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Leigh Davis: a bibliography.

Books or sections of books

Leigh Davis, Willy's Gazette (Wellington: Jack Books, 1983).

Leigh Davis, Willy's Gazette, 2nd edition (Auckland: Jack Books in association with A Brief Description of the Whole World, June 1999). Published as the 12th issue of A Brief Description of the Whole World, with a foreword by John Geraets.

Te Tangi a te Matuhi, ed. by Wystan Curnow and Leigh Davis (Auckland: Jack Books, 1999). Includes material by Wirangi Pera, Stephen Bambury, Wystan Curnow, Te Kooti Arikirangi Te Turuki, Haare Williams, and John Reynolds, plus three works by Leigh Davis: 'Don't take my word for it', 'Throw', and 'Station of Earth-bound Ghosts--The Plans'; also a CD involving various musicians.

Leigh Davis, General Motors (Auckland: Jack Books, 2001). Text by Leigh Davis with 'physical book concept' by Stephen Bambury and Leigh Davis.

Leigh Davis, The Book of Honrs (Auckland: Jack Books, 2001). Boxed set containing four separate 'Books'. Book 1: 'Tidal Wave'; Book 2: 'Burst'; Book 3: 'The Office of the Dead', which consists of twelve separately bound and numbered booklets; Book 4: 'Coda', and a contents booklet. Davis acknowledges the design input and support of John Reynolds.

Leigh Davis, Stunning Debut of the Repairing of a life (Dunedin: Otago University Press, 2010).

Leigh Davis, Nameless: A Play (Auckland: Jack Books, 2013). This book shares a box with Redux, below.

Susan Davis and Stephen Bambury, eds. Redux (Auckland: Jack Books, 2013). Based on Stephen Bambury's work with Leigh Davis on Nameless, Redux includes 'Notes from the Playwright' by Leigh Davis, essays by Stephen Bambury and Roger Horrocks, a DVD 'flythrough' by Bruce Ferguson, and music by Alastair Galbraith.

Online books

Leigh Davis, General Motors (Auckland: Jack Books, 2001) <> [Accessed 7 Jan 2014].

Leigh Davis, Anarchy2 (Auckland: Jack Books, 2006) <> [Accessed 7 Jan 2014],


Leigh Davis, 'Noyade: Genre in Allen Curnow, 1935-1972', MA thesis, University' of Auckland, 1980.

Additional published poems by Leigh Davis

'Brother Jan', Rapport, 4.2 (April 1979), 5-7.

'For Susan', Rapport, 4.2 (April 1979), 48.

'Working', Rapport, 4.2 (April 1979), 18.

'Einstein taught me physics', Parallax, 1.3 (Winter 1983), 308-310.

'Main work', Parallax, 1.3 (Winter 1983), 311-313.

'Face choices', Splash, 1.1 (July 1984), 93-99.

'from Resistance Readers', Splash, 1.2 (December 1984), 11-22.

'Stock exchange', Splash, 1.3 (May 1985), 84-86.

'Still speechless', landfall, 162 (June 1987), 156-57.

'Saying Mass' [1991; 'Saying Mass' is also known as 'Heavenly Bodies'], < htm> [Accessed 7 Jan 2014].

'Pitch', Brief Description of the Whole World, 13 (1999), 52-53.

Reprinted poems by Leigh Davis

'from Willy's Gazette', And 2, (February 1984), 42-46.

'from Willy's Gazette'; 'from "Stock Exchange'"; 'from "Face Choices'"; 'from "Heavenly Bodies'", in The Caxton Press Anthology: New Zealand Poetry 1972-1986, ed. by Max Richards and Mark Williams (Christchurch: Caxton Press, 1987). ['Heavenly Bodies' is also known as 'Saving Mass'].

'from Willy's Gazette' [22 poems], in The New Poets: Initiatives in New Zealand Poetry, ed. by Murray Edmond and Mary Paul (Wellington: Allen & Unwin/Port Nicholson Press, 1987).

'The Footstool' (from General Motors), in Best New Zealand Poems 2001, ed. by Iain Sharp. < modernletters/bnzp/2001/home.html#> [Accessed 7 ]an 2014],

'from ThroiP and 'from General Motors', in Zemlia Morei: Antologiia Poefi Novoi Zelandii [Land of Seas: An Anthology of New Zealand Poetry], trans. by Arkadii Dragomoshchenko; ed. by Evgeny Pavlov and Mark Williams (Moscow: Novoe literaturnoe obozrenie, 2005).

'from Willy's Gazette', in 99 Ways into New Zealand Poetry, ed. by Paula Green and Harry Ricketts (Auckland: Vintage, 2010), p. 361.

'from Willy's Gazette', in The Auckland University Press Anthology of New Zealand Literature, ed. by Jane Stafford and Mark Williams (Auckland: Auckland University Press, 2012), pp. 754-55.

'Leigh Davis', a collection of work at the New Zealand Electronic Poetry Centre, < authors/davis/index.asp> [Accessed 7 Jan 2014].

Published prose

Leigh and Susan Davis, 'Mistress Polly and Awesome Urban', Rapport, (June 1980), 52-55. [About Leigh and Susan's wedding].

'Set up', And 1, (October 1983), 1-8. [Editorial].

'Roger's Thesaurus', And 2, (February 1984), 49-60. [About Roger Horrocks's book The Auckland Regional Transit Poetry Line].

'Wedde Out of Fashion', New Zealand Times, (24 June 1984), 11. [About Ian Wedde].

'Solo Curnow', And 3, (October 1984), 49-62. [About Allen Curnow].

'Group Show: A Review of Poetry as Discourse by Antony Easthope', And 3, (October 1984), 111-12.

'Industry Standards', New Zealand Listener, (6 July 1985), 48-49.

'Public policy', And 4, (October 1985), 82-96. [About And, and Ian Wedde's Georgicon].

'Where am I in Relation to the Market?' Midwest, 4 (1994), 10-12.

A Very Peculiar Practice: Aspects of Recent New Zealand Painting (Wellington: Wellington City Gallery, 1995). [Exhibition catalogue with essays by Allan Smith and Leigh Davis].

Siena (Auckland: Jensen Gallery, 1998). [Catalogue of an exhibition by Stephen Bambury with an essay by Leigh Davis].

'The Bicycle', Brief Description of the Whole World, 14 (1999), 88-100. [Essay on Michele Leggott].

'Notes on Yes and No', Journal of New Zealand literature, 18-19 (2000/2001), 39-66.

Six Degrees of Separation (Auckland: Ouroborus, 2001). [Exhibition catalogue for the Andrew Jensen Gallery, with an essay by Leigh Davis].

Power (Hamilton: Waikato Museum/Mighty River Power, 2002). [Exhibition of photographs by Patrick Reynolds, with essays by Malcolm Walker and Leigh Davis].

Stephen Bamhury: The Viba Studio Paintings (Auckland: Ouroborus, 2005). [Exhibition catalogue with essays by Andrew Jensen and Leigh Davis].

Additional essays by Leigh Davis including 'Back Operation in Mr Cotton's Pictures', 'Bearing Witness', 'Country and Western', 'Glaring Deficiency', 'Notes on YES and NO', 'Ricochet', 'Scratch the Surface', 'Speech at the Govett-Brewster Gallery for K Rd to Kingdom Come', 'Subtle Body', and 'Time, Text and Echoes' can be found at the New Zealand Electronic Poetry' Centre < index.asp> and the Jack Books website <http://www.jackbooks. com/Leigh/artknowledge/artknowledge.htm>

The Jack Books site has the additional essay 'Big White Males (Tearing Down the House)' <http://www.jackbooks. com/Leigh/artknowledge/BIG_WHITE_MALES.pdf> [Accessed 7 Jan 2014].

Two other important essays, 'Incongruity' and 'What do I think I'm doing here?', were circulated in manuscript but have not yet been published in print or online.


Station of Earth-bound Ghosts, 1998. [An exhibition of flags at Auckland's Central Railway Station, later documented in the book Te Tangi a te Matubi].

Anarchy, 2006. [An exhibition at the Starkwhite Gallery in Auckland, later developed into the Nameless project].

Jar, from 2005. [An art space in Kingsland, Auckland, organized by Leigh and Susan Davis, exhibiting the work of Leigh Davis and other artists]. See <> [Accessed 7 Jan 2014].


Leigh Davis with Alan Loney, 'Talking with Alan Loney: Wednesday 31.8.83', And 1, (October 1983), 39-61.

Leigh Davis with Hugh Lauder, 'Interview--Debate with Leigh Davis', landfall, 155 (September 1985), 310-19. < > [Accessed 7 Jan 2014].

Leigh Davis with Emma J. Fergusson, 'Appendix: Interview with Leigh Davis, 30 August 1999', in Emma J. Fergusson, "'Going

faster than speed": Leigh Davis, 1983-1985', MA thesis, University of Canterbury, 2003.


New Poets [Elizabeth Nannestad, David Eggleton, Leigh Davis], Auckland, BCNZ (TV One), 1987.

Station of Earth-bound Ghosts, dir. by Shirley Horrocks (Auckland: Point of View Productions, 1998). [Documentary about Leigh Davis's flag exhibition].

Early Days Yet, dir. by Shirley Horrocks (Auckland: Point of View Productions, 2001). [Documentary about Allen Curnow; includes brief interview with Leigh Davis].

Questions for Mr Reynolds, dir. by Shirley Horrocks (Auckland: Point of View Productions, 2007). [Documentary about John Reynolds; includes sequence with Leigh Davis].

Audio recordings

Readings from The Book of Hours, Sections 1 and 8 of 'Office of the Dead', < /index.asp> [Accessed 7 Jan 2014].

Selected criticism and commentary about Leigh Davis

Allan, Guy, 'Pleasantly Puzzling Journey to Depths', NZ Herald, (22 January 2000), E9. [Review of Willy's Gazette].

Alpers, Diana, 'With a Whiff of Worry', NZ Listener, (7 April 1984), 88. [Review of Willy's Gazette].

Bambury, Stephen, 'Nothing Influences Me', in Redux, ed. by Susan Davis and Stephen Bambury (Auckland: Jack Books, 2013), pp. 124-26.

Brighton, Ross, 'RIP Leigh Davis', A Pelt, A Shrub, A Soil Sample: A Poetics Blog, (5 October 2009). <http://ignorethe> [Accessed 7 Jan 2014].

Brown, James, [Review of Te Tangi a te Matuhi], Landfall, 199 (March 2000), 164-68.

Caffin, Elizabeth, 'Poetry', The Oxford History of New Zealand Literature in English, ed. by Terry Sturm, 2nd edition (Auckland: OUP, 1998), pp. 481-82.

Clifford, Andrew, 'Jar Open for Reflection' NZ Herald, (19 January 2005), B5. [Article on the Jar project].

Curnow, Wystan, "'The something startled rise of birds": A tribute to Leigh Davis, 1955-2009', Journal of New Zealand Literature, 27 (2009), 17-24. Reprinted in Sibila: Poesia e critica literaria (8 February 2010), < davis-1955-2009-2/3424> [Accessed 7 Jan 2014],

Fergusson, Emma J., '"Going faster than speed": Leigh Davis, 1983-1985', MA thesis, University of Canterbury, 2003.

Geraets, John, 'Stunning Debut: Willy's return', Brief Description of the Whole World, 43 (2011), 6-21.

Gibson, Nevil, 'Leigh Davis--Avant Garde in Business, Arts, Adventure', National Business Review, (9 October 2009), <> [Accessed 7 Jan 2014].

Herkt, David, 'Great Stopped Masterpiece' [Review of Nameless/ Redux], The landfall Review Online, (1 Nov 2013), < great-truncated-masterpiece. html> [Accessed 7 Jan 2014].

Horrocks, Roger, 'Stunning Debut of the Repairing of a Life', Brief Description of the Whole World, 41 (2010), 94-102.

--, 'Leigh Davis, 1955-2009', Ka Mate Ka Ora: A New Zealand journal of Poetry and Poetics, 9 (March 2010), < ocks.asp> [Accessed 7 Jan 2014].

--, 'Backstory', in Redux, ed. by Susan Davis and Stephen Bambury (Auckland: Jack Books, 2013), pp. 108-119.

--, 'Leigh Davis: From Willy's Gazette to Nameless', journal of New Zealand literature, 32 (2014), 69-106.

McLean, Robert, 'Worm in the Apple' [review of Stunning Debut of the Repairing of a life], landfall Review Online (1 June 2011), <> [Accessed 7 Jan 2014].

Newton, John, '"That's me trying to step out of that sentence": an approach to some recent New Zealand poetry', MA thesis, University of Canterbury, 1987.

O'Brien, Greg, [interviewed by Kim Hill on 'Saturday Morning'], Radio New Zealand, 13 August 1999.

--, 'High Wind', [review of Te Tangi a te Matuhi], Art New Zealand, (Summer 1999/2000), 87-88.

Perloff, Marjorie, When the saints go marching by' [review of General Motors], Landfall, 202 (November 2001), 186-191. See < articles/davis.html> [Accessed 7 Jan 2014].

Sharp, Iain, 'Willy's Gazette', Landfall, 155 (September 1985), 381-85.

--, 'Treasury's Outlook', New Zealand Outlook, (May 1987), 74-77.

--, 'New Zealand--at its Best', NZ listener, (25 June 1994), 19. [Sharp selects 'Einstein taught me Physics' as one of the ten best New Zealand poems],

Simpson, Peter, "Verbal Remedy', NZ listener, (9 March 2002), 60-61.

Wedde, Ian, 'Beauty, Sex, Heroism', Brief Description of the Whole World, 22 (December 2001), 40-44. [Discussion of Davis's essay 'Time, Text, and Echoes'].

Weston, Tony, 'Nothing Else Quite Like It in New Zealand Poetry' [review of second edition of Willy's Gazette], The Press, (16 October 1999), supplement p. 13.

Williams, Mark, 'On the Margins?: New Zealand Little Magazines from Freed to And', Journal of New Zealand literature, 5 (1987), 73-91.


As the first bibliography of Davis's work, this may omit some items. For example, Davis also wrote some poems for friends. I would be pleased to receive any corrections or additions.

Roger Horrocks (email:
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Author:Horrocks, Roger
Publication:JNZL: Journal of New Zealand Literature
Article Type:Bibliography
Date:Jan 1, 2014
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