Sunday, January 25, 2009

The list server

Betrayal on Friday was another full house. Perhaps when recession hits people go to the theatre--that makes good sense to me. This was a great show despite Toby Leach, who plays Jerry, having to use crutches on stage due to an injury. In the last scene (which depicts the very beginning of Jerry and Emma's long relationship--'affair' seems too casual a word for this odd coupling) Jerry tells Emma that without her he'll be 'an emotional cripple' and that he'll 'never walk again.' I've never read Betrayal but I suspect that these hilarious lines have been added to script.

Shawn Mortensen's photos are a delight: I didn't want to return the book to the library. And have you seen Cathy Vider's cool blog The List Server?

I'm just waiting for news from Homie and Michelle now.

Image source:

Friday, January 23, 2009

Kate Camp

Kate Camp Live!

Monday 16 February, 7.30pm
Poets' Corner, The Thistle Inn, 3 Mulgrave St, Wellington
(The Thistle Inn is on the corner of Mulgrave St and Kate Sheppard Place, about 2 minutes from Wellington Railway Station)

Kate Camp opens the New Zealand Poetry Society's guest list for 2009. The meeting will start with an open mic, and there will be an opportunity to talk to Kate at the end of the evening. $2 entry. No way am I gonna miss this!

I read in Guardian Books that Fleur Adcock may be a contender for the Oxford Professor of Poetry: it's a tough, grueling, poorly paid job but someone has to do it . . .

On my travels around the Web I've recently come across Pank magazine, Bookhabit (yes, I was very slow to finally visit them) & Todd Swift's interesting blog Eyewear.


I'm looking forward to seeing Circa Theatre's production of Pinter's Betrayal this evening (I haven't seen a Pinter play before) and finally a reminder that to you all that the deadline for the next issue of Snorkel is February 15.

Image sources: NZ Writers Festival
, Circa.

Poems for today

Lucky. Kate Camp.

Ode to the Life. Tusiata Avia.

Tuesday, January 13, 2009


Ah, summer vacation, it's good eh? We just got back from loafing on Ohope Beach, exploring parts of the East Cape and then spending a couple of days in Rotorua relaxing by the lakes. I was offline the whole time and it was good to switch off the PCs and the phones for a while. But it's also nice to be back. Stefan of One Shot Wonders has offered to make a short video of me reading a poem and this weekend, all going well, we'll shoot a reading of a new poem, soon to be published in the next Blackmail Press, called The Goodbyes. I've also been polishing up three new poems, gardening and hopping around the Web. Here's Neil Gaiman's post on Strange Horizons guidelines on 'Stories We've Seen Too Often'; Neil's replying to plot 2 (e): "Creative person meets a muse (either one of the nine classical Muses or a more individual muse) and interacts with them, usually by keeping them captive." Neil points out that this plot matches the plot of his story Calliope in the excellent sandman comic The Dream Country. Actually, Neil, I had read a version of this sort of story back in the late 80s in John Fowles novel Mantissa which features a rather punky Erato. Then I popped over to the Niagara Regional Theatre's web site to look at a series of photos from their production of Arthur Miller's The Crucible.

Here's a recent poem of mine from Moonshot:

The family album

My caresses
would break the unglazed sky.

I roll a monstrous thunderhead
over the moonless sea of my children's fears.

In the dusty atrium of my empty palace
I leaf through the family album:

here’s a cache of fingers in my son’s amphorae,
here’s my daughter’s copper mirror.

One more poem for today

Tired and Emotional. Andrew Johnston.

Sunday, January 04, 2009

RIP Oliver Postgate

Chris Moore

The Clangers

I'm packing for my holiday in Whakatane and Rotorua and writing a little (OK I lot: I don't know how my family puts up with my writing and I seem to write more revisions/alternative takes of poems as I get older. At least I'm quiet.). And then there's the Net which is fun and full of goodies to distract you.

Today's distractions:

Illustrations by Chris Moore who is one of my favourite SF/Fantasy cover art artists. Above is his cover illustration for Daniel Keyes' great novel Flowers for Algernon.

And today in David Langford's Ansible, David writes:

Oliver Postgate_ (1925-2008), UK creator (usually with Peter Firmin, as 'Smallfilms') of many beloved and whimsical animated tv series for children, died on 8 December at the age of 83. [MR/GW] These series,aired from the late 1950s to mid-1970s and much repeated, include _Ivor the Engine_, _Noggin the Nog_, _Pogle's Wood_, _The Clangers_, and_Bagpuss_. The memories, for whole generations , are indelible. Postgate's autobiography _Seeing Things_ appeared in 2000.

Thanks for your contributions to my English childhood, Oliver. God you gave me some pleasure over the years.

Poem for today:

Harry Ricketts: Arty Bees: Quality Pre Loved Books, Bought, Sold and Exchanged

Images sources : Chris Moore Illustration; BBC.

Saturday, January 03, 2009

Big Mouth and Ugly Girl

I'm working a little this morning as I'm starting to think about teaching now--as you can see I've been reading quite a lot over the holidays. Last night I finished Joyce Carol Oates' Big Mouth and Ugly Girl: an extremely engaging and original book about two high school misfits. Most young adult novels tend be either boy books or girls books: Oates has crossed this great divide as half or the novel is narrated by Ursula and the other is a third person narrative following the male protagonist Matt. I looked over a lean reading guide this morning an enjoyed a crazy claymation scene from the book by Pattycake 217 over at YouTube. Now I'm drinking coffee, thinking about my holiday in Whakatane and Rotorua (weather improved please), and enjoying Dominic's Harman's fantasy art.

Poems for today

Blame Vermeer. Vincent O' Sullivan. (Best New Zealand Poems).
Six poems. Olivia Macassey. (Blackmail Press).

Image: Fantastic fiction.

Friday, January 02, 2009

Forever war on film

I was interested to read this morning over at Slashfilm and Variety that Ridley Scott is planning to film Joe Haldeman's brilliant The Forever War.

Poems for today

Sonnet 13. Shakespeare.
September. Olivia Macassey.

And Reading the Maps has a very interesting post and comments on Kendrick Smithyman.

Image: Slashfilm.

Thursday, January 01, 2009

Happy new year

Happy new year to one and all.

My new year's resolution for this blog: keep promoting poetry but try to stop writing mini book reviews. I think I'll track my reading in a paper notebook this year. Hopefully this will free me up to write about more poetry news.

All the best for the new year.