Harry Ricketts reads ‘Prep School Days’ and ‘The Writing Life’ from Selected Poems, Victoria University Press, 2021
Harry Ricketts teaches English literature and creative writing at Victoria University of Wellington. He is a literary scholar, biographer, essayist, reviewer, editor and poet. His publications include the internationally acclaimed The Unforgiving Minute: A Life of Rudyard Kipling (1999) and Strange Meetings: The Lives of the Poets of the Great War (2010). His previous collection of poetry is Winter Eyes (2018).
‘Selected Poems showcases the work of one of our beloved poets. His poetry embraces humour, the necessity of books and reading, the ability of poetry to dance from melancholy to exquisite sheen, from plain speech to elegant soundings, to the whip and caress of life. This is an anthology to treasure.’ Paula Green, Kete Books
Landfall 239 edited by Emma Neale, Otago University Press, 2020
To celebrate the arrival of Landfall 239, edited by Emma Neale, I invited a few poets to read their poems from the issue.
The new issue is an excellent place for small reading retreats. You get fiction, non-fiction, poetry and reviews. It includes heavenly embroidered panels by artist Vita Cochran; they took me back to my primary school days when embroidery was a thing. Surely this will inspire a swag of us to pick up needle and thread, and get creative. I equally adored the paintings – oil on linen or canvas – by Star Gossage. These muted portraits, favouring blue / green palettes, hum with mood and presence. Gosh I love them.
You also get the winning essays in the Charles Brasch Young Writers’ Essay Competition 2020. And they cut through any stasis. Especially Grace Lee’s winning essay, ‘Body/Love’.
Small reading excursions are so very satisfying. And with me not going out for the forseeable future, I am very glad to settle back on the couch, and watch / listen to this Landfall reading. And then venture back into the book to read the fiction and reviews. Wonderful.
Thank you Landfall poets for contributing to a Poetry Shelf Lounge event.
Lynley Edmeades reads ‘Notice’
Leonard Lambert reads ‘Nights of Wonder, Days of Splendour’
essa may ranapiri reads ‘echidna goes to see the drone perform in front of a live audience’
Jo-Ella Sarich reads ‘The Jasmine (We need to talk about suicide)’
Tim Saunders reads ‘Demilune’
Nicola Thorstensen reads ‘Legacy’
Lynley Edmeades is the author of two books of poetry: As the Verb Tenses (2016) and Listening In (2019), both published with Otago University Press and both longlisted for the Ockham New Zealand Best Book Award. Lynley is a lecturer at the University of Otago, and she is currently working on a book of essays.
Leonard Lambert is a long-established NZ poet with a publication history stretching from A Washday Romance (John McIndoe, 1980) to Somewhere in August: SelectedPoems 1969-2016 (Steele Roberts, 2016). His most recent publication is a chapbook, WinterWaves, from Cold Hub Press. Between poems he paints and is a regular exhibitor around his home turf of Hawke’s Bay.
Emer Lyons is a lesbian writer from Cork, currently in the last months of a creative critical PhD at Otago.
Talia Marshall (Ngāti Kuia/Rangitāne ō Wairau/Ngāti Rārua/Ngāti Takihiku) is a poet and essayist with one son and one dog who has a poetry collection forthcoming from Kilmog Press titled Bad Apple. In 2020 she is writing about Ans Westra’s photographs of Māori as part of her Emerging Māori Writer’s Residency at Victoria University. Her essay titled ‘This Is the Way He Walked Into the Darkest, Pinkest Part of the Whale and Cried Don’t Tell the Others’ was quoted on the cover of POETRY magazine’s February 2018 Aotearoa issue.
Kōtuku Titihuia Nuttall (Te Āti Awa, Ngāti Tūwharetoa, Ngāti Rangatahi, SȾÁ,UTW̱ First Nation) is a creative writing student at Te Pūtahi Tuhi Auaha o Te Ao (IIML). Her work has been published in Landfall, Turbine / Kapohau, Starling, Food Court, and Te Rito o Te Harakeke.
essa may ranapiri (Ngāti Raukawa/Tainui/Ngāti Takatāpui/Clan Gunn/Highgate) is a person or some shit / or whatever / they wrote a book of poems called ransack / it’s still in th world / the only time they use they/them pronouns for themselves is in these bios / isn’t that funny / thx goes out to their ancestors / who are as big as everything / just wow / just everything / they will write until they’re dead
Jo-Ella Sarich is a lawyer, writer, and mother to two young girls living in Te Awa Kairangi. Her poems have appeared in a number of print and online publications, including New Statesman, The Lake, Cleaver Magazine, Barzakh Magazine, Quarterday Review, Shoreline of Infinity, takahē magazine, Shot Glass Journal, the New Zealand Poetry Society’s Anthology for 2017 and the Poetry New Zealand Yearbook 2017. Tumblr link, @jsarich_writer.
Tim Saunders farms sheep and beef near Palmerston North. He has had poetry and short stories published in Turbine|Kapohau, takahē, Landfall, Poetry NZ Yearbook and Flash Frontier. He won the 2018 Mindfood Magazine Short Story Competition, and placed third in the 2019 and 2020 National Flash Fiction Day Awards. His book, This Farming Life, was published by Allen & Unwin in August, 2020.
Nicola Thorstensen is a member of Dunedin’s Octagon Poetry Collective, which organises monthly poetry readings. Her work can be found in a number of New Zealand periodicals and journals, including Takahē, Poetry New Zealand and political anthology Manifesto Aotearoa.
David Eggleton reads ‘Heraldry’ from Time of the Icebergs (Otago University Press 2011). This poetry performance video was recorded live by musician and film-maker Richard C. Wallis on July 10, 2020 in Waikouaiti, Otago.
A Note on ‘Heraldry’
In the 1940s, while living in New Zealand, the novelist wrote of yesterday’s newspapers flapping like hooked flounder in the gutters — as if alive, but grotesque and surreal. That’s one starting point for this poem, the days when the heraldry of the printed newspaper brought messages and proclamations to the towns and farms. My poem “Heraldry’ is a kind of bricolage, assembling assorted emblems and badges of contemporary nationhood into patterns that might be hyperbolic headlines or vatic pronouncements.
In the 1960s, the North Shore poet Kendrick Smithyman characterised poetry as ‘ a way of saying’, meaning that poetry is stylised utterance, a tranced vocalising first and foremost. And so the herald, like a town crier, or street corner preacher, or any stand and deliver blowhard really, has an aspect of the orating poet.
As the poet in this video, I take my authority from its chanted measure, its off-beat rhymes, its curious images. Voicing this poem, I am the hoarse whisperer of poetic observations caught in bright sunlight, an almost transparent medium, and fluttering like a drab moth in pursuit of some elusive scent. Like a no-budget imitation version of an urbane David Attenborough or a gesticulating David Bellamy, David Eggleton delivers his dramatic monologue to camera while advancing through a mock-wilderness of vegetation and trying not to slip down any conjured-up rabbit hole: ‘Not I, but some child born in a marvellous year will learn the trick of standing upright here.’
I am deep in the cactus and prowling down the side of a house in rural North Otago, all the while orating as if I have indeed found rich pickings in the discarded totems and tokens of Kiwiana, while distant bird song burbles its native wood-notes wild and a chainsaw revs up.
This poem appeared in my collection Time of the Icebergs (Otago University Press 2011), and has also featured as a Phantom Billstickers Poster Poem.
David Eggleton is a Dunedin-based writer, critic and poet. His most recent collection of poetry is Edgeland and Other Poems, with artwork by James Robinson, published by Otago University Press in 2018. He is the current Aotearoa New Zealand Poet Laureate.