Monthly Archives: July 2018

Poetry Shelf Monday Poem: Sue Wootton’s ‘Rx’

 

Rx  

I am ill because of wounds to the soul. D. H. Lawrence

 

Iceberg, Peace, American Beauty: the blooms

smack the window in the summer storm, hammered,

blotted, falling early in this discontent. Now

 

is become the only season. Patients all, we ail.

Our wounds are deep, our fractures dirty, complex,

irreducible. Compound upon compound. O rose,

 

we are sick! Thinner and thinner our skins

in these plague years. The lesions fester and we scratch.

Small words buzz and swarm, stripping the tongue

 

of buds. Our mouths are full of boils. An excess of bile

mocks the liver. This contagion of crimson rage,

these wails building. Eros, thou art sore.

 

Our memories fail, fatally. Too much for

get. Thus, prescribe ourselves a salve

for give. Mix in the blue bowl all our howls

 

and mutters. Add the lullabies, waiata, sagas,

ballads, odes. Copy and collate

the scrolls; trace the stories written slow

 

by candlelight and goose quill on illuminated manuscripts.

Resurrect the many, many ways

of saying sister, brother. Compose

 

our selves. Patience, all. Make open refuge

for the human heart and place the books within.

Read, and repeat. Read, and repeat. Let settle.

 

©Sue Wootton

 

Note: The medical shorthand for ‘treatment’ is Rx, which derives from the Latin imperative recipe (‘take’). ‘Rx’ was commended in the 2018 Hippocrates Prize for Poetry and Medicine (judged by Mark Doty).

Sue is a a PhD candidate in creative practice at the University of Otago, researching how literature articulates what it means to be able or disabled, ill or well. Her most recent publications are her debut novel, Strip (Mākaro Press), longlisted in the 2017 Ockham NZ Book Awards, and the poetry collection, The Yield (Otago University Press), a finalist in the 2018 Ockham NZ Book Awards. Her poem ‘The Swim’ has recently been longlisted in the 2018 University of Canberra Vice-Chancellor’s Poetry Prize.

 

 

NEW VOICES – Emerging Poets Competition 2018

New Judge. Our judges have previously come from the publishing world, or been established poets. This year Elizabeth Morton will be judge and we are delighted to have someone at the helm who has experience of what it means to win the competition and the value of it to the career of emerging authors.

Elizabeth won first prize at NEW VOICES 2013. She has been published in both locally and internationally and had her work included in the Best Small Fictions 2016 anthology published by Queen’s Ferry Press. 2015 she was shortlisted for the Kathleen Grattan Award and has twice come 2nd place in the Sunday Star Times Short Story Competition (2015, 2016).

The competition is open only to writers considered ‘emerging’ i.e. have not published one or more books (fiction, poetry, nonfiction) with a New Zealand or overseas publisher, and is a current or former undergraduate (BA, Hons, BSc, BComm etc) or Masters student. Initially entries were invited from Auckland University then, AUT in 2013 and we are delighted to now have extended the entry to MIT and Massey’s Albany campus students and in 2018 to students of Blue Haven Writer’s Workshop.

Entries close on 1st August 2018.

The winners will be announced at the Divine Muses Evening of Poetry held on National Poetry Day, 24th August 2018.

Unity Books is again generously donating the prizes – $200 worth of book tokens for the winner and $100 worth book tokens for the runner up.

The full details are available on the attached entry form or via this link from which you can also read about previous winners.

The inaugural Blackball Readers and Writers Festival

Exciting!  full details here

 

The inaugural Blackball Readers and Writers Festival, to be held at Labour Weekend, will bring established writers to the Coast to read from their work and to have conversations before the audience of Coasters and those from afar. The festival will be modelled on the underground coal mine and will therefore seek work ‘from the underground’ which can be interpreted in many different ways e.g. that which has been forgotten, or that which has become for a time, marginal, or that which has deep roots in the earth or the past.

 

The festival is organised by the Bathhouse Co-operative, a subsidiary of Te Puawai Co-operative Society, a co-op set up to incubate projects on the Coast (http://www.tepuawai.co.nz). The members of the co-op are: Catherine Woollett who runs the Shades of Jade shop in Greymouth; Jeffrey Paparoa Holman, London born but Blackball bred and one of NZ’s major poets; and Paul Maunder, a playwright, theatre director, filmmaker and author who lives in Blackball. Support comes from Creative Communities and the Department of Internal Affairs. The Festival could lead to the creation of a boutique publishing house on the Coast. As well, with the establishing of the Paparoa Great Walk, the festival could become part of a wider package.

The guests:

 

 

 

Poetry Shelf audio spot: Serie Barford’s Tapa Talk

 

Serie at Te Henga 2018 (2).jpg

 

 

 

‘Tapa Talk’ was published in Tapa Talk by Huia Press in 2007.

 

 

Serie was born in Aotearoa to a migrant German-Samoan mother and a Palagi father. Her latest collection, Entangled Islands (Anahera Press 2015), is a mixture of poetry and prose. Serie’s work has appeared in numerous journals and anthologies. She was awarded the Seresin Landfall Residency in 2011 and is a recipient of the Michael King Writers’ Centre 2018 Pasifika residency. Some of Serie’s stories for children and adults have aired on RNZ National. She is currently working on a manuscript entitled Piula Blue.