[Cover Image: Michael Dean]

This site exists in order to provide a conveniently accessible online index for the New Zealand literary journal brief, founded by Alan Loney in 1995, and carried on (under a succession of editors) until now.

No copyright works have been reproduced here, with the exception of covers and contents pages for the various publications produced by the Writers Group - brief's community of subscribers and contributors - over this period. Some of these works are available elsewhere on the internet, however, and hyperlinks to these locations have been provided wherever possible.

There are individual pages below for the contents of each issue, supplemented by an alphabetical index of the contributions of each author. A short history of brief has also been provided, with a selection of various of the statements and manifestos issued by its editors at different times, as well as a list of the books published to date by the magazine.

For up-to-date information on submission policies, subscription rates, and any other information about the journal, please go to the official website at; alternatively, you can email the present managing editor, Olivia Macassey, or write to her c/o the following address:
1416 Kaiaua Road
RD 3
Pokeno 2473
New Zealand

Subscription rates:

$NZ 30 for two issues post free in Aotearoa.
$55 for institutional addresses.
$50 for Australia.
$70 elsewhere.
$20 for single issues and back issues.

Please make cheques payable to:
The Writers Group
(address as above)

Upcoming issue:

Call for Submissions to
the magazine formerly known as:
A Brief Description of the Whole World

Brief has re-emerged and is seeking all manner of changes, transformations, alterations, mutations, re-orderings, transfigurations, conversions, variations, reorganizations, evolutions, metamorphoses, modifications, and reconstructions.

Issue 57 will be a general issue (no theme).

Submissions are to be received by the end of October, 2018, and can be emailed to Non-electronic submissions up to A4 in size can be mailed to the editor by prior arrangement.

The magazine was founded in December 1995 by Alan Loney. Its format was simple: A4 sheets, copied exactly as their authors wrote them, stapled together, then distributed with bio notes and a cover. Subsequent editors and guest editors of brief since 1999 include John Geraets, Jack Ross, Brett Cross, Bill Direen, Ted Jenner, Jen Crawford, Scott Hamilton, Hamish Dewe, Richard von Sturmer, Bronwyn Lloyd, Michael Arnold, Alex Wild and Olivia Macassey - the current Managing Editor of brief.

Brief is a space for new experimental writing, work that does something interesting, adventurous, challenging, or exploratory. It publishes poetry, prose, essays & criticism, hybrid forms, and occasionally visual art. Contributors receive an issue of the journal as payment. Website:

The present format of brief is A5, perfect-bound, with bio-notes and a card cover, but although the scale is smaller than the original, the magazine continues to adhere to the original policy of reprinting work exactly as it is sent, which enables contributors to pay close attention to the design and layout of their pages.

If you feel your writing fits the brief for brief then our editors will be very pleased to receive your submission.

[Cover Design: Alan Loney]

[Cover Image: Will Maclean]


  • K. M. Ross. Falling Through the Architect. ISBN 0-476-01578-2. Auckland: The Writers Group, September 2005.

  • Kendrick Smithyman. Campana to Montale: Versions from Italian. Edited by Jack Ross. ISBN 0-476-00382-2. Auckland: The Writers Group, October 2004.

  • Jack Ross. A brief index: A breakdown by issue & author of 7 years / 26 issues of brief, the magazine formerly known as: A Brief Description of the Whole World / ABDOTWW / description / ABdotWW / Ab.ww / brief. &c., December 1995 – January 2003. ISSN 1175-9313. Auckland: The Writers Group, February 2003.

    • --. Supplement 1. A breakdown by issue & author of 3 years / 7 issues of brief ... June 2003 – May 2005. Auckland: The Writers Group, 2005.

  • Sugu Pillay. The Chandrasekhar Limit and Other Stories. Auckland: The Writers Group, December 2002.

  • Alan Loney. Reading / Saying / Making: Selected Essays. Auckland: The Writers Group, 2001.

[Cover Design: Janet Hunt]


Issue 56 (October 2018)

[Cover: Matt Kelly]

Editor: Olivia Macassey
Number 56 (Winter 2018):

Olivia Macassey / Editorial / 3
essa may ranapiri / O|r - gender dysphoria - agonies-Eternity / 5
Makyla Curtis / i am utterly a village / 8
Chris Pigott / The Dispossessed / 9
Bronwyn Lloyd / Afterlife / 11
Loren Thomas / Wrists / 13
John Downie / from The Only Time / 14
Erena Shingade / the poetics of infinity revisited (a flarf manifesto) - Celestial Maps of a Novice Mystic / 22
Carin Smeaton / what to do with them all / 25
Nick Ascroft / Academic Blurbomatic - Bring Me a Pie / 26
David Taylor / The Ploughboy / 28
Erik Kennedy / Tentative Readings / 29
Brent Cantwell / leaving clean - cut-fessions - Janet Leigh / 30
Richard von Sturmer / Four Seed Stories / 32
Vaughan Rapatahana / the raw man - poet in his castle / 36
Norman Franke / Looking for the poet David Howard on the Internet / 40
Sahanika Ratnayake / Case Study #1: Vocabulary Lesson - Case Study #2: Cognitive Distortions - Case Study #3: Chariot / 41
Caoimhe McKeogh / Christmas - Anxiety / 45
Nicholas Butler / Jack in the Box / 46
Michael Giacon / Night Light - sun - shade / 54
Stephanie Christie / Three visual poems / 58
Mark Young / sugarloaded - The Boas ficcione / 61
Iain Britton / polarities / 63
Sugu Pillay / The Painter's Window / 64
Jill Chan / Changes - Dust to Dust / 67
Lisa Samuels / from Symphony for Human Transport / 69
John Adams / sharing a bed with your mother on holiday / 74
Chris Stewart / My father the elephant / 75
Doc Drumheller / The Kids' War / 76
Fiona Stevens / Lamb Spit / 77
Joy Holley / They say "you are what you eat" / 82
Rhiannon Leddra / 21.40.09 / 84
Jasmine Gallagher / Downers / 85
Mark Houlahan / Judith / 86
Piet Nieuwland / Lucid / 88
Keith Nunes / Walking on by / 89
Sarah Penwarden / Tinderness / 90
Richard Taylor / My Voyeur - The Question of Entrance - Being is Seeing / 94
Jack Ross / General Grant in Paeroa / 97

Stephanie Christie / Vaughan Rapatahana, Atonement / 108
Lisa Samuels / Jen Crawford, Koel / 113
Daniel Williams / Two chapbooks by Denys Trussell & Robert Kempen / 117
Richard von Sturmer / Ted Jenner, The Arrow That Missed / 120

Contributor bios / 122