Sport 3: Spring 1989
The first two issues of Sport appeared without manifesto, editorial or note of any kind (apart from the back cover copy, for which we, like all publishers, excuse ourselves). Our reticence was largely because we found we had nothing to say, no particular programme to advance or position to fortify. We were in this for fun. But we had also decided to make no overt entry into debates about contemporary New Zealand fiction. These are usually put in oppositional terms — simplicity or artifice, postmodernism or not — and are too often unproductively prescriptive. Sport, we decided, would make its 'statements' simply in the mix of what it published. Established writers would sit beside the unknown, 'experimental' work beside the familiar — in the entirely appropriate image of a traditional literary magazine.
This issue differs most from the first two in that a significantly larger proportion of it is derived from what has arrived unsolicited in the mail. This is more a reflection of what we were all doing earlier in the year than a conscious experiment and we expect the proportion to shift back in the future, but the effect on the mix in this issue is interesting. The balance has shifted more towards varieties of realism, in the work of both new and established writers. We have also lost the even balance between male and female contributors which we previously had. Most submissions have come from male writers. (It has been suggested that women might find in the magazine's name a degree of blokeish self-satisfaction, a refusal to acknowledge issues pressing on our society and culture. This is certainly not intended.)
We also regret that we have had little success attracting submissions from Maori writers, and hope that this will change. However, the short-term expedient of putting extra pressure on those Maori writers we know to give us material, in order to prove our cultural awareness, does not seem appropriate.
This issue sees the introduction of 'commentary': four pieces which connect interestingly with the 'issues' alluded to above, and with the fiction and poetry in the issue.
So on to number four, which will appear in March 1990 and take some advantage of the international Writers and Readers Week, and also nationalistic occasions...