Tag Archives: Victor Rodger

The 2018 Kāpiti Writers’ Retreat plus a memoir workshop this year

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23-25 February 2018

Kāpiti Coast, New Zealand

Immerse yourself in writing and conversation this summer. There’s something for everyone–whether you’re new to writing, an established writer, or somewhere in-between. Happening from 23-25 February 2018 on the beautiful Kāpiti Coast north of Wellington, the Kāpiti Writers’ Retreat is a two-day gathering for writers that encompasses intensive morning workshops, lively discussions and space to write, relax and engage with topics critical to your work.

Kahini is delighted to host six established New Zealand writers–Airini Beautrais, Anahera Gildea, Pip Adam, Rajorshi Chakraborti, Queenie Rikihana-Hyland and Victor Rodger–at the 2018 Kāpiti Writers’ Retreat. Each writer will teach morning workshops: in fiction, poetry, memoir writing and mixed genre. In the afternoons they will lead discussions on topics pertinent to craft and literature in Aotearoa.

You’ll find community, encouragement, and a safe place in which to take artistic risks.

Find out more here

 

 

Carry on Writing Memoir with Lynn Jenner
Carry on Writing Memoir is an intensive two day workshop with writer and teacher Lynn Jenner. The workshop is intended for people who have a project underway, are interested in keeping their motivation up and want to keep on developing their writing style. Saturday 25 November 2017 & Saturday 2 December 2017 in Kāpiti. Limit of 12 places. Find out more

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Tusiata Avia’s book launch gave me the goose bumps

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Fale Aitu / Spirit House Tusiata Avia, Victoria University Press, 2016

Last night I drove into the city into some kind of warm, semi-tropical wetness —like a season that no longer knew what it ought or wanted to be — to go to the launch of Tusiata Avia’s new poetry collection. Tautai, the Pacific Art Gallery, was a perfect space, and filled to the brim with friends, family, writers and strong publisher support. I loved the warmth and writerly connections in the room. I have been reading Tusiata’s book on planes as poetry now seems to be my activity of choice in the air. I adore this book and have so much to say about it but want to save that for another occasion. I was an early reader so have had a long-term relationship with it.

 

the launch

The room went dark and an MIT student, bedecked in swishes of red, performed a piece from a previous collection, Blood Clot. Mesmerising.

Tusiata’s cousin and current Burns Fellow, Victor Rodger, gave a terrific speech that included a potted biography. I loved the way he applauded Tusiata not just as a tremendous poet, but as a teacher and solo mother. Her names means artist in Samoan and he saw artist in the numerous roles Tusiata embodies. Writing comes out of so much. He identified her new poems as brave, startling, moving and political. Spiky. I totally agree.

Having dedicated her book to her parents, Tusiata said that it was hard to be the parent of a poet who wrote about family. When she told her mother what she was writing, her mother embraced it. She opened her arms wide. She said the skeletons need to come out. The atua. Tusiata’s speech underlined how important this book is. It is not simply an exercise in how you can play with language, it goes to the roots of that it means to be daughter, mother, poet.  It goes further than family into what it means to exist, to co-exist, in a global family. When a poet knows how to write what matters so much to her, when her words bring that alive with a such animation, poise and melody, it matters to you.

Four poems read. Lyrical, song-like, chant-like, that place feet on ground, that open the windows to let atua in and out, that cannot turn a blind eye, that hold tight to the love of a daughter, that come back to the body that is pulsing with life.

Yes I had goose bumps. You could hear a pin drop.

Fergus Barrowman, VUP publisher, made the important point that these poems face the dark but they also face an insistent life force.

Congratulations, this was a goosebump launch for a goosebump book.