Category Archives: Poetry Events

Poetry & Essay conference attracts more headline poets – submission deadline today

Full details here.

I am booking my ticket! Brava Anna Jackson and Helen Rickerby.

 

We’re very pleased to announce a few more speakers who will be participating in the Poetry and Essay conference, which will be held at Victoria University of Wellington, 6–8 December 2017.

US poet and essayist Brian Blanchfield’s Proxies: Essays Near Knowing (Nightboat Books, 2016; Picador UK, 2017),have been one of our discoveries of the year, and we have been enjoying the wide-ranging rich, intimate, sometimes uncomfortable gems that are each subtitled ‘Permitting Shame, Error and Guilt, Myself the Single Source’. His second book, the collection of poetry A Several World (Nightboat Books, 2014), was James Laughlin Award from the Academy of American Poets and was a longlist finalist for The National Book Award. He is Assistant Professor of Literary Nonfiction at the University of Idaho.

Canadian poet Christian Bök is perhaps best known for Eunoia (2001), a bestselling work of experimental literature, which won the Griffin Prize for Poetic Excellence. He is currently working on The Xenotext – a project that requires him to encipher a poem into the genome of a bacterium capable of surviving in any inhospitable environment. You can watch a video of him talking about this fascinating project on the CBC website. Bök is a Fellow in the Royal Society of Canada, and he teaches at Charles Darwin University.

Amy Brown, a New Zealand poet now living and working in Melbourne, wrote the ambitious and impressive collection The Odour of Sanctity (Victoria University Press, 2013) as part of her PhD in creative writing, in which she examined contemporary epic poetry. She is currently an English and Philosophy teacher at the Mac.Robertson Girls’ High School.

Te Papa Poetry Reading: Luci Tapahonos – the first Poet Laureate of the Navajo Nation

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A special opportunity to hear poems by Professor Luci Tapahonos, the first Poet Laureate of the Navajo Nation. The reading is followed by a Q&A session.

 

  • When Thu 24 Nov 2016, 1:00–2:00pm
  • Where
    Te Marae
  • Cost Free

 

 

Professor Luci Tapahonos is the inaugural Wai-te-ata Press Creator in Residence at Victoria University of Welllington.

Tapahonos was born in 1953 in Shiprock, New Mexico, where she grew up on a farm, immersed in the Navajo culture. She is the author of six books of poetry and three books for children. Tapahonos has received many awards, including the 2006 Lifetime Achievement award from the Native Writers Circle of the Americas.

This event is brought to you by the Museum of New Zealand Te Papa Tongarewa, in association with Wai-te-ata Press, Victoria University, and the Embassy of the United States of America.

 

Poetry critic Stephen Burt gives public masterclass in Wellington with Bill Manhire

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Contemporary poetry has plenty to offer new readers, and plenty more for those who already follow it. Yet its difficulty—and sheer variety—leaves many readers puzzled and overwhelmed. The critic, scholar and poet Stephen Burt sets out to help.

In Close Calls with Nonsense: How to Read New Poetry, Victoria University of Wellington’s International Institute of Modern Letters (IIML) presents a public masterclass on poetry. Steered by Victoria University Emeritus Professor Bill Manhire, Burt will guide the audience through a number of contemporary poems by writers from the United Kingdom, United States and New Zealand, illuminating their methods and unfolding their pleasures. This event aims to introduce both tentative and long-time poetry readers to the rewards of reading new poetry. Burt will also give a reading of their poems.

Burt is Professor of Poetry at Harvard University. Their influential reviews and books have made them one of the leading critics of their generation, and their enthusiasm for new writing has helped to establish the careers of younger poets, and helped audiences to appreciate their work.

Burt’s 1998 essay ‘The Elliptical Poets’ is widely credited with identifying a new school of poetry. The book that followed, Close Calls With Nonsense (2009), includes an essay on James K. Baxter among those on more recent poets.

In their new book, The Poem is You, Burt explores 60 American poems. Publisher’s Weekly wrote that: “Burt’s many ways of looking at a poem will inspire new students and accomplished poets, especially as many of his meditations circle the question of what poetry does or should do: making readers pay attention, ask questions, and experience new things.”

In 2012 a NY Times interview hailed Burt as ‘Poetry’s Cross-Dressing Kingmaker’. Burt identifies as transgender, and their poetry chapbook All-Season Stephanie (2015) explores coming of age as it might have happened for their female alter-ego. Burt prefers to use the gender-neutral pronoun ‘they’.

Close Calls With Nonsense is presented by the IIML in partnership with City Gallery Wellington. Admission is free, with all welcome. The gallery will be open prior to the event for visitors to view the exhibition Cindy Sherman (exhibition entry charges apply).

What: Close Calls With Nonsense, with Stephen Burt and Bill Manhire
When: 5.30–7pm, Monday 12 December
Where: City Gallery, Wellington

For more information contact Chris Price on chris.price@vuw.ac.nz.

Sarah Jane Barnett interviews Steph Burt for Pantograph Punch

How We Are: A Conversation with Steph Burt

On the occasion of Steph Burt’s visit to New Zealand, Sarah Jane Barnett talks to the American writer and critic about living as two genders, poetry, criticism and the body.

Poet and critic Stephen Burt has been described as ‘one of the most influential poetry critics of his generation’ (NY Times). Burt is a professor at Harvard University and has published three full-length collections of poems – Popular Music (1999), Parallel Play (2006), and Belmont (2013) – along with several chapbooks, most recently All-Season Stephanie (2015). Burt is also well known for criticism, most recently, The Poem is You: 60 Contemporary American Poems and How to Read Them (2016).

In 2012 the New York Times Magazine ran a profile on Burt with the headline ‘Poetry’s Cross-Dressing Kingmaker,’ identifing the poet and critic for the first time in public as transgender. Burt – who answers to Stephen, Steph, and Stephanie – has since written about having two genders in poetry and in essays such as ‘My Life as a Girl’ and ‘The Body of the Poem.’ Photo of Steph by Alex Dakoulas.


Sarah Jane Barnett: First, would you like me to call you Stephanie or Stephen, or simply Steph? In December you’re giving a public masterclass in Wellington called, ‘Close calls with nonsense, or how to read new poetry’ (the class sporting the same name as your book which was a finalist for the National Book Critics Circle Award). What has brought you to New Zealand?

Steph Burt: Steph or Stephanie in person; Stephen is the name on the books. This summer I’m an Erskine Scholar at the University of Canterbury in Christchurch; they’ve brought me over – and by they I mean the university, but also the wonderful critic and Baxter scholar Paul Millar – so that I can teach a summer course in modern poetry. Of course I’ll be doing some readings and public events, in addition to traveling around both islands with our family, while I’m here.

SJB: You have such enthusiasm for helping people read poetry. Did you grow up with this love of language and literature? You’ve said, ‘I understand the world best, most fully, in words’; can you talk about what happens when you read a poem? I often think that poetry moves through the mind to create an experience in the body – that reading is performative and the poem is created new each time. What do you think about that idea?

SB: I think it’s correct. My colleague Helen Vendler (echoing a letter of Gerard Manley Hopkins’s) has described lyric poetry as a score for performance by the speaking voice: the poem becomes yours when you take it into yourself, which also means taking it into your body, your voice: both the body you have, and the body you wish or imagine that you ought to have.

That’s a general model for what happens when we read lyric poems. When I myself read a poem I also feel like I’m testing out the sonic and the semantic relations among all the words, to see whether I’ll want to come back to them. A good poem is a poem that I want to come back to, again and again.

 

 

Full interview here

Sarah Jane Barnett is launching Work at Vic Books soon

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You are warmly invited to join Hue & Cry Press and Sarah Jane Barnett in launching WORK at Vic Books, Victoria University. All welcome.

In these six long poems Sarah Jane Barnett explores how people fight for a normal life. Set in Ethiopia, Paris, Norway, and New Zealand these astonishing poems take you into the lives of others—a grieving man leaves Ethiopia at the end of the civil war; a polyamorous couple have a child; a woman hunts a black bear on a New Zealand sheep station. Original and spellbinding, these poems walk the line between poetry and fiction.

WORK will be launched at Vic Books, Wellington. Sarah will read from ‘Ghosts,’ a speculative poem set in Norway’s northernmost town, Svalbard. The poem includes dialogue between the characters Diane and Fowler, who will be read by Wellington writers Therese Lloyd and Matt Bialostocki. Get ready for a performance!

 

where: Vic Books, 1 Kelburn Parade, Wellington

when: Thursday 22nd October, 5.30pm start with the reading 6-6.15pm.

Hue & Cry Press
Vic Books

If you can’t make the launch, WORK can be pre-ordered from Hue & Cry Press store:

WOW!!! THE BARDS GO WILD 80 Events for National Poetry Day (Friday, 28 August)

A press release:

From seasoned award-winners to newbies facing a microphone for the first time, National Poetry Day — Friday, 28 August —unleashes the power and excitement of poetry for one incredible day of activity all around New Zealand.

Celebrating its 18th year, National Poetry Day 2015 features an astounding 80 events from Kerikeri to Southland and into cyberspace. This year’s calendar holds something for everyone, from aspiring  to established poets, and from those who enjoy poetry to those who think poetry isn’t for them. The 2015 calendar of events offers a way for anyone to get involved in the poetry community, discover New Zealand poets, share their own work or find out what it is all about.

“One of the best things about poetry is you can make it into whatever you want it to be,” says national coordinator, Miriam Barr. “There are no rules in poetry, or rather all the rules are there to be broken and bent. Poetry lets you say what you need to say, the way you want to say it.” This year, the New Zealand poetry community brings you poetry slams, poetry-music jams, poetry art exhibitions, performance poetry, poetry with dance, poetry street-chalking, bookshop readings, famous poets reading their work, writing competitions, open mic events that invite you to share, and a bunch of online events open to  everyone.

The full calendar of events is live online now.  Competitions open for submissions across August and warm-up events kick off the week leading up to National Poetry Day.

Highlights of this year’s National Poetry include:

Nationwide For the first time ever, National Poetry Day will be celebrated with an international link-up: ‘The Ex-Pat Poet’s Portal’ features interviews with and readings by Dr Amy Brown, Jennifer Compton and Anna Forsyth, New Zealand-born poets living in Melbourne. It’s hosted by Melbourne poet and host of La Mama Poetica, Amanda Anastasi, and streamed live on a Google Hangout broadcast, with questions live on Twitter and a YouTube video after the event. There’s also the Poetry Phone, Poems in Your Pocket and more.
Kerikeri  ‘Rhymes in the Vines’ celebrates poetry in Northland at Fat Pig Vineyard with an open mic and wine-tasting to wind-down the day after National Poetry Day on the 29th of August.
Whangarei  An open mic and the launch of Fast Fibres 2, a compilation of poems by Northland poets at Mokaba Café featuring local poets Piet Nieuwland, Michael Botur, Victoria del la Varis-Woodcock, Maureen Sudlow, and more.
Auckland seems to specialise in quirky events. They include readings at the Happy Tea House, Grey Lynn, a poetry-event venue in a converted sleep-out (hot drinks, orange juice, and breakfast supplied); a poetry walk that starts at the phone box outside Carl’s Junior, next to Aotea Square, and to get people warmed up, the ninth annual ‘Resurrection Night’, in which poets dress up as or pay homage to a dead poet. Slightly more mainstream and totally engaging are readings at the Takapuna Library with Robert Sullivan and others; ‘All Tomorrow’s Poets’, showcasing 10 young poets, in the tiny space above Time Out Bookstore in Mt Eden; the twelfth annual reading event by the marvellous ‘Divine Muses’ with Siobhan Harvey, Tusiata Avia and Jack Ross among the line-up; ‘Poetry Central’, an evening of poetry reading and festivities at Auckland Central City Library.
West Auckland Kumeu An open mic night. Bethells Beach: The “We” Society Poetry Day Wrap Party launches the society’s anthology at Te Henga Studios.
South Auckland A poetry slam at Manukau Institute of Technology, featuring Courtney Sina Meredith.
Hamilton An open mic night followed by a poetry slam at the Garden Place Library; ‘Poetry and Paint’, in which poems become paintings, at the University of Waikato’s Art Fusion Gallery, and  an exhibition of the work created at ‘Poetry and Paint’ with a night of performance poetry.

Katikati Three events, including the annual Haiku Poetry Path prize-draw and an open mic event at Browny’s Café.
Palmerston North Five events, including the Pamutana Poetry Picnic, New Zealand poems set to music by New Zealand composers and performed by the Palmerston North Girls’ High School chamber choir, and the Wisdom Lounge, a digital exhibition showcasing poems and poetic proverbs from Manawatu and around the world.
Wairoa Three events, including the announcement of the winners of the local  poetry competition — Te Roto, Te Awa, Te Moana -The Lake, the River, the Ocean, for poems in English or Te Reo Māori  on one of these themes.
Havelock North  The enterprising owners of Wardini Books have three events: an after-school event, an open mic night and a competition for poets aged between five and 18, judged by Paula Green and Emily Dobson, and open to the entire Hawkes Bay region.
New Plymouth Three events, including a competition for poems about Taranaki, a ‘mix and match’ poetry-making event and a poetry walk on the city’s foreshore. Chalk supplied.
Dannevirke The winner of the Tararua District Library’s Online Poetry Competition is announced.
Wairarapa poetry rolls through the district with an incredible number of events in one day at Pukaha, Featherston, Masterton, Greytown, Martinborough, Carterton and West Taratahi.

Wellington and its surrounding regions are surely a New Zealand poetry epicentre, with an outstanding seven events. They include:National Poetry Day Warm-Up at Te Papa in which eight poets with poems in in Best NZ Poems 2014 (John Dennison, Dinah Hawken, Anna Jackson, Gregory O’Brien, Claire Orchard, Nina Powles, Helen Rickerby and Kerrin P Sharpe) read their poems; Unity Books has a lunchtime reading titled ‘6 Poets in 60 Minutes’; Vic Books at the University has reading and music; at the Kapiti Coast Library, the winners of the Laughing Out Loud poetry competition are announced during an open mic night; in Upper Hutt the winners of the 15th annual Upper Hutt Poetry Competition will be announced at two events at the Upper Hutt City Library; and in Woburn, Lower Hutt there’s a reading of poems about the landscape.
Nelson has six events, including four events at the Elma Turner Library (including ‘Poems for Pikelets’) and Stoke Library, an inspired window of poems at Page and Blackmore Booksellers, open to contributions from people anywhere in the country), and a reading at Page and Blackmore which will also announce the winner of their nationwide Animal Laureate poetry competition.
In Christchurch there are readings at the South Library, Sydenham, and the Hagley Writer Institute has two events, including a workshop and the announcement of the winners of their poetry competition.
Dunedin The Dunedin Public Library is a stellar supporter of National Poetry Day, and 2015 is no exception. This year, during ‘Many Happy Returns’, glasses will be raised to toast Dunedin’s literary treasures on National Poetry Day. This year Poetry Day coincides with the birthday of Dunedin writer, the late Janet Frame. MC’d by Diane Brown, with readings from, Hinemoana Baker, David Eggleton and 2015 Burns Fellow Louise Wallace, as well as three rising stars selected from the Dunedin Secondary Schools Poetry Competition. The evening culminates in the announcement of the 2015 Janet Frame Literary Trust Award recipient.

Oamaru has two events including a performance by David Eggelton and the Spinemark Poetry Challenge.
Tiny Outram hosts J & K Rolling’s Outriders Poetry Tour, an open mic session plus readings of southern poems by Jenny Powell, Kay McKenzie Cooke and Richard Reeve.
Cromwell Paper Plus is holding an open mic event and announcing the winners of its Youth Poetry Competition, for poems about central Otago.
Greymouth The District library announces the winners of its poetry competition winners, and there’s a tour of local poets to three local rest homes.
Gore Jenny Powell and Kay Mackenzie Cooke are on tour, there’s a huge poetry display in the library, and an open mic lunchtime the week following Poetry Day.

It’s an amazing line-up! For more details on National Poetry Day events (including times, entry cost etc), go to https://nznationalpoetryday.wordpress.com/calendar-of-events.

National Poetry Day is managed by the New Zealand Book Awards Trust, which also administers the New Zealand Book Awards and the New Zealand Book Awards for Children and Young Adults. In 2015, the Day is administered for the Trust by Booksellers New Zealand and funded by Creative New Zealand.

Media please note:
National Poetry Day Coordinator, Miriam Barr, is available for interview.
Participating poets and event organisers in your area are also available for interview. Contact details are on the calendar of events for individual events organisers.

For further information please contact Sarah Forster, Booksellers New Zealand
T:  04 815 8367 E: sarah.forster@booksellers.co.nz

Many Happy Returns: Dunedin Celebrates NZ Poetry Day

National Poetry Day is also Janet Frame’s birthday, and here in Dunedin there will be a poetry feast at the Library: the winners of the Dunedin Secondary Schools Poetry competition will perform their winning poems along with performances by Landfall editor David Eggleton, 2015 Burns Fellow Louise Wallace and special guest Hinemoana Baker. Poet Diane Brown will MC.
6 – 7.45 pm, Friday 28 August, refreshments from 5.30 pm.

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