Monthly Archives: February 2016


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Yes! I am a participant but this fledgling festival is worth supporting. Bucket loads of writers will bring stories and poems to all those who live by the mountains. Must be a first?



Thank you so much to everyone who has so generously donated to the Ruapehu Writers Festival, including all the lovely anonymous donors who we can’t thank in person – thank you to every one of you!

Our deadline has been extended by 2 days so we now have until midnight on Thursday 3rd March to reach our funding target and we are expecting a couple of pledges in and are hopeful that we can make it. Anything that you can do to spread the word would be most appreciated!

In the meantime the festival team have been hard at work making arrangements, selling tickets and generally making sure that the festival will be the best it can be. Please help us spread the word and bring this unique literary event to fruition.

Thanks again,

The festival team


Pledge your support here

You are invited to the launch of Leaving the Red Zone – Poems from the earthquake edited by James Norcliffe and Joanna Preston




People talked about quake
brain, but the Canterbury
earthquakes, despite or
because of this, generated
amazing bursts of
creativity: music, dance,
astonishing street art;
and poetry.

148 poems from 87 poets:
here are sorrow,
resignation, defiance,
stoicism, humour black
and wry, and everything in

~ poems from the Canterbury earthquakes, edited by
James Norcliffe and Joanna Preston.

Venue: The Laboratory, 17 West Belt, Lincoln.
Time: Monday 29 February 2016, 7.00 till 8.30pm.

Purchase book at the Special Launch Price of $30 (RRP $39.95). Pay by cash, cheque,
or pre-launch bank deposit into 03 1704 0049456 025.

Profits from sales will be donated to the Mayor’s Earthquake Relief Fund.
Food and drink will be available to buy from 6.00pm. For full menu service book
a table by phoning The Laboratory 325 3006.

For more details see Joanna’s blog

VUP’s publisher party and books launch: Orchard Wilkins Johnston




Victoria University Press warmly invites you to our Writers Week publisher party and book launch for

Cold Water Cure by Claire Orchard

Dad Art by Damien Wilkins

Fits & Starts by Andrew Johnston

on Thursday 10 March, 7.30pm–9.00pm.
at Black Sparrow Bar, Ground floor, Embassy Theatre,
Kent Tce, Wellington.

Books will be for sale courtesy of Unity Books.

Transit of Venus Book Launch

I will be at Prince! If you are in Wellington this will be worth checking out! See my review here.

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A reminder that this event takes place next week, please register on the link below if you are interested in attending.

Goethe-Institut, Royal Society of New Zealand and Victoria University Press

warmly invite you to a reading and book launch event for

Transit of Venus / Venustransit

at 6pm on Tuesday 23 February
at the Royal Society (auditorium), Turnbull St, Thorndon, Wellington.


The event will include a short screening of the Transit of Venus Poetry Exchange documentary, a video performance from Berlin-based poets Hinemoana Baker and Ulrike Almut Sandig, and live performances from poets Chris Price and Glenn Colquhoun. This will be followed by a conversation with the poets and with the Uawanui Project chair Victor Walker about how the Transit has not only generated poetry, but also inspired a pervasive ‘science psyche’ in the Uawa/Tolaga Bay Community.

Chair: Lydia Wevers (Transit of Venus Forum steering committee)

Refreshments will be served following the event.

Attendance is free, but registration essential
Please register online at eventbrite here.



Scorpio Books to open in new premises this morning – Congratulations! Happy Opening Day!



After four years selling jam-packed books from shipping containers, long-standing Christchurch business Scorpio Books will open its new city shop on Friday morning.

Owners Dave Cameron and Jo Hewitson are reopening their traditional-style bookshop in one of central Christchurch’s shiny new precincts – the BNZ Centre between Cashel and Hereford streets.

The couple and staff have spent the past few weeks stacking shelves ready for the big day.


Full story here

LitCrawlcomes back to Wellington like a juicy box of chocolates I see

LitCrawl is three nights of Literary Goodness. Each night is different, and every one is a juicy box of chocolates. Artists include: The Pandhandlers (as seen in Writing Tunes & Playing Poetry in last year’s LitCrawl), Bill Manhire, Robert Easting, Sarah Webster, Hera Lindsay Bird, Tim Corballis, The Empire City, Chris Price, Ken Arkind. Plus more.

When: Thurs 3, Fri 4 & Sat 5 March
Where: Potocki Paterson Art Gallery, Level 1, 41 – 47 Dixon St
Tickets: Get them! At the Fringe site here. Doorsales available if there’s room left.


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Poetry and the Transit of Venus: a NZ – German collaboration

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‘Come on, let’s push the inflatable out

on the night’s wide waters, see

how far it goes.’

Chris Price from ‘Venera’


Three German poets came to view the transit of Venus with three New Zealand poets at Uawa/ Tolaga Bay on June 6th 2012.

They observed the black dot. They wrote poems.

In the same year they met in Germany and translated a selection of each other’s poems  before performing together at the Frankfurt Book Fair.

Victoria University Press has just published a beautiful edition of the poems, in both English and German, with images, notes and interviews.

The poets:

Hinemoana Baker, Glenn Colquhoun, Chris Price

Uwe Kolbe, Brigitte Oleschinski, Ulrike Almut Sandig


It is as though poetry is the inflatable that six poets pushed out into the ‘night’s wide waters’ of writing; into the passage of the black dot, the thought of Cook’s eye trained all those centuries back, into the little repetitions of stone or buttercup or light.

As you might expect no poem cluster is the same.

Each lift and slip of the inflatable is as much a lift and slip for the reader as it is the writer. A voyage of discovery, in a way.

I especially loved the way the poems took me back to that once-in-a-lifetime experience. How to make poetry of such things?

I was also drawn to the pairings of poets and the way they translated each other’s work.

As the ever enthusiastic Rick Stein says: There should be more of this. What other projects can we invent that bring poets together in such fertile ways?


The poems are simply and intricately addictive. Congratulations and thank you VUP! The book is a little gem.


VUP page


Hinemoana Baker is a Wellington poet, musician and teacher. She is the Creative New Zealand Berlin Writer in Residence in 2015–16.

Urike Almut Sandig is a Berlin poet who works with various composers and musicians. She has received numerous awards and scholarships, most recently a scholarship from the Berlin Senate.

Glenn Colquhoun is a poet, children’s writer, and GP. In 2014 he represented New Zealand on the Commonwealth Poets United poetry project which celebrated the Glasgow Commonwealth Games.

Uwe Kolbe is a poet, translator and lecturer who lives in Hamburg. He has received many prizes and awards, most recently the Heinrich Mann Prize from the Academy of the Arts in Berlin, and the Meran Poetry Award.

Brigitte Oleschinski is a Berlin poet, essayist and performer. She received the prestigious Peter-Huchel-Preis in 1998. She is best known for her poetry collections Mental Heat Control (1990), Your Passport is Not Guilty (1997) and Geisterströmung (2004).

Chris Price is a Wellington poet, nonfiction writer, musician and teacher. Her most recent poetry collection is Beside Herself (2016).





2016 Prime Minister’s Awards for Literary Achievement: call for nominations




Time to nominate a poet. Last year it was the fabulous Bernadette Hall.


Don’t miss your opportunity to nominate your pick of our finest writers for the 2016 Prime Minister’s Awards for Literary Achievement.

Every year, New Zealanders are invited to nominate writers who have made a significant contribution to New Zealand literature in the categories of non-fiction, poetry or fiction. $60,000 is awarded in each genre.

New Zealand writers are also able to nominate themselves for the awards.

The nominations are assessed by an expert literary panel and recommendations forwarded to the Arts Council of Creative New Zealand for approval, with the awards presented in a formal ceremony.

In 2015, Roger Hall was awarded for Fiction; Bernadette Hall for Poetry and Dame Joan Metge for Non-Fiction.  See the full list of winners here

To nominate a writer

Nominations close on Friday, 19 May at 5pm.


Previous poets:

Bernadette Hall (2015)
Ian Wedde (2014)
Michele Leggott (2013)
Sam Hunt (2012)
Peter Bland (2011)
Cilla McQueen (2010)
Brian Turner (2009)
Elizabeth Smither (2008)
Bill Manhire (2007)
Vincent O’Sullivan (2006)
Alistair Te Ariki Campbell (2005)
Kevin Ireland (2004)
Hone Tuwhare (2003)