Monthly Archives: December 2020

Poetry Shelf noticeboard: takahē 100 launched

There was an important event in Ōtautahi Christchurch last night (Thurs 10th December) at the Sign of the Takahē. The 100th issue of takahē magazine was unveiled, with new poems from David Eggleton, Selina Tusitala Marsh, Bernadette Hall, James Norcliffe, Tony Beyer, Jess Fiebig, Oscar Upperton, John Allison to name a few.

Also the winners of 2020 Monica Taylor takahē poetry competition were announced, and the winner read at the launch.


Poetry editors Gail Ingram and Jeni Curtis read “Striking the pounamu”, a 100-line poem compiled of lines from 84 poets from Aotearoa, including Elizabeth Smither, Albert Wendt alongside new names.

Fiction writers include Paula Morris, Sue Wootton, Anthony Lapwood and others.

takahē website

Poetry Shelf noticeboard: Ursula Bethell Residency 2021

The writers in residence in the University of Canterbury’s (UC) College of Arts will be Vana Manasiadis and Behrouz Boochani. They will both join the University’s English department for the first half of the year.

Senior Lecturer Erin Harrington says the University’s English department is thrilled to be able to support these two talented writers. 

“They bring with them a wealth of expertise, and impressive track records that connect the local with the international. Their mutual interests in the power of language and translation, and the experiences of migrants and exiles, are an important way of demonstrating the power of the creative arts. We and our students will be lucky to have them join our community.”

Dr Harrington notes the writers have some fortuitous overlap and points of intersection in their work.

“Both writers have international connections and networks, are multilingual, and have an interest in translation – which includes making work available in other languages, and in language revitalisation. Both are interested in the stories of migrants and exiles. Both are interested in indigeneity, and Behrouz is interested particularly in the relationships of indigenous peoples globally.”

Ursula Bethell Writers in Residence 2021:

Vana Manasiadis is a New Zealand-Greek writer and translator whose collection of poetry The Grief Almanac was launched in May 2019.

For the residency, Vana’s project draws from her interest and expertise in translation, and the way that it can withhold, bridge, restrict and embody dialogue. This poetic work, like her other hybrid works, will combine poetry, prose, script and visual art, offering a series of dialogues and monologues from migrants, exiles, and voices from Aotearoa New Zealand.

Vana says: “As well as providing support and space, the residency will be contributing significantly to the community of the project – and I’m beyond thrilled”.

Award-winning author, Kurdish-Iranian journalist Behrouz Boochani, who spent six years detained by Australian authorities on Manus Island in Papua New Guinea, was granted refugee status in July 2020. He is currently a Senior Adjunct Research Fellow at the University of Canterbury’s Ngāi Tahu Research Centre.

Behrouz’s proposed work is a short story collection named Ghobad, which is the story of indigenous generations in pre-modern Kurdistan. The work will be written in the Kalhori dialect, which has been systematically suppressed and is in danger of dying out, and it will then be translated into English.

“The residency also offers precious space for exploring writing in a context outside of Manus Island,” he says.

The Ursula Bethell Residency in Creative Writing, jointly funded by the university’s College of Arts and Creative New Zealand, was established by the University of Canterbury in 1979 to provide support for New Zealand writers and foster New Zealand writing. The residency allows authors of proven merit in all areas of literary and creative activity an opportunity to work on an approved project within an academic environment.

Since the inception of the Writers Residency, UC has been home to dozens of fiction-writers, poets and dramatists, many of whom have made valuable contributions to the development of young writers studying at the university. Since 1979, UC has hosted many renowned writers, including Keri Hulme, Kevin Ireland, David Eggleton, Eleanor Catton, Owen Marshall, Fiona Farrell, Tusiata Avia, and Victor Rodger.

Poetry Shelf reading room: A. Davida Jane’s Every Dark Waning

A Davida Jane, Every Dark Waning, Platypus Press, England (2016, second edition 2018)

Platypus Press author page

I keep trying to build a dam—

I keep coming up rainstorm,

I keep coming up flood.

 

from ‘A Study in Restoration’

So many poetry books escape my attention, and then a trail of lucky connections leads me to a new discovery. I find the online journal The Starling is an excellent lead to poets under 25. This year I discovered the poetry of Ash Davida Jane and invited her to send me a Monday Poem (‘Undergrowth‘), write a response to a much-loved book (Paige Lewis’s excellent collection Space Struck), and muse on a poetry topic (‘An Ecopoetics of the Future’). I managed to get a copy of her debut collection, Every Dark Waning, from Unity Books in Te Whanganui-a-Tara where she works. And it filled me with poetry delight.

I especially loved the first section which pulls in the stars, sky, water, fire, breath and breathing. These poems are both dark edged and light fringed. Maybe the poet is talking from a deep secret place that misses things, that feels pain, is full of feeling. The dark core of the poems is deeply mysterious. It will grip your arm or your lungs and you will stay. There are many selves but the poet is the most present: ‘The poet is the most / honest part of me.’ (from ‘An Attempt at an Explanation’). The poet reappears in ‘Apollo 11’:

The stickiness of the

atmosphere traps in

all the words I never

wrote down, and the poet

in me flinches as I soar

into outer space.

And later, in ‘The House of Pindar’, in this book where poetry is both reticent and confessional:

You burn every house in me

but the poet’s—raze them to

the ground and salt them so

they’ll never grow back.

Only the writer remains.

Why do I love this book so much? Maybe its the sharp edges, the nightmares and the monsters, the things that are held in reserve, the way writing poetry and being a poet is so vital, life-saving perhaps, and the way my attention is directed to things I want to retain, to put away for a cloudy day. This from ‘Upturned’:

did you see me tuck the

view into the back of my

mind, putting it away for a

cloudy day when the stars

aren’t there and i can’t think

of a reason to get out of bed.

today, i needed a reason

to get out of bed, and

the moon was the only thing

that came close.

Ash Davida Jane is a poet and bookseller from Te Whanganui-a-Tara. She has a Master of Arts from the International Institute of Modern Letters. Some of her recent work can be found in Peach Mag, Turbine | Kapohau, Best New Zealand Poems, and Scum. How to Live with Mammals is due to be published by Victoria University Press in 2021.

Poetry Shelf review: Mohamed Hassan’s National anthem

Mohamed Hassan, National Anthem, Dead Bird Books, 2020

the songs I breathe to

make my bones ache

smell like mama’s deep

fried cauliflower after

a long day of diaspora

 

from ‘John Lennon’

Reading Mohamed Hassan’s new collection, National Anthem, opens up what poetry can do. It widens your heart. It makes you feel. It makes you think. It gets you listening. It makes you think about things that matter. Humanity. Family. Soil.

It makes me yearn for a world where divisions and privileges – based on where you come from, the colour of your skin and the language you speak – are no longer active.

The poetry I have loved this year keeps returning to the word listen. For all kinds of reasons. The way poetry is music, the way poems active with sound feed your ear. The way you listen to other voices that are distinctive and are vital chimes on human experience. I need to read these poems. I need to read these poems and listen to how tough it is when people insist on sideswiping those who do not match their own reflection and choices.

Mohamed’s poetry, amongst other things, is written in soil, with all its significance – this living breathing life-essential earth that nourishes us, hearts, minds, bodies, connections. Soil, as a living entity is so contested and so unbearably damaged by greed and ignorance. It defines where we stand and where we have stood. Mohamed writes from the soil he has left behind in Egypt and the soil of his second home Aotearoa, the soil of his travels. The ink soil in his pen carries the earth of dreams, experiences, kinship, wounds, connections. Islamophobia. Revelations. Griefs. Hopes.  

Such acutely personal poetry is sometimes filtered through other characters, whether speaking of racism, isolation, separation, love:

I am a poet who writes about my feelings but can’t open up without being in character

without the stage lights and the orange diffusers softening my face for the audience 

from ‘Grief is an expensive habit’

 

 

Family is important. The poems never lose sight or contact with family. The grandfather looms large in particular dreams and memories. He is in a humiliating childhood scene, but he is also loss:

you can’t discard a loss the way you can

a birthday gift or a broken laptop

 

it lives with you, sleeps in the spare room

by the laundry and occasionally eats your food

 

I want to never lose my parents

but find a loss like that in someone

 

a love that sears into your lungs and lingers

if you draw the short straw and not die first

 

 

from ‘Bury me’

The grandmother is equally important. She is there in ‘When they ask you / why you speak so well for an immigrant’, a poem that reacts to the title’s misguided and recurring compliment:

Tell them

about your grandmother’s laugh

how you never quite knew whether she was story or myth

the upper lip in your conviction

or a song ringing in your bones

drifting through the kitchen window

with the fried shrimp and newspaper voodoo dolls

National anthem layers experience, and that layered experience opens up what immigrants deal with. This cannot be underestimated. This daily erosion. The intricate and extraordinary poem, ‘Life at a distance’, recounts the family’s move to Aotearoa, the mother yearning for home, bearing the racial slurs, crying bathroom tears. Twenty years later, the educated, assimilated and beloved son moves to Istanbul with his ‘kiwiness’.

migration is its own form

of social isolation

 

an ocean that sits between you

and everyone else

This is the kind of poem that burrows in deep with its complications and toughness, its epiphanies and its wisdoms. I want to hear it read aloud. To hear it sung in the air. This is a son’s story and a mother’s story, a braid of realisations: ‘and you realise she is wading through / her own migration, that like her / you are a dandelion flung in the wind’. One verse depicts the mother still watching Egyptian soap operas and skyping the grandmother, but doing things and being in a country she no longer wants to leave. ‘Home’ has doubled back on itself.

she tells me she is praying

I come home

 

and home

by any other name

 

is a quarantine

you have chosen

 

is a field of dandelions

flung together

 

learning to grow

In fact this is the kind of book that burrows in deep with its deft and moving exposures. The poetry is the hand on the heart, the hand never leaving the heart, especially after the individual, societal and cultural wounds of the mosque attacks, and the cumulative stories of grief, disharmony, anxiety, uncertainty, ignorance. The personal stories. The politics. Mohamed names the terrorist because he wants the repeated name to fade to oblivion. Jacinda refuses to name the terrorist because she too wants to demolish any shard of power or presence. Mohamed is using words, shaping poems, intensely personal, searingly political, to dissipate a name and move towards healing a community.

we will say your name

until you you are no more real

until your oblivion fades

 

and we will have sprouted

daffodils from our pain

a forest from our eyes

a mountain

a most beautiful way to heal

 

and who will worship you then?

 

from ‘The Prime Minister will not say his name but I will’

The poems hold out hope, time and time again, in an image or a phrase, in a word such as daffodils, in the idea that arms opening wide will embrace the whole person not just what they choose, in the dissatisfaction of arm’s length, in ‘the five stages of peace’. I keep wanting to share a poem with you, to sit down with you in café and say read this, feel this, ponder this, be changed, open your arms wide and greet the whole person, the poem. I am a privileged white woman with a warm home and food in the fridge, a loving family, a long history of publication, a tertiary education, a history of travel, a place to call home. But I need to listen harder. When will these global hierarchies and inequities end?

Mohamed brings us back to a person holding a pen fuelled with ink and soil and memory and challenge. He puts himself on show (albeit in character at times) no matter the pain. Here he is at the airport, at customs where some people sail through invisibly, while some people are interrogated because of name or colour. It is the poem’s ending that gets me, that keeps reminding me – in this catastrophic year of pandemic, overstretched frontline staff, hate crimes, wars, conspiracy theories, poverty, insufferable greed, and sexual and domestic abuse – every name and statistic is a real person. A real person with story.

This ending. This poem. Buy the book and read the poem:

listen

let’s take things slow

I want this, I do

but let’s build a relationship

on more than just racial profiling

 

I want you to know the real me

 

can’t you that I

well …

 

I’m just a boy

standing in front of a boy

asking him

 

 

to let me in

 

 

from ‘Customs: a love story’

The title poem, ‘National anthem’ is also a beauty, a poem of pledges that include good coffee, voices in unison, the grandmother’s laugh, zero flags and borders. The final stanza, the final lines in the collection are the kind of lines that will keep you going over corrugated roads and spiky living, that will keep you going whatever your story, whatever your challenges, and pain and love and prospects of death or hope. I am so hoping that Mohamed gets to read at Aotearoa festivals next year, not just five minutes in a poetry line up, but in a whole session where we can hear his words sing and shine and cut and hold out arms and offer such exquisite and necessary hope.

to those who would plot to sow me love

to bake me warmth and never break my art

to rob my eyes for safe keeping

to drown me in unconditional trust

 

to build with me

a new sun

 

I pledge myself

 

to you

 

from ‘National anthem’

Mohamed Hassan is an award-winning journalist and writer who has lived in Egypt, Aotearoa and Turkey. Hewas the winner of the 2015 NZ National Poetry Slam, a TEDx fellow and recipient of the Gold Trophy at the 2017 New York Radio Awards. His poetry has been watched and shared widely online and taught in schools internationally.

Dead Bird Books page

Poetry Shelf Monday poem: Ruby Solly’s ‘Pōria’

 

Pōria

 

A Judas bird

is the first bird you trap.

Not for its meat,

or feathers,

but for its song.

 

The Judas bird

has its foot folded by its captor.

pushed gently through the pōria;

a ring that it can put on

but not take off.

This is it kare,

you are wearing this pounamu

for life.

 

The Judas bird

cannot help but sing.

Sings for her supper,

sings for her sleep,

sings for her sisters,

sings for you,

sings for me.

 

The Judas bird

sees its sisters fly closer

and closer,

as they fly from the mind’s eye into her vision.

The singing growing more frantic,

higher and lower,

bigger and quicker.

Then the pull of the snare, the thud of the rock.

The tiny sound of air passing through vocal chords

not meaning to sound

but doing so against their best efforts.

An accordion pushed closed with none of its keys down.

We call it a last breath, but really it should be called

a last exhale.

 

The Judas bird watches

its sisters be eaten

and she tries not to sing.

Every bird sound is singing,

a scream is singing, a warning is singing.

She holds it in, the notes rising to her throat like a vapour.

Her mouth full of pitches,

that can’t help but spill from the corners of her beak.

 

The Judas bird wishes

the dawn would not break.

But every morning she finds herself singing.

Small arrows of notes pierce the air

as she releases more and more from her quiver.

Even a cry is song.

 

The Judas bird

sings true and long.

But she has learnt to lessen herself,

to bow to not just the loftiest mountain,

but the smallest grain of sand,

to the dirt under the fingernails

of those who tether her.

She is teaching herself

to song without resonation.

With no harmonics,

no above or below.

Like dropping a stone into a pond

and having it sink with no ripples.

No evidence of its movements

to tell the land

that it is gone.

 

Ruby Solly

 

Ruby Solly is a Kai Tahu musician, taonga puoro practitioner, music therapist and writer living in Wellington. She has played with artists such as Yo-Yo Ma, Whirimako Black, Trinity Roots, and The New Zealand String Quartet as both a cellist, and a player of traditional Māori instruments (ngā taonga puoro). She has also worked as a session musician and recording artist with groups such as So Laid Back Country China, Jhan Lindsay, Strowlini Orchestra, and many other artists around Wellington. In 2019 she completed a Masters thesis in the therapeutic potential of taonga puoro in mental health based music therapy, while working in schools, hospitals, prisons and with private clients from iwi around the motu. She also has experience as a composer with pieces commissioned by the New Zealand School of Music in association with SOUNZ, as well as in film work in association with Someday Stories, and the Goethe Institute with Wellington Film Society.

Ruby is also a published poet and has been published in journals associated with many of New Zealand’s universities such as LandfallSportTurbine, and Mayhem. She has also exhibited poetry in Antarctica, America and New Zealand, and was a runner up for the 2019 Caselberg Trust International Poetry Prize. Additionally, Ruby is a script writer and has found success with her film Super Special which shares knowledge about Māori views of menstruation through narrative. The film aired on Māori TV, and will also air at the LA Women Film Fest.

In 2020, Ruby released her debut album Pōneke and in early 2021 her first book Toku Papa is being released by Victoria University Press.

Poetry Shelf review: Rhian Gallagher’s Far-Flung

Rhian Gallagher,Far-Flung Auckland University Press, 2020

Into the Blue Light

for Kate Vercoe

 

I’m walking above myself in the blue light

indecently blue above the bay with its walk-on-water skin

here is the Kilmog slumping seaward

and the men in their high-vis vests

pouring tar and metal on gaping wounds

the last repair broke free; the highway

doesn’t want to lie still, none of us

want to be where we are

 

exactly but somewhere else

the track a tree’s ascent, kaikawaka! hold on

to the growing power, sun igniting little shouts

against my eyeballs

and clouds came from Australia

hunkering over the Tasman with their strange accent

 

I’m high as a wing tip

where the ache meets the bliss

summit rocks exploding with lichen and moss –

little soft fellas suckered to a groove

bloom and bloom – the track isn’t content

with an end, flax rattling their sabres, tussocks

drying their hair in the stiff south-easterly;

the track wants to go on

forever because it comes to nothing

but the blue light. I’m going out, out

out into the blue light, walking above myself.

 

 

Rhian Gallagher, from Far-Flung

 

 

Rhian Gallagher’s debut poetry book, Salt Water Creek (Enitharmon Press) was shortlisted for the Forward Prize First Collection, while her second book Shift was awarded the 2012 New Zealand Post Book Award for Poetry. She has received a Canterbury History Foundation Award, The Janet Frame Literary Trust Award and in 2018 she held the University of Otago Burns Fellowship. This year I welcomed the arrival of Far-Flung (Auckland University Press). It is a glorious book, a book to slowly savour.

Far-Flung is in two sections. The first section, with deep and roving attachments, navigates place. Think of the shimmering land, the peopled land, the lived-upon and recollected land, with relationships, experiences, epiphanies and upheavals. Think of the past and think of the present. Think of school classrooms, macrocarpa and our smallest birds. Think of a nor-west wind and Donegal women. These poems exude a delicious quietness, a stalled pace, because this is poetry of contemplation, musings upon a stretching home along with ideas that have shaped, and are shaping, how the world is.

The other day I turned up in an Auckland café to meet poet Anna Jackson for lunch, and we both brought along Far-Flung to read (if we got to wait for the other). I read the opening lines aloud to Anna when she arrived, and then she started reading the book. We were lost in the book. I am now imagining how perfect it would be to have a weekly poetry meeting with a friend, where you sit and read the exact same book over lunch. Perhaps I am returning to the afternoon-tea poems from my debut book Cookhouse, where I thought I would take afternoon with poets I loved (in the shape of a poem) for the rest of my life. That didn’t exactly happen (in the shape of a poem), but I guess I have been engaging with poetry in Aotearoa ever since.

Rhian’s opening poem ‘Into the Blue Light’ is a form of poetry astonishment. Let’s say awe, wonder, uplift. The spiritual meets the incandescent meets the hot sticky tar of the road repairs, and the ever-moving scene, with its biblical overtones (‘the bay with its walk-on-water skin’), references a fidgety self as it much as it scores physical locations. I keep coming back to the word ‘miracle’, and the way we become immune to the little and large miracles about us. Miracle can be a way of transcending the burdensome body, daily stasis, the anchor of here and there, the shadow of death, and embrace light  and engage in light-footed movement. This is definitely a poem to get lost in. You don’t need to know what it is about or the personal implications for both poet and speaker. Perhaps this is what astonishment poems can do: they draw us into the blue light so that we may walk or drift above ourselves.

The second poem, ‘The Speed of God’, underlines the range of a nimble poet whose poetic craft includes the lyrical, the political, the personal and the reflective. Here Rhian wittingly but bitingly muses on the idea that God made the world too fast to get men right.


Or maybe if he’d made man and said, ‘You learn how to
live with yourself and do housework and then I might think
about woman.’

The second section of the book focuses upon voices from Dunedin’s Seacliff Lunatic Asylum and is in debt to research along with imaginings. The Lunatic Act of 1882 defines a lunatic within legal parameters rather a medical diagnosis. The institution was more akin to a prison than a place of healing, with those incarcerated granted no legal rights.  As a national inspector of lunatic asylums, hospitals and charitable institutions, Dr Duncan MacGregor ‘feared New Zealand was being overrun by a flood of immigrants from lowly backgrounds’.

Rhian’s ‘The Seacliffe Epistles’ sequence is unbearably haunting. The endnotes acknowledge the sources, many poems in debt to inmate’s letters. Reading the poignant poetry, I am reminded of the way we still haven’t got everything right yet. We still have the dispossessed, the muted, the disenfranchised, the underprivileged. And that is another haunting seeping into the crevices of the book.

Far-Flung showcases multiple bearings of self, place, and across time. There is the child smelling the ‘gum trees in the gully’, rhyming her way across a wheat field, as letters and words start to produce sound and sense. From those tentative beginnings, words now offer sumptuous music for the ear, groundings for the heart, little portholes into our own contemplative meanderings. As Vincent O’Sullivan says on the back of the book: ‘I can think of no more than a handful of poets, whose work I admire to anything like a similar degree.’ This is a glorious arrival, a book of exquisite returns that slowly unfold across months.

Rhian Gallagher’s first poetry book Salt Water Creek (Enitharmon Press, 2003) was shortlisted for the Forward Prize for First Collection. In 2007 Gallagher won a Canterbury History Foundation Award, which led to the publication of her book Feeling for Daylight: The Photographs of Jack Adamson (South Canterbury Museum, 2010). She also received the 2008 Janet Frame Literary Trust Award. Gallagher’s Shift (AUP, 2011) won the 2012 New Zealand Post Book Award for Poetry. In 2018, she held the University of Otago Robert Burns Fellowship.

Auckland University Press page

Poetry Shelf Lounge: Dylan Horrocks and Tara Black discuss This Is Not a Pipe

Tara Black makes comics and sits in the front row of book events so she can draw the writers. Her work appears on The SaplingStasis Journal and her website, taracomics.comThis Is Not a Pipe is her first book.  

Dylan Horrocks is the author of the modern classic Hicksville (1998; new edition VUP 2010), and Sam Zabel and the Magic Pen (VUP 2014).

Victoria University Press page

Photo credit: Ebony Lamb

Poetry Shelf noticeboard: Blog and email issues

One again i am running into blog obstacles – this time I am having trouble with my emails and can’t load anything from an email because none of my emails are loading on my laptop and desktop. So I do apologise if I am not getting back to you and my normal transmission this week is interrupted. I can reply to emails on my phone.

Poetry Shelf noticeboard: the Wellington celebration of Ko Aotearoa Tātou | We Are New Zealand: An Anthology.

EVENT: Ko Aotearoa Tātou | We Are New Zealand

Please join us for the Wellington celebration of Ko Aotearoa Tātou | We Are New Zealand: An Anthology.
 
Thursday, 3 December 2020, 6.00–7.30pm
GOOD BOOKS, 2/16 Jessie Street, Te Aro, Wellington

 
In the aftermath of the Christchurch terrorist attacks of 15 March 2019, Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern declared: ‘We are all New Zealanders.’ These words resonated, an instant meme that asserted our national diversity and inclusiveness and, at the same time, issued a rebuke to hatred and divisiveness.

Ko Aotearoa Tātou | We Are New Zealand shares new works of fiction, nonfiction, poetry and visual art created in response to the editors’ questions: What is New Zealand now, in all its rich variety and contradiction, darkness and light? Who are New Zealanders?

The book will be introduced by editor Michelle Elvy, with presentations from writers and artists who contributed to this new volume of work. 
 
Featuring:
Jennifer Halli
Zainaa Hilal
Fiona Lincoln
Catarina de Peters Leitão
Hanif Quazi
Sudha Rao
Ellie Stiggers
Apirana Taylor
Stacey Teague

Copies will be available for purchase at the event. Drinks and nibbles provided. All welcome! 

RSVP to: shop@goodbookshop.nz

Find out more about Ko Aotearoa Tātou | We Are New Zealand here.

Poetry Shelf noticeboard: Peta-Maria Tunui and Charles Olsen win Ó Bhéal’s 8th International Poetry-Film Competition with ‘Noho Mai’


We are thrilled to announce the winner of Ó Bhéal’s 8th International Poetry-Film Competition – Noho Mai.


Our warm congratulations to filmmakers Peta-Maria Tunui (also the poet), Waitahi Aniwaniwa McGee, Shania Bailey-Edmonds Jesse-Ana Harris, Lilián Pallares and Charles Olsen.


Noho Mai’s creators receive the Ó Bhéal award for best poetry-film, designed by glass artist Michael Ray. ‘Symbolized in the bird’s flight, a group of Māori, Pākehā and Colombian creatives explore life’s journey, the longing to return to the nest, and the life-giving connection with our ancestors.’


Judges’ Comments:


“And so, I was drawn into this beautifully filmed, beautiful soundscape, delivered with a natural ease, the first time I watched all the wonderful poetry films submitted to this competition. The sparse lines of the poem ran along the wind of the film with powerful imagery. Strong but subtle. Neither the text, nor the image in the frame, collided –  but fused together. The visual elements I was looking for were right there. The text of the poem was powering the vision in this beautiful language, I could not help but respond warmly to this film. It was a huge challenge to choose one overall winner in such a feast of poetry films, one which shone. This one did it for me. Congratulations all.” – Dairena Ní Chinnéide  


“An absolutely stunning film. The finely wrought dance of words, visuals, music, pace and the dreamlike cadences of the Māori language. Noho Mai delivered everything I look for in a poetry film. A moving, beautiful poem and universal, timeless core of meaning which speaks also to our particularly detached and disconnected times. The filmmaking is a testament to the power of collaborative vision, crafted through the generous talents of six visual artists from New Zealand, Colombia and Spain. I would encourage any and all to relish this gleaming and worthy winner. An exquisite poetry film. – Paul Casey


The link is here


Here’s what Charles Olsen said — commenting on the award on Facebook: 
Kia ora, it has been wonderful seeing all the films in the festival. Congratulations to all the filmmakers and poets! And a big thank you on behalf of our team to Dairena and Paul for selecting Noho Mai. 


Noho Mai grew out of a workshop Peta-Maria Tunui, Lilian Pallares and myself set up just as we were going into the first lockdown in Spain and New Zealand back in March and it was a wonderful and often moving experience working together with young talented Māori creatives. To see its flight to festivals and audiences around the world has been amazing and to receive this award is very special for all of us.

Thank you! Ngā mihi nui ki a koutou. 🌿💙