Auckland you are really shaping up for Poetry Day!
Auckland you are really shaping up for Poetry Day!
Full piece here
Vaughan Rapatahana’s interview with Tusiata Avia – with a generous serving of poems – is unmissable. Here is just one question that got me musing:
Would you define yourself as a Kiwi poet having a perspective that is different than the ‘normal’/mainstream (i.e. generally, Pākehā New Zealander) one? If so, how so?
It’s a funny old thing defining myself. Certainly other people: reviewers, academics, and the like define me as different to the mainstream, but in my experience they like to use their pegs to stake me out in a certain shape. It would be disingenuous to say I wasn’t (different to the Pākehā mainstream) but the defining always makes me squirm. I get really uncomfortable with the binary of mainstream and other. I don’t like being other. Or othered.
My good friend Hinemoana Baker once said something along the lines of: I reserve the right to be what ever it is I am feeling at the time. I think she was quoting someone else — but it was in reference to being of mixed heritage. The point being, right at the moment, as I write this I don’t feel like claiming the Pasifika space, the Samoan space, the mixed heritage space or the Kiwi space. As a poet/ writer, there is a much broader space I can move about in.
Serie Barford: The Curnow Reader
Going West always dedicates a significant part of its programme to poetry and this year is no exception.
‘New Zealand’s leading authors, poets, playwrights and musicians offer audiences a fortnight of fresh ideas, future-thinking, language and laughter at the 23rd Going West Writers Festival 1-16 September.’ Good location & food!
8 September Going West Poetry Slam. Glen Eden Playhouse
14-16 September Going West Writers Festival weekend. Titirangi War Memorial Hall
Full programme here
Word Up! is an exciting performance competition which gives 13–21 year-olds the opportunity to present their original work
If you think poetry is all about fields of daffodils and iambic pentameters, think again. Here, at the Going West Poetry Slam, poets lay it on the line to see who’s got the chops to rise to the top.
Poet Serie Barford is the Opening Night’s Curnow Reader
Does a city a writer make? Three visiting Wellington poets – Chris Tse, Helen Heath and Anna Jackson – explore what it’s like to live, work and write in the windy city with Paula Green.
Going West is honoured to partner with Auckland University Press to host the launch of a new collection of poetry from C.K. Stead, That Derrida Whom I Derided Died: Poems 2013-2017.
As we incorporate artificial intelligence, automation and robotics into our lives and even our bodies, we continue to wrestle with what it all means for us as humans. Helen Heath and Dr Jo Cribb are joined by Vincent Heeringa to discuss these issues.
Victoria University Press warmly invites you to this double launch for
There’s No Place Like the Internet in Springtime
by Erik Kennedy
by Kerrin P. Sharpe
5.30pm-7.00pm on Wednesday 29 August
at Scorpio Books, 120 Hereford St, Christchurch central.
Refreshments will be served.
He walks in, takes a seat,
eats his pie.
He smiles but doesn’t speak
until his farewell thanks.
He looks like someone off TV,
but they can’t agree on who.
Did you see how quick he ate it?
She shakes her head, disbelieving.
Nothing to drink, just pie
and free tomato sauce.
Not yet half-way,
a family squares off.
Soggy chips, nachos
missing a couple of ingredients.
Forbidden phones, the kids
play with their food.
An unhappier couple sits
at the next table.
The father sighs; the mother
brightens, and tunes in.
They closed the café
half an hour early.
The traffic had been quiet a while,
and the sausage rolls had gone.
Finding the door locked, he turns
and pans the street.
It’s the service station, then, packet of chips
and a chocolate bar.
He parks himself at the picnic table,
but the view doesn’t satisfy him.
Kerry Hines is a Wellington-based poet, writer and researcher. Her collection Young Country (poems with photographs by William Williams) was published by AUP in 2014.
more details here
XYZ of Happiness by Mary McCallum (Mākaro Press, 2018)
She’s an open window with curtains flapping
whatever the season, one eye always on the outside
Mary McCallum is a novelist, poet and songwriter; her novel, The Blue, won the NZ Book Award in 2007 and she won the inaugural Caselberg Trust International Poetry Prize. Her children’s book, Dappled Annie and the Tigrish, is an exquisite read and one of my favourite NZ novels for children. In 2013 she established Mākaro Press with its annual Hoopla Poetry series and Submarine imprint. She lives in Wellington.
Mary’s debut collection is like an alphabet of moods that draw upon the weather, love, life, death and family. She writes with an inviting mix of warmth and attentiveness, acute observations of the physical world and an ear tuned to the musicality of the line. I am pulled into feeling her world from the poem that faces the death of Hat (Harriet) and her engagements with life (‘C) to a poem that navigates a drowning with sublime fluidity (‘Vessels’) to the everyday presence of food and domestic gestures, sky and space.
Snapping off the ends of beans is like lips
popping, a pork cookbook is the best place
to find that picture of you and your mum
at Taupō one summer, a turkey too late
in the oven can make a grandmother
cry with hunger (…)
from ‘Things they don’t tell you on Food TV’
There is a steady momentum in the reading, a slow-paced rhythm that grows upon you, yet individual poems are varied in key and style. ‘Sycamore Tree’ is missing vowels as though life becomes hiccupy and fragmented. ‘Returning’ is a lyrical feast with potent physical detail. ‘Quick’ pulsates with love and image. ‘Things they don’t tell you on Food TV’ is a sensual autobiography.
I know you’re watching
from your house by th path
with a desk by th window
today we’ve stopped
right n front f you
but I can’t move th childrn on
not while they’re spnning
like littl propellers like
from ‘Sycamore Tree’
This slim collection might so easily be missed, with its quietness, its loveliness, its pitch to the way we are, but it is a book that holds you immeasurably with both feeling and fluency.
Here it is that we are,
a breath outwards
on a slant, paint
pulling from the wood,
let go of the road,
the run of fences, the tin-cut
tilting hills, the world’s
rim—let the dog out
and drive, windows
wound down, the pink
evening light, lavender,
olive trees, cypress.
Mākaro Press page
Read ‘C’ here