Tag Archives: Kate Camp

Poetry Shelf Classic Poem: Kate Camp picks Lauris Edmond’s ‘Camping’

 

Camping

 

Do you remember how we woke

to the first bird in that awkward pine

behind the ablution block, and leaned

across the knotted ground to lift

the canvas as though it was

the wall of the world

and ourselves at the heart of it

lying together

with the fresh grass against our faces

and the early air sweet beyond all telling –

 

do you sometimes look still

into that startled darkness

and hear the bird,

as I do?

 

When we drove away I looked back always

to the flattened yellow grass

to see the exact map of our imagining

our built universe

for a week

and saw that it was just earth

and faced the natural sky.

 

We took with us the dark pine

and the blackbird

and dew beside our foreheads

as we woke

 

and now we live apart

and I don’t know where they are.

 

 

Lauris Edmond  (from New & Selected Poems, Oxford University Press, 1991)

Posted with kind permission from the Lauris Edmond Estate.

 

 

From Kate Camp: It feels a bit odd that this is such a favourite poem of mine, because of the pun with my name. But the image of the flattened grass hit me with such power when I first read it, and does every time I revisit it. There is so much to love about the poem – its sensuality, its unashamed romanticism, and of course (being Lauris Edmond) its absolutely killer ending.

I remember Lauris saying to me once that she felt a poem should end like the shutting of a car door, from which I took a sense of satisfying and substantial closure, a rightness. I didn’t know Lauris well but she had a way of talking, and of reading her poems, as if she was slightly surprised by each individual word. I hear that cadence when I read the poem.

But of course the best thing about this poem is the ablution block. It’s such an ugly, unlikely thing to find in a poem, both the thing itself and the awkward “no one has ever said it” tone of the phrase. You know this is a found piece of language off some battered sign of the camp ground, and that lends the whole poem a down home, unpretentious feeling, that lets her get away with the romantic flourish of the “early air sweet beyond all telling.”

The other thing I love about this poem is how, like one of Shakespeare’s sonnets, it’s really a kind of sly testimony to the power of poetry – and of this particular poet – to capture and immortalise. It ends “I don’t know where they are” but of course we do know where they are, the bird and the pine and the dew are here in this poem. Wherever the poem’s protagonists and landscapes are, however lost to time and mortality, the poet has saved them here.

I think that’s why for me this melancholy poem is one that leaves me with a sense of exhilaration, even triumphalism – because when the car door of the poem closes, I sense the power of the poet in the driver’s seat.

 

 

Kate Camp is a Wellington-born essayist and poet, with six collections of poetry published by Victoria University Press. She has also written essays and memoir. Unfamiliar Legends of the Stars won the NZSA Jessie Mackay Best First Book of Poetry Award (1999), and The Mirror of Simple Annihilated Souls won the New Zealand Post Book Award for Poetry (2011). Snow White’s Coffin was shortlisted for the award in 2013, and The internet of things was longlisted in 2018. She has received the Creative New Zealand Berlin Writer’s Residency (2011) and the Katherine Mansfield Menton Fellowship (2017). Her essay ‘I wet my pants’ was a finalist in the Landfall essay competition in 2018.

 

Lauris Edmond wrote poetry, novels, short stories, stage plays, autobiography and edited several books, including ARD Fairburn letters. She published over fifteen volumes of poetry, including several anthologies, and a CD, The Poems of Lauris Edmond, was released in 2000. Her debut collection, In Middle Air, written in her early fifties, won the PEN NZ Best First Book of the Year (1975) while Selected Poems won the Commonwealth Poetry Prize (1985). She received numerous awards including the Katherine Mansfield Menton Fellowship (1981), an OBE for Services to Poetry and Literature (1986), an Honorary DLitt from Massey University (1988). Edmond was a founder of New Zealand Books. The Lauris Edmond Memorial Award was established in her name. Her daughter, Frances Edmond, and poet, Sue Fitchett, published, Night Burns with a White Fire: The Essential Lauris Edmond, a selection of her poems in 2017.

 

 

An addition to the 2018 Writers on Mondays series: Kate Camp: Menton, memoir and me

8th Oct 2018 12:15pm to 8th Oct 2018 1:15pm

Soundings Theatre, Te Papa

The International Institute of Modern Letters (IIML) is delighted to announce the addition of this special event to the 2018 Writers on Mondays series.

Kate Camp: Menton, memoir and me:

When poet Kate Camp took up the Katherine Mansfield Menton Fellowship in 2017, it was to write memoir, not poetry.

Memoir writing raises interesting questions – of fact and fiction, ethics and ego, what one remembers, and what one chooses to reveal. In this lecture, Kate Camp examines a more difficult and profound question – who cares? Who could possibly give a damn about the details of someone else’s life?

Drawing on her own work and that of other New Zealand writers, Camp’s lecture is an entertaining, insightful, and at times deeply personal exploration of the ‘point’ of writing memoir.

Originally delivered September as the Frank Sargeson Memorial Lecture, initiated by Waikato University with the support of the Friends of Hamilton Library.

FREE EVENT

from Landfall Online: Helen Lehndorf reviews Hannah Mettner and Kate Camp

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Fully Clothed and So Forgetful by Hannah Mettner (Victoria University Press, 2017), 91 pp., $25; The Internet of Things by Kate Camp (Victoria University Press, 2017), 61 pp., $25

One quality I love about first volumes of poetry is that they often contain an element of the poet’s origin story. Hannah Mettner’s Fully Clothed and So Forgetful certainly does: there are poems referencing childhood, relationships with siblings and wider family, elements of cultural confusion after an across-the-world move, parenthood – all described with deftness, wit and originality. How about that title? It’s a delight … inviting, and very human.

full review here

Three new books by three VUP authors get an art gallery outing

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We warmly invite you to a reading from three new books
by three celebrated VUP writers.

The internet of things, new poetry by Kate Camp
Some Things to Place in a Coffin, new poetry by Bill Manhire
Lifting, a new novel by Damien Wilkins

on Wednesday 12 April, 5.30pm–7.30pm
at Adam Art Gallery,
Gate 3, Victoria University, Kelburn Parade.

Refreshments will be served.

All three books will be for sale courtesy of Vic Books. Guests will also be able to purchase Tell Me My Name, a collaboration between Bill Manhire, composer Norman Meehan, vocalist Hannah Griffin, and photographer Peter Peryer.

All welcome.

Arts Foundation Awards – and Kate Camp is off to Menton

So delighted to see Kate Camp is off to Menton and two writers recognised: Eleanor Catton and Dylan Horrocks. Congratulations.

 
Eleven artists, two philanthropists and four arts organisations are recipients of awards and donations at the 2016 New Zealand Arts Awards. Come and celebrate the Laureate and New Generation Awards, Harriet Friedlander New York Residency, the Award for Patronage and the Katherine Mansfield Menton Fellowship with us.

Congratulations to:

2016 Laureate Award Recipients
Each Laureate Award includes a cash award of $50,000:

Eleanor Catton – Writer
Lyell Cresswell – Composer
Dylan Horrocks – Cartoonist/Graphic Novelist/Writer
Peter Robinson – Visual Artist
Taika Waititi (pictured above) – Film Maker

About the Laureate Award:
The Laureate Award is an investment in excellence across a range of art forms for an artist with prominence and outstanding potential for future growth.  Their work is rich but their richest work still lies ahead of them.  The award should recognise a moment in the artist’s career that will allow them to have their next great success.

2016 New Generation Award Recipients
Each New Generation Award includes a cash award of $25,000:

Parris Goebel – Choreographer
André Hemer – Visual Artist
Alex Taylor – Composer

About the Award:
New Generation artists are the hot shots, the ones to watch, and the ones who have an X-factor that sets them apart from their peers. They have assured potential. Their work is exciting. They are independent, individual and show outstanding promise. They also display a depth of thinking and consistency that gives their work strength.

Harriet Friedlander New York Residency
This residency enables an artist(s) to live in New York for as long as $80,000 lasts them:

Chris Pryor and Miriam Smith – Film Makers

About the Residency
Michael and Jason Friedlander asked the Arts Foundation to assist with the selection and promotion of an artist to receive up to $80,000 to have a New York experience every two years. The Residency is being made possible by a legacy gifted by Harriet Friedlander, who was a dedicated supporter of the arts. She also loved New York. She believed that any young artist exposed to the city would learn and grow in unimaginable ways.

2016 Katherine Mansfield Menton Fellow

Kate Camp – Poet/Writer

About the Katherine Mansfield Menton Fellowship
For the past forty-six years, the Katherine Mansfield Menton Fellowship has enabled a selected New Zealand writer to live for up to six months in Menton, France. There, they have access to the writing room in Villa Isola Bella where one of New Zealand’s most famous writers, Katherine Mansfield, once lived.

Award for Patronage Recipients

John and Jo Gow – Philanthropists

The Award for Patronage Recipients are given $20,000 to distribute to artists or arts organisations of their choice to celebrate the occasion of the award. All recipients to date have chosen to donate $20,000 of their own so they can give away $40,000 to artists, organisations or projects of their choice:

John and Jo’s chosen donation recipients are:

•    The Big Idea
•    Tautai
•    Q Theatre
•    Sculpture On The Gulf

$480,000 will be awarded to the recipients at the New Zealand Arts Awards event night on Wednesday 23 November. With the majority of the funds awarded on the evening being generated by private donations, the Awards are also a celebration of philanthropic support for the arts.

The awards are the highest value, multi-discipline arts awards in New Zealand, and since the inaugural Laureates received their awards in 2000, the Arts Foundation has awarded life-changing monetary and honorary awards to over 190 of New Zealand’s finest artists. By the end of this year, the Arts Foundation will have awarded New Zealand artists $5.2million.

We are very much looking forward to seeing those that have purchased tickets at the Awards next week. If you would like to come and celebrate the achievements of this year’s recipients then select your tickets from our website now.

The 2016 New Zealand Arts Awards
From 6pm, 23 November 2016
Shed 10, Auckland Waterfront

Pre and post ceremony canapés are served with Gladstone Vineyard wines and Yeastie Boys beers

A Reserve $75.00
B Reserve $68.00

Dress: Cocktail/Business

The Listener raises the point of what poetry is

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From Mark Broach:

‘What is poetry? “Poetry is the other way of using ­language,” goes one definition. It’s what gets left behind in translation, goes another. It’s a hundred things: rhythm, harmony, metaphor, compression, juxtaposition, an obsession with the line. But what is poetry for? That topic’s up for debate this weekend, so we put the ­question to a group of poets.

The current New Zealand Poet ­Laureate, CK Stead, says poetry has many roles, some seemingly conflicting.

“It’s for pleasure, intellectual and emotional. It’s sometimes for what Yeats called ‘the fascination of what’s difficult’; and sometimes for a sense of ease, effortlessness, peace and harmony. It’s to remind us of the best uses that have been made, and can still be made, of what marks the human species out as unique on our planet – language. Shakespeare says ‘The truest poetry is the most feigning’, and Wilfred Owen says, ‘The true poets must be truthful’, and both are right without contradiction.”

Tim Upperton wonders if poetry is of any use at all. “If you go by the words of some of its famous practitioners, poetry’s not much good for anything.” ‘

For the rest of the article see here.

Mark also consults CK Stead, our current Poet Laureate, and the three poets performing here:

Kate Camp, Gregory O’Brien and Louise Wallace speak at “A Still Small Voice – What Does Poetry Do for Us?”, a session at Wanaka’s Aspiring Conversations on Sunday, April 24.