Monthly Archives: August 2018

Two New Zealanders win Seizure’s Australasian novella prize: Anna Jackson and Avi Duckor-Jones

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Warm congratulations to Anna and Avi. I am thrilled to be launching poet Anna Jackson’s novella in Auckland on September 15th at Time Out Book Shop and to share the delights of both books on my blog soon.







Poetry Shelf audio spot: Harry Rickett’s “Napier, Christmas 2017”

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Harry Ricketts teaches English Literature and creative non-fiction at Victoria University of Wellington. He has published over thirty books, including eleven collections of poems. “Napier, Christmas 2017” is from his latest collection Winter Eyes (Victoria University Press, 2018).



11 reasons to go to the Ladies LiteraTea on Sunday September 3rd

terrific readings

divine afternoon tea

Anna Jackson reading poetry

I have my ticket


Eleven reasons why I am off to this event:


1.40pm Pip Desmond – ‘Song for Rosaleen’
A beautiful, compassionate but unflinching account of coping with a mother’s dementia; explores the practical & ethical dilemmas & also celebrates Rosaleen’s life.

2pm Anna Jackson – ‘Pasture and Flock’
New & selected poems from this highly regarded Victoria University Professor of English Literature. Pastoral yet gritty, intellectual & witty, sweet but with stings in their tails.

2.15pm Kate Duignan – ‘The New Ships’
A brilliant new novel set in Wellington, Europe & Asia, examining one man’s attempts to understand his own life – intimate, compassionate & absolutely absorbing.

2.35pm Amber Rose – ‘Wild Delicious’
The influences of growing up in rural NZ & travelling widely overseas, converge in this irresistible cookbook that prepares natural, seasonal ingredients to be eaten with delight.


2.55pm Afternoon Tea – With lamingtons, melting moments, asparagus rolls and more!


3.35pm Tess Redgrave – ‘Gone to Pegasus’
Beautifully capturing Dunedin in 1892, this wonderful debut novel explores music & the role of women & their friendships, just as Women’s Suffrage in NZ is about to happen.

3.55pm Dr. Jo Cribb – ‘Don’t Worry About the Robots
How to Survive & Thrive in the New World of Work. From former CEO of the Ministry for Women & current CEO of the Book Council, exciting ideas & practical tools for the future.

4.15pm Eileen Merriman – ‘Catch Me When You Fall’ and ‘Pieces of You’
This full-time consultant haematologist at North Shore Hospital has won awards for her short stories & both her brilliant young adult novels are finalists in this year’s NZ Book Awards.

4.35pm Jo Thorpe – ‘This Thin Now’
The story of love lost & the places the poet goes to find it still – from inside the space two hands make, to the numinous blue of sea & sky. Poems of dazzle & quiet – a rare gift.

4.50pm Dame Fiona Kidman – ‘This Mortal Boy’
An utterly compelling recreation of the events leading to one of the last hangings in NZ (1955). This beloved writer brings young Albert (Paddy) back to life – heart-wrenching.

5.10pm Megan Dunn – ‘Tinderbox’
Riffing on Ray Bradbury’s classic novel ‘Fahrenheit 451’, a brilliantly witty exploration of literature & culture, books & bookshops, aspiring authors, & life in the 21st century.



Monday Poem: Anahera Gildea’s ‘Ahi kā’



Ahi kā


At the top of the road

there is wind,

railways crossing at the corner,

of an old wooden prefab where

wine gums and popsicles, and

our feet in jandals fill

the one room dairy that is decades gone


toward the motorway

past the tree where Uncle hung himself,

is the highway

the marae-way.

Eels peg the line, and

Chip-dog is lazy barking.

Over the split verandah, you cross

the musty lounge, dark with the 70’s

squeeze down the hall past rooms so

clumsy you can smell the cob


out the window, into the land

blazing beneath this ancient copper;

we scrub on the washboard

of someone else’s clothes,

the broken down wringer where

this Auntie’s house is on the left,

that Auntie’s house is on the right;


the whole damn road is a gauntlet of aunties.


©Anahera Gildea
Anahera Gildea (Ngāti Raukawa-ki-te-tonga) has worked extensively as a visual and performing artist, a writer, and a teacher. She has had her poems and short stories published in multiple journals and anthologies, and her first book ‘Poroporoaki to the Lord My God: Weaving the Via Dolorosa’ was published by Seraph Press in 2016. She holds a BA in Art Theory, Graduate Diplomas in Psychology, Teaching, and Performing Arts, and a Master’s degree in Creative Writing from Victoria University.





Bonsai anthology of small fiction launch and tour

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Wellington September 3rd  Readings by Bonsai contributors and a discussion of the small form with Tim Jones, Nick Ascroft, Vivienne Plumb, Harry Ricketts, Annette Edwards-Hill and more.

Auckland September 6th The evening will include a discussion of the small form and readings by Bonsai contributors including Graeme Lay, Jack Ross, Tracey Slaughter, Siobhan Harvey, Allan Drew, Maris O’Rourke and more.

Whangarei September 12th


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