Sunday, July 29, 2007

playlist: cassini division

  1. coffee & tv. blur
  2. tender. blur
  3. could we. cat power
  4. summersong. the decembrists
  5. the crane wife #3. the decembrists
  6. voices carry. till tuesday
  7. fuck me pumps. amy winehouse
  8. this side of the blue. joanne newsam
  9. the mess we're in. pj harvey
  10. good fortune. pj harvey
  11. 1959. patti smith
  12. whirl away. patti smith
  13. good morning britain. aztec camera
  14. beat connection. lcd soundsystem
  15. I will kill again. jarvis
  16. airport grief. nitin sawhney
  17. ashima becomes a widow. nitin sawhney
  18. from the well-tempered clavier. bach

Saturday, July 28, 2007

SF Museum/Last night/New Norcliffe

I didn't go to Petone for the reading last night. The family's not too well and I'm fighting off a cold. A friend at work told me about a SF museum that he thinks was created by Pierre Boule. I can't find it online but I did find that Museum in Seattle that looks interesting (I love the web site design with it's drop down menus and url: sfhomeworld indeed!).

Yesterday James Norcliffe's new book came in the post to be reviewed and I love the cover image by Klara Tamas (I haven't read the book yet.) I am a little stuck on the cover design for my work-in-progress Moonshot.

Cassini Division

The dark area in the rings is the Cassini division: it looks like a gap but is actually filled with dark microscopic particles.

Winter readings 2007

I'm always happy to publicise poetry events on the blog. This came in yesterday from Mark Pirie. Lat year's reading were well attended and fun:

Winter Readings 2007 - Poetrywall
This year's Winter Readings (an annual event in Wellington presented by HeadworX, ESAW, the Poetry Archive Trust and Wellington City Council) will be dedicated to the British rock band Oasis.
Titled "Poetrywall" after the Oasis smash hit "Wonderwall", the event at the City Gallery will feature the launch of two new HeadworX books by Alistair Te Ariki Campbell and Tim Jones as well as the launch of the new Earl of Seacliff Poetry Prize.
Earl of Seacliff will publish an anthology of poems by the readers featured to celebrate the event.
Full details of the readings below:

Wednesday 22, August 2007

Reading One: CHAMPAGNE SUPERNOVA (plus launch of Alistair Campbell's Just Poetry)
Alistair Te Ariki Campbell
Nelson Wattie
Michael O'Leary
Glenn Colquhoun
MC: Niel Wright

Wednesday, 29 August 2007

Martyn Sanderson
Wanjiku Kiarie
Lewis Scott
Dinah Hawken
MC: Niel Wright

Reading Three: SUPERSONIC (plus launch of Tim Jones's All Blacks' Kitchen Gardens)
Wednesday, 5 September 2007
Mark Pirie
Richard Langston
Tim Jones
Jenny Powell-Chalmers
MC: Niel Wright
Venue: City Gallery Theatre 7-8pm.
Admission is by koha.

Drinks and book sales from 6.30pm in City Gallery Foyer.
Come early and write an original poem on the Poetrywall, the winner of the best poem will receive the Earl of Seacliff Poetry Prize for 2007.

Friday, July 27, 2007

Frame wins award/Tonight's reading

Janet Frame has won the 2007 Montana NZ Book award for poetry for The Goose Bath, a selection of poems left after her death. I'm disappointed with this choice. If the book had been published in 2006-2007 and then Frame had died then the award would be just. But Frame died a few years ago and is acknowledged as a major writer. (And who would deny her talent?) I think the alive and kicking poets (who get very little recognition) deserve a fair crack at the prize. It should have gone to one of the other finalists: Brown, Hawken or Wong were all deserving (I can't comment on the other two because I haven't read their work yet!)

Flu has hit the house (again) with Rohan ill and Latika not the best. I'll have to see how everyone's feeling before I rush off to Petone tonight (I'm only a guest reader, not named on the programme).

Thursday, July 26, 2007

Petone Reading 27 July

Neil Furby asked if I would give this a go and I said "Yes."

At Cogitate Interactive Studio
Unit 1, 47 Buick Street, Petone

This poetry event is part of the Montana Poetry Day celebration of poetry
Poetry events are been held throughout New Zealand on Friday the 27th of July 2007.

Poems will be read by local poets Ron Riddell, Mike "in Tights ‘ Webber, Neil W Furby, Desiree Gezentsvey, Julie Englebretsen (and me) and will be accompanied by local musicians
"We are really pleased to holding this event in this unique art space and will be presenting a different style poetry reading which will be both fun and provocative." said Neil Furby.

Also we will be serving mulled wine and roasted chestnuts a winter seasonal favorite after the readings

Fingers crossed...

Friday, July 20, 2007

Do flu jabs work?

I'm suffering from the worst flu ever. And I had my flu jab. I felt tired on Tuesday night, went to school (against my better judgment) on Wed to finish my reports and teach. And totally crashed when I got home. I went to docs on Thursday with a temp of 38.8 and he give me a sick note for two days and said take Disprin, go to bed. I've basically been in bed since. I think I'll skip the flu shot next year. The hospital wards are on 'code red' here as there are these nasty bugs going around. I can't help wondering if the flu shot has made the bug worse.

Saturday, July 14, 2007

odds & ends

It's the last Saturday of the holidays. A beautiful frosty morning; last night I could see the stars. Now I need to get on with the junior reports...but in the meantime here are some scraps of news.

Rachel McAlpine has finished her first massive poetry blog A for Blog and has now started C for Blog.

There are two productions of King Lear scheduled for Wellington in August. The Royal Shakespeare company (featuring one time Dr Who Sylvester McCoy as The Fool and Ian McKellen as Lear) is playing on August 11 and 12. Tickets are around $100 a pop.

The Bacchanals in association with The Fortune Theatre are performing Lear from August 1 - 5. Edward Petherbridge stars are Lear. Tickets are around $25 (much more in my price range). There's a great story over at theatreview on the uncanny way The Bacchanals battle other production companies when they stage Shakespeare.

And Takahe now has a new website with information on the upcoming short story competition.

And Kapiti Coast is having it's first literary festival Off the page featuring Dinah Hawkin, Roma Potiki and others. I'll try to get up there...

And I've just started to read Slate again...and Neil Gaiman's totally brilliant blog.

Finally, on a more serious note, you might want to think about signing Trade Aid's anti-slavery petition.

Thursday, July 12, 2007

Poetry Pudding Launch/Home Run

Paula Boock

I just finished Home Run, a satisfying short novel by Paula Boock aimed at NZ teenagers. Byrony leaves Christchurch to start a new life in Merimeri. As a rich white girl she's immediately labeled as an outsider so she decides to shoplift to try to fit in with her new crowd. The novel's tightly written and offers no easy solutions to the problems faced by both Byrony and Ata. As well as the direct, economical prose and the strong characters which Boock draws with a few powerful lines, I like the way the novel points to the often ignored social limits and constraints that are at work in New Zealand.

My poem 'Meet the Ws' is being published in the anthology Poetry Pudding. There's a Wellington launch reading with James Brown, Robin Fry, Tim Jones, myself, Marie Smith and Phillipa Werry on Friday 27 July at Katipo cafe from 2-3PM.

Saturday, July 07, 2007


aka sea & moon - enemy used PSYCHIC!

  1. what have you done? bill shatner
  2. black wave. the shins
  3. going to a town. rufus wainwright
  4. more adventurous. rilo kiley
  5. looking for atlantis. prefab sprout
  6. nausicaa. karol szymanowski
  7. this time of night. new order
  8. floating. jape
  9. everything's ruined. fountains of wayne
  10. after it all. cat power
  11. the moon. cat power
  12. music is my radar.
  13. it's only the end of the world. black box recorder
  14. blue moor. big star
  15. back to black. amy winehouse
  16. king of the jailhouse. aimee mann

Cold Comfort Cold Concrete. Scott Kendrick

Last night's launch at Thistle Hall Gallery of Scott Kendrick's Cold Comfort Cold Concrete was extremely well-attended (the place was packed) and lots of fun. Scott's an energetic, entertaining poet and many of the poems are hilarious. Scott had memorized many of the poems he read and if you've ever tried to recite or perform from memory then you know how difficult this can be. The book has quite an unusual, fun design very much like the old ACE double science fiction novels of the 1960s. On one side you get the poems then flip it over and there are all the satires from The Babylon Express.

Friday, July 06, 2007


Vernon Vinge’s has won the Locus best SF novel for Rainbow’s End. I’ve been looking through the Locus lists recently. I tried to read Larry Niven’s The Integral Trees but I couldn’t get into it so I skipped to Dan Simmons Hyperion which works both as an excellent piece of space opera and as a clever literary game. This afternoon I dozed off during the Transformers movie which, like the constant rain of the last few days, seemed to pound down from above with little respite.

Poem for today: Anna Jackson’s ‘Indeed I can quite freely step inside’ which reminds me of Plath.

Thursday, July 05, 2007

Jaam 24/ Ron Riddell

Jaam 24 is out with a great cover by Tim Beverstock. I have two poems in there: ‘Moonshot’ and ‘Pluto.’ Jaam 24’s a leaner, hungrier, tighter issue and I’ve already enjoyed poems by Jack Ross, Jessica Le Bas, Mark Pirie, Jennifer Compton (where have you been?) and Tim Jones (prose poems or short shorts).

It was raining and I needed an outing so we drove to The Warehouse as the boys needed socks and I bought Rilo Kiley’s More Adventurous. I never would have bought this if not for borrowing the CD first from the Wellington Public Library and then deciding that I wanted my own copy—so not every borrowed CD is a lost sale. Have you noticed that the charges have gone up? The new charges are $4 for a DVD and 50c a magazine. But I’m not complaining…

Ron Riddell will read at the Poetry cafe on Monday. I'll be there (love those holidays).

Poem for today; Scott Kendrick’s The Social Contrakt.

Sunday, July 01, 2007

Unknown Pleasures: The Sneakers

A friend at work showed me these. Yes, Unknown Pleasures: The Sneakers are out there now. If they were made by No Sweat then I might be interested ... actually, I do find them oddly interesting--the soles especially. What would be the best JD song for the sneaker ad? Perhaps a couple of bars of 'Love witll tear us apart." Oh yes.

"When routine bites hard and ambitions are low/ And the shoe stink rides high
/From the tops and the soles/So we changing our shoes/
Taking different roads/... you get the idea.

Just think what's next: McDonalds ads, Vodaphone.

Cold Comfort Cold Concrete

Helen Rickerby's Seraph Press (who published the beautiful Scarab, by Vivienne Plumb, a year or so ago) is launching Scott Kendrick's Cold Comfort Cold Concrete on Friday. I'm looking forward to it.

Cold Comfort, Cold Concrete: Poems and Satires, by Scott Kendrick.
When: Friday 6th July, at 6.30 pm
Where: Thistle Hall Gallery, on the corner of Cuba and Arthur Streets