This feature on Robin Hyde is a special co-publication with the New Zealand Electronic Poetry Centre. Between us, HOW2 and the nzepc feature a wide range of previously published and unpublished writings of Robin Hyde, including selections of her poetry, journalism, and correspondence. We also feature various groundbreaking critiques on Hyde's positioning in New Zealand literature as well as newer research. Robin Hyde is one of New Zealand's most important modernist poets. Although marginalized in early nationalist constructions of a New Zealand canon, she was embraced by feminist criticism in the 1980s. More recent criticism moves beyond a cultural nationalism-feminist dialectic to consider more complex feminist and historicist narratives of literary production and reception.
The New Zealand Electronic Poetry Centre (http://www.nzepc.auckland.ac.nz) opened in July 2001. Developed by Michele Leggott and Brian Flaherty, it is an electronic gateway to poetry resources in Aotearoa/New Zealand and the Pacific region. As Leggott and Flaherty state, “It aims to coordinate existing archival and publishing information, and to present some full-text electronic publication of poetry and commentary in consultation with authors and their publishers.” The nzepc contains a section on modernist and contemporary New Zealand authors and selections from their writing; a section that guides the reader to poetry-related materials in libraries and manuscript collections in New Zealand and the Pacific region; and a New Zealand Literature File which refines the search for New Zealand literature more generally.
What significance does the nzepc have in relation to innovative women’s writing? Firstly, it informs a potentially international audience about the work of New Zealand modernist and contemporary women poets and makes accessible selections of their writing, details of their publications, and features key critical essays on their work. Secondly, it institutionalizes the revision of New Zealand literary history that is slowly occurring, a revision which is (a) reconsidering the definition of modernism and (b) which is now critiquing the power structures surrounding New Zealand literary production and reception (how they might be gender, race, and class-inflected). Author's pages in 2002 will include Mary Stanley and Lauris Edmond and there is more to come.
We hope that HOW2 readers will explore and bookmark the nzepc and hope that it will have a long and healthy existence.
in the hinterlands: Robin Hyde's Letters to Eileen Duggan
special feature on Robin Hyde is available at: