Left Review published a famous issue called 'Writers take sides on Spain', where they asked people like James Joyce and TS Eliot to take stands on the conflict in that country. Today we're asking our own writers to take sides. The war in Iraq is as important today as the war in Spain was in the '30s", Hamilton said.
A number of members of brief's editorial committee have been active in the movements against the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq, but Hamilton says that the journal is not tryng to force any point of view down its readers' throats. "We have a variety of views within the editorial committee", Hamilton said. "What we want to encourage is a spirit of engagement and debate".
As well as answers to the questionnaire, brief #34 will include a wide range of writing about war. "We are rediscovering forgotten anti-war classics like the memoir of World War Two conscientious objector Ian Hamilton", said editorial committee member Brett Cross. "We will also be publishing some work written by people who've seen the reality of war for themselves. For instance, we have some writing by a New Zealander who was on the frontlines in Bosnia a decade ago. We're even publishing a couple of accounts of World War Two written by old soldiers and left lying in attics for decades. If you have something you think we'd like, send it in."