Monthly Archives: July 2019

Poetry Shelf Monday poem: Richard Langston’s ‘Sunday in the Islands’


Sunday in the Islands


A rooster crowed – the villagers in their black dresses

and tata, their black suits, white white shirts,

the flower of their devotion. A pig ambled in the rain.

Then they began to open their mouths

to listen and find one another,

they began to fill up the mystery,

to waken our souls.

This blending of human voices,

low and high and humming, and lifting.

They sang themselves out of themselves.

They summoned their dead from under garlanded mounds,

the bright sails of their embroidered names.

They sang them out of the depths of their ocean –

from their watery wrecks.

They sang for our brief moment here,

offered up this,

this shattering blue cathedral of song.


Richard Langston


Richard Langston is the author of 5  books of poetry: Boy (2003); Henry, Come See the Blue (2005); The Newspaper Poems (2007); The Trouble Lamp (2009); Things Lay in Pieces (2012). All published by FitzBeck. He works as a director for Country Calendar.

Poetry Shelf noticeboard: @pantographpunch Jackson Nieuwland reviews essa may ranapiri’s ransack

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Jackson Nieuwland reviews essa may ranapiri’s debut collection of poetry.

ransack is a landmark in Aotearoa publishing. A collection by an openly takatāpui/nonbinary poet, writing explicitly about queer issues and experiences, published by Aotearoa’s largest publisher of poetry. I and many others have been waiting for this for a long time, longer than we ourselves have even realised, and essa may ranapiri has delivered it for us: a book that speaks to our experience, a book full of beauty and pain.

go here. It’s a terrific review!

Poetry Shelf noticeboard: Writers on Mondays – Poetry Quintet with Chris Price

Featuring Amy Leigh Wicks, Nikki-Lee Birdsey, Steven Toussaint, Sugar Magnolia Wilson, essa may ranapiri

Writers on Mondays

29th Jul 2019 12:15pm to 29th Jul 2019 1:15pm

Te Marae, Level 4, Te Papa


Five poets in conversation with Chris Price


New York poet Amy Leigh Wicks finds a new home in Kaikōura in The Dangerous Country of Love and Marriage, and New Zealander Nikki-Lee Birdsey plumbs the fault lines between her lives in America and Aotearoa in Night As Day, while Chicago poet Steven Toussaint composed the deeply musical poems of Lay Studies in the United States, the United Kingdom, and New Zealand.

Sugar Magnolia Wilson hails from Fern Flat, but the poems of A Woman’s Heart is like a Needle at the Bottom of the Ocean travel to Korea and into intimate and distant histories. essa may ranapiri (Ngāti Raukawa) is a non-binary/takatāpui poet whose Ransack rummages through language and history in a search of a place to call their own.

All five poets layer place and history, love and loss in their books, yet all five voices are utterly distinctive. Introduced by Chris Price, they read poems from here, there, and everywhere.

This looks unmissable! PG

Poetry Shelf noticeboard: National Poetry Day – Taranaki’s Fantastic Ekphrastic competition


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National Poetry day ideas just keep getting cooler and cooler!

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Fantastic Ekphrastic is open to all ages, from primary school through to adults, and poetry-writing experience isn’t necessary, Winder said.

“People should 100 per cent give it a go. This is your chance to go for it.”

The winners will be announced on August 24, National Poetry Day, and the poems will be on the billboards in the week starting August 25.

The judges are Griffiths, Winder and two other poets.

The art can be seen on Pop Up Poetry Taranaki’s Facebook page. Entries can be sent by email to or by snail mail to 7 Brookes St, Inglewood, 4330. Entries must be in by August 9 and cannot exceed 24 lines.

Article here