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2017 Spring

Literary Journal

This is the first issue of The Three Lamps (T3L), an online literary journal from the University of Auckland.

Here on T3L you’ll find three of everything, written by past and present students. T3Stories features three pieces of short fiction; T3Essays offers three pieces of creative nonfiction; and in T3Poets we showcase three poets – with three poems each, of course.

The Three Lamps also includes T3Shorts –pieces (of exactly 300 words) by student writers about some aspect of the city of Auckland – from carousing on K Road to hang-gliding on Muriwai Beach, from dead dogs in Titirangi to the over-bright lights of Dominion Road.

T3Books features excerpts from three recent books by Auckland writers, ones that we see as crucial new reading. Our first issue includes a story from the award-winning collection Black Ice Matter by Gina Cole; three poems from Rumpelstiltskin Blues by John Adams; and a te reo Māori excerpt from Sleeps Standing/Moētu, written by Witi Ihimaera and translated by Hemi Kelly.

© Amanda Jane Robinson2017 SpringT3ESSAYS

Small Country

My father and brother are standing by an old yellow Mercedes Benz I’ve never seen before. Dad’s wearing a pair of blue-tinted aviators. I’m pleasantly surprised — sometimes he wears women’s sunglasses without realising and if a person kindly points it out to him, he doesn't seem to care. As…
Amelia Langford
November 20, 2017
© Melanie Kwang2017 SpringT3ESSAYS

What’s in a Name?

The last time I felt betrayed, I was at Chinwag, a Thai-fusion restaurant in central Christchurch having dinner with my childhood friends. We sat in a booth passing drinks around while the lanterns above cast dancing red shadows on our faces. Kathy and Rebecca were back from Otago for the…
Melanie Kwang
November 20, 2017
© Kevin Rabalais2017 SpringT3ESSAYS


The Catholics who sold us our lot have fourteen children, which didn’t seem like overkill at first so much as midcentury optimism — that was until Steve, the paterfamilias, let slip to my dad that his children had also gone forth and multiplied. Vigorously. The brood now stood at sixteen,…
Malinna Liang
November 20, 2017
© Wen-Juenn Lee2017 SpringT3POETS

Three poems

  Prologue   Malaysia is a prologue I am ashamed to write. friends etched chapters out of countries built and shaped their lives with homes in their mouths but Malaysia falls flat on my tongue Malaysia is good or fun but how do you condense contented isolation confused exhilaration a…
Wen-Juenn Lee
November 19, 2017
© Sophie van Waardenberg2017 SpringT3POETS

Three poems

do not blame me for loving the 2003 film love, actually   because it should snow all the dogs should wear stupid shoes noses are beautiful at christmas when you are in love even when you are a grown man a body double in a porn film airports are beautiful…
Sophie van Waardenberg
November 19, 2017
© Erica Stretton2017 SpringT3POETS

Three poems

On Breathing   There is no air in me, she says her flushed cheeks turned away no air for words the night presses in on us   I overdose her ignore the prescription label when she             stops talking I run a red light   no…
Erica Stretton
November 19, 2017
© Wen-Juenn Lee2017 SpringT3BOOKS

Three poems

You old swaggie (with a nod to R. A. K. Mason)   You’re constantly coming down the metalled road past the bluegums.   There’s that old swaggie, Mum says. She’s looking out   the kitchen window. He comes round every year   looking for odd jobs on the farms. Worn…
John Adams
November 18, 2017
© Gina Cole2017 SpringT3BOOKS


He fell into a blue world. He’d been collecting ice samples with the team, gingerly making his way across the glacier, prodding the snow in front of him with an ice axe to check its solidity before taking a step. The other researchers followed behind him, descending a gentle slope…
Gina Cole
November 18, 2017
2017 SpringT3STORIES


My father offered to drive me to the Interschool Cultural Festival where I had been semi-coerced into performing as a ‘Riverdancer’. This was not the sort of duty Dad usually took time off for. The last time he attended anything school-related was a soccer game back in fourth form when…
Di Starrenburg
November 17, 2017
© Kevin Rabalais2017 SpringT3STORIES


It was the end of feijoa season when it first occurred to Keira she’d have to break up with Jesse. They sat at a table outside Verona—opposite Josh and Simran and Omar—drinking hot toddies and sharing a bowl of chips before Omar’s gig at Wine Cellar. Jesse mentioned,in passing—as anything…
​Amanda Jane Robinson
November 17, 2017
© Alice Karetai2017 SpringT3STORIES

Inside the Walls

Trev’s sneakers beat the black road. At the corner, a large flame tree brandished torch-like blooms, signaling the beginning of the final climb. His wrist showed 8:29am. To the left, the dark green kanuka of the reserve spread down the bowl of the valley. Houses lined the road in neat,…
Alice Karetai
November 17, 2017
© Kevin Rabalais2017 SpringT3SHORTS

Auckland Shorts

On Titirangi Road my grandfather’s dog was squashed dead. My grandfather hiked dry-eyed up the drive, and scraped her off the concrete. He said that he knew this would happen. Cars hurl angry along the street’s arc, and thin footpaths cower by the roadside, often vanishing, alternating sides, forcing pedestrians…
Hebe Kearney
November 9, 2017
© Kevin Rabalais2017 SpringT3SHORTS

Auckland Shorts

K Road is tinselled with grey wiring. Like hair, it splits off, tacked to the paint-stiff facades that are strung along the Karangahape Ridge like braces at the mouth of the CBD. It was Te Ara o Karangahape, a trail, then a street; dust paved over, then all at once,…
Florence Esson
November 9, 2017
© Kevin Rabalais2017 SpringT3SHORTS

Auckland Shorts

You start with the gannets. You have to start with the gannets. From the moment you arrive at Muriwai Beach and gaze at the rugged west coast, these white, long-winged seabirds fill you with awe. You admire their streamlined shapes, their pointed, black-tipped wings that span up to two metres,…
Tom Romeo
November 7, 2017