Tag Archives: National library

The Poet Laureates are heading to Dunedin in May – from my experience it’s unmissable




I got to see the Wellington Writers and Readers Festival version of A Circle of Laureates – and it was a rare and special occasion. I just loved it to bits, as did everyone in the packed-out room. I can’t recommend it highly enough.  My post on the event.


At the Dunedin Writers Festival in May:

A rare treat: nine of the ten New Zealand Poet Laureates will gather to read their work, with Rob Tuwhare joining them to represent his late father, Hone Tuwhare. Twenty years ago, John Buck of Te Mata Estate Winery created the Te Mata Estate Laureate Award; in 2007 the government took over funding of a Poet Laureate and vested responsibility for the Award with the National Library. This session of New Zealand’s poetry elite features Bill Manhire, Elizabeth Smither, Brian Turner, Jenny Bornholdt, Rob Tuwhare for Hone Tuwhare, Michele Leggott, Cilla McQueen, Ian Wedde, Vincent O’Sullivan and current Laureate C.K. Stead. Fergus Barrowman (Publisher, Victoria University Press) will MC the event.
Tickets can be booked here.
In association with the National Library of New Zealand Te Puna Mātauranga o Aotearoa. 

The NZ Book Council Lecture: Selina Tusitala Marsh on storytelling (limited spaces!)

Invitation to the 2016 Book Council Lecture, Fri 11 Nov, 6pm, National Library

The New Zealand Book Council invites you to join us for the 2016 NZ Book Council Lecture:

Tala Tusi: The Teller is the Tale
Delivered by Selina Tusitala Marsh


Where: National Library of New Zealand, 70 Molesworth St, Thorndon, Wellington
When: Friday 11 November, 6pm
RSVP: This is a free event, but spaces are limited. Please email rsvp@bookcouncil.org.nz to secure your seat

This event is brought to you in partnership with the National Library of New Zealand.

The Samoan word ‘Tusitala’ means ‘storyteller’ – but what about its inverse, ‘tala tusi’, where the ‘teller is the tale?’

Poet and academic Selina Tusitala Marsh powerfully explores the relationship between our stories, ourselves, and the fate of our literature if we ignore the wisdom offered by ‘tala tusi’ in her remarkable 2016 New Zealand Book Council lecture.

The New Zealand Book Council Lecture has become a prominent part of the literary landscape in Aotearoa New Zealand. It provides an opportunity for one of our country’s leading writers to discuss an aspect of literature close to their heart.

Fiona Oliver writes on poetry for The National Library blog: ‘The Library has avidly gathered and looked after this nation’s poetry (and that of Pacific nations) since it opened almost 100 years ago.’

I am up to my elbows in poetry research and am very grateful for access to the poetry taonga at the Alexander Turnbull Library.

To celebrate National Poetry Day, Fiona Oliver (Curator, NZ & Pacific Published Collections) posted this terrific piece:

‘If you were to take all the poetry books in the Turnbull Library and lay them end to end, they’d circle the earth at one-and-a-half times.

Ok, that was a fabrication; no one has any idea how far they’d stretch, except that, given the sheer number (more than several thousand), they’d go a very long way.

Maybe I was getting confused and had been thinking of intestines, which apparently are extraordinarily long. But then, aren’t poetry and intestines not that dissimilar – poetry being, metaphorically speaking (and poetry is nothing if not metaphorical), a spilling of guts, a venting of spleen, a digesting of experience, a laying-out of ideas and feelings and insights end to end in order to make sense of what it means to think or feel or see?’


I especially liked reading this:

‘The Library has avidly gathered and looked after this nation’s poetry (and that of Pacific nations) since it opened almost 100 years ago, in 1920. It’s all here as our documentary heritage.

We’re not censorious, but try to be comprehensive. You’ll find the old and forgotten, the newly minted, the famous, fine or rare, the transcendent and the truly awful. We care for the poetry of this country so all the people of New Zealand can read it, enjoy and use it.’

For the rest of the piece see here

Poetry Day Wellington: second up – The National Library

Poetry Day at the National Library

  • Date: Friday, 26 August, 2016
  • Time: 12.10pm – 1.00pm
  • Cost: Free
  • Location: Te Ahumairangi (ground floor), National Library, corner Molesworth and Aitken Streets
  • Contact Details: For more information, email Peter.Ireland@dia.govt.nz

Poetry at its best with Wellington poets Anna Jackson, Magnolia Wilson, Ashleigh Young, James Brown and John Dennison in a lunchtime reading at the National Library.

The poets will read their own work and poems by poets they like. Bring your lunch if you wish, and be early for a good seat.