Tag Archives: Renee Liang

Tasting Words A Spoken Word, Poetry and Food Walk


3110 – 3138 Great North Rd, New Lynn

2 – 4 pm Saturday 16 September

Tickets $14 from here


On your left as you come up Great North Rd, just before Titirangi Rd going west, there is a cluster of restaurants serving great food – noodle houses, dumpling joints, a kebab shop. There’s also a dairy, a barbers, a vape store, a locksmith, Woottons Auto Accessories and two kinds of tool stores. This strip has got a little bit of something for everyone, including poetry and spoken word fans.

On Saturday 16 September it will play host to a spoken word, poetry and food walk. Six poets will perform their poetry. The restaurants (and the Dairy) will share their food. Its an opportunity to taste the street and hear words that stir the mind and speak to the heart.

Try dumplings from Mr Zhous while attending to Renee Liang’s new poem for the restaurant, have your mouth warmed with a Laksa from the Noodle House as Vanessa Crofskey tells you stories, listen to the resonant tones of Mustaq Missouri while nibbling on falafel at Paashas


The Poets:

Renee Liang is a prolific writer who believes in the power of arts and communities. She has toured seven plays, written three poetry chapbooks, edited eight anthologies of migrant women’s writing, and recently wrote the libretto for both The Bone Feeder opera and Dominion Road the Musical.

Joanna Li is a young poet. In 2016 she was a member of the Michael King Writers Centre Young Writer’s programme and was also awarded a NZ Society of Authors Youth Mentorship.

Maria Ji is an Auckland-based writer, illustrator, and medical student. Her works have appeared in various publications including New Zealand Poetry Society anthologies, Potroast, Signals, and STARLING.

Vanessa Crofskey is a performance artist and spoken word poet. She is a member of Thursday Girls, the team who present Fake American Accent a monthly poetry reading at the Basement Theatre.

Mustaq Missouri is a writer and actor who moved to New Zealand from Shanghai in 2014. He’s performed with Prayas and at the Pop Up Globe. Most recently he played Ahmad in Dominion Rd the Musical.

Jin Xu is a writer and doctor based in Auckland.


The Shops:

Noodle House Malaysian Cuisine, Mr Zhous, Paashas, Sunshine, Noodle Heaven, and Kia Ora Superette

Food: There will be vegetarian options available at Mr Zhous, Paashas, Sunshine and Kia ora Superette


On the 15th of March 2017 the Whau River and Manawa Stream catchment area experienced 65 mm of rainfall within one hour. As a result the intersection of Great North Rd and Clark St flooded and a sink hole opened up underneath Great North Rd. Since then works have been underway to repair the road and widen the culvert. Many of the restaurants along Great North Rd were affected by the flood and its impacts are still being felt. This event is both an opportunity to celebrate Auckland poets and remind people the shops are still open and they should come out and try great local food.

This event is supported by the Whau Local Board through the Whau Community Arts Broker


Media Contact:
Melissa Laing
Whau Community Arts Broker


Poetry Shelf Autumn Season: Poets pick a word – Renee Liang picks fold



FOLD                                                 The Bone Feeder Opera, 2017


once, we were apart.


two ends of a flat earth. then

something folded

we touched.


voices running downstream

the tops of grasses stirring

                                                a light breeze

                                                like, at dawn.


my words fold. touch.

worlds, fold. touch.       some I barely grasp.


Cantonese is my first language

English my second

                                                a light breeze,

                                                like at dawn.


I am a toddler again


knees folding unfolding finding ignoring

the mind yelling doubt


red light stabs the clouds

                                                injects rolling passion


use poetry. ignore the play.

no, don’t lose the fact you are a playwright.


I can almost grasp it.

there are days when I think

now I can see.


wind rises

                                                ah, a storm


I fold. physical folding            of myself is

all I can do to make it work. will it to work.

come together with you to make it work.

force myself to (make it) work. one day, we will place this


carefully folded piece


in front of an audience.


            something folded

                                                we touched.


red light stabs the clouds

                                                injects rolling passion


                                                a light breeze,

                                                like at dawn.


©Renee Liang


Renee, a second-generation Chinese Kiwi, is a poet, playwright, paediatrician, medical researcher and fiction writer. Most recently she has written libretto for an opera, The Bone Feeder (based on her play of the same name) which premiered in March 2017 at the Auckland Arts Festival.  Renee has collaborated on visual arts works, film and music, produced and directed theatre works and worked as a dramaturge.  She organises community arts events such as New Kiwi Women Write, a writing workshop series for migrant women, and is about to publish the eighth anthology of work from this course. She contributes to The Big Idea which links NZ’s arts community. Renee has written, produced and toured seven plays and three chapbooks of poetry. Her next work will be Dominion Rd The Musical, premiering in August. She won the Royal Society of NZ Manhire Prize for science writing in 2012, and a Sir Peter Blake Trust Emerging Leadership award in 2010.