Monthly Archives: May 2017

Chocolate & Poetry: an invitation



17 College Street, Te Aro, Wellington

6PM | 19 JUNE | TICKETS $30

details here

The taste of poetry, the sound of chocolate and the sense of books. We’ve matched medieval humours with contemporary New Zealand poets and some of the best chocolate you’ll find, ever.

Join us at Ekor Bookshop for a multi-sensual, medieval-medicine-inspired poetry reading and chocolate tasting.

Featuring: Nick Ascroft, Hannah Mettner, Louise Wallace, and Freya Daly Sadgrove.

Chocolate curated and introduced by Luke Owen Smith (The Chocolate Bar).

Chocolate (and poetry) included in ticket price.

Stephen Burt’s Letter from NZ celebrates local poetry

Letter from New Zealand

by Stephen Burt
complete piece here at PN Review May-June, 2017
‘To live in Christchurch at the end of 2016 is to encounter, daily and seemingly everywhere, construction: cranes, scaffolds, burly workers in lemon-fluorescent vests, bright orange cones, PVC pipes jutting up from the ground, all of it part of the ongoing, city-wide multi-year recovery after the earthquakes of 2010-11. The fences and pits are a great inconvenience, a melancholy sight for those who grew up in what was (I’m told) the most sedate and stable of NZ cities. For me, on the other hand, the construction is mostly inspiration: I see a city that’s putting itself back together, a nation that has recognised (and chosen to pay for) a shared public good, while my own home country, the United States, is tearing itself apart.’

Paekākāriki Launch: The Ski Flier by Maria McMillan



You are warmly invited to the launch of

The Ski Flier
by Maria McMillan

4–6pm on Saturday 17 June
at St Peter’s Hall, Beach Road

All welcome.
About The Ski Flier

Vimeo page

Siobhan Harvey’s When My Best Friend Came to Stay (or Corporeal Minimalism: Composition in Twelve Parts, after Philip Glass)

Full piece here in Burnt Pine Magazine Issue 2 Spring 2017 (nonfiction)



After my best friend disappeared, my counselor asked me to describe her.

“Thin,”I said.

In the early afternoon heat, the glass window in front of me was faintly stained with my reflection. Set against my ghosted image, the window revealed to me the world outside: old, red London buses crammed with strangers who idled away their journeys staring out of foggy glass; still more strangers on foot who bustled their way around the city, their images, moving shadows in department store windows; a lone dove perched on high observing all.

Guest at AWF17 – Rupi Kaur is featured in The Guardian

Full piece in the Guardian here.

Canadian poet, Rupi Kaur, has sold over a million copies of her debut poetry collection, Milk and Honey. She is an international bestseller – which is virtually unheard of for a start-out poet. She has over a million Instagram followers. She was initially self published.



From the Guardian:

But the simplicity of her work has drawn criticism too. And Kaur says she is hurt by that. At the same time, she revels in being anti-establishment.

“I don’t fit into the age, race or class of a bestselling poet,” she says, a glint in her eye.

“I used to submit to anthologies and magazines when I was a student – but I knew I was never going to be picked up. All their writing was, you know, about the Canadian landscape or something. And my poem is about this woman with her legs spread open.”

Born in Punjab, India, Kaur moved with her Sikh family to Toronto when she was four. She loved reading at school, but with English her second language she found it difficult to understand most of the poetry. What she loved was cutting and pasting words and images, or filling up poems with drawings.

Tina Makereti’s University of Auckland Public Lecture: Poutokomanawa — The Heartpost

An essential lecture from Tina Makareti: ‘Stories can save your life’

This is an edited version of Tina Makereti’s University of Auckland Public Lecture: Poutokomanawa — The Heartpost, which was given as part of the Auckland Writers Festival last week. It is posted here at E-Tangata: A Maori and Pasifika Sunday Magazine.


I want to begin by acknowledging Tāmaki Makaurau, who I have a history with. I lived here for five years while I was a teenager. When I lived here, I think I was like many Aucklanders. I didn’t know who I was or where I came from. I knew nothing of my whakapapa. I knew nothing of half my family. Nothing at all.

And though I didn’t know what I didn’t know, I felt haunted by that loss. I was as awkward and lost and damaged as a person can be in that situation. But I could write, even though I soon forgot it for a while, and I did write, and creativity kept me alive.

I tell you this now because I want you to know I do not come from privilege, even of the cultural kind. I come from not knowing, and that is how I know how important this kaupapa is. Stories can save your life.

If I could do anything in the world it would be to sit in the corner and read and write books. I would happily lose myself in stories for the rest of my life. I never planned to find myself a podium and talk on it. But here I am because when I started writing seriously I looked around me and I was startled by what I saw, and I knew we were missing something vital, and I wondered how it was we had gotten ourselves into this position.

And I’m not very good at ignoring problems. But I don’t want to start there, with the problems.