Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Voyagers Press release

So much rain today: I was reminded of Gainesville, Florida. That feeling of swimming pools of water waiting to fall. A beautiful winding drive to Ruakuri caves and then to Waitomo. The sense of time in Waitomo, a century for every centimeter that rock flows from ceiling to floor and it's an ancient sea floor, pushed up. And then the glow worms, their utterly bizarre lifecycles, insects that look like stars to trap wanderers from the forest or even their older, flying selves. Our last night here in New Plymouth before heading off to Rotorua (we wanted to come back rather than make the trip on the day and given the rain I'm glad).

The Unexpected in an Unexpected Form

IP presents Voyagers: Science Fiction Poetry from New Zealand

Speculative poetry! Never before has a unique anthology like this been released, and New Zealand is leading the way.

Voyagers is where poetry meets the essence of science fiction: aliens, space travel, time travel and the end of the world - as well as concepts you may not previously have thought of as science fiction. The result is a brilliant insight into the world of science fiction that will have the reader speculating right along with the poets.

Voyagers will be launched on a tour of the country at events in Dunedin, Christchurch, Wellington, Paraparaumu, Auckland and Devonport from 14-24 October.

The tour will feature some of New Zealand’s most well-known names: highly acclaimed and award winning poets such as Alistair Paterson, Raewyn Alexander, James Dignan, Meg Campbell, Iain Britton, Rachel McAlpine, Harvey Molloy, Adcock, Michael O’Leary, Stephen Oliver, Jenny Argante, Michael Morrissey, Sue Wootton, Michael O’Leary, Andrew Fagan, Jenny Powell. Marilyn Duckworth, Helen Rickerby, Thomas Mitchell, Janet Charman, Anna Rugis, James Norcliffe, David Gregory and Owen Marshall among others.

Wellington-born writer, editor, publisher and critic Mark Pirie is one of the editors of the anthology. Pirie initiated, co-edited and produced the literary magazine JAAM (Just Another Art Movement) from 1995-2005, and currently edits the HeadworX New Poetry Series and the poetry journal broadsheet, as well as co-organises the annual Winter Readings in Wellington.

Tim Jones, the other editor, is also a poet, short story writer and novelist. His most recent books include the short story collection Transported (Vintage, 2008), which was longlisted for the 2008 Frank O’Connor International Short Story Award; the poetry collection All Blacks’ Kitchen Gardens (HeadworX, 2007); and the fantasy novel Anarya’s Secret (RedBrick, 2007).

The new publication follows hot on the heels of IP's first New Zealand releases Harmonic by Stephen Oliver and the Text + Audio CD by Stephen Oliver and Matt Ottley King Hit. Based in Brisbane, IP is Australia's most innovative independent publisher. It publishes about 24 titles per year and is one of the few independents regularly supported by the Australia Council.

IP’s Director, the noted author Dr David Reiter, whose most recent books are Primary Instinct, a satire on the education system, and the children’s novel Global Cooling, will spearhead the tour, which will also showcase New Zealand authors Iain Britton's new poetry collection Liquefaction and Euan McCabe's sports memoir The World Cup Baby.

For more information regarding Voyagers or to schedule an interview before the tour begins, please email info@ipoz.biz or call +61 (0)7 3324 9319. During the tour, Dr Reiter can be contacted via SMS to his mobile +61 (0)412 313 923 or email to reiterdr1@me.com.

Confirmed Dates & Venues

14 Oct: Dunedin Library, 5:30 pm
15 Oct: Circadian Rhythm Café (Dunedin), 7 pm
16 Oct: Madras Café (Christchurch), 5 pm
19 Oct: Wellington Central Library, 5:30 pm
20 Oct: Paraparaumu Library (Kapiti Coast), 5:30 pm
22 Oct: Auckland Central Library, 5:30 pm
24 Oct: Depot Artspace (Devonport), 6:30 pm

Sunday, September 27, 2009

Voyagers at Kapiti

Where I'm calling from

The Voyager poets will read at Kapiti Library on Tuesday, 20 Oct from 5:30 pm. So I'm now reading twice in October which is pretty good as I enjoy reading. I'm on holiday at present in New Plymouth at One Burgess Hill and I've been enjoying walking near the astounding maunga Taranaki, reading Bill Byrson's short, highly readable book on Shakespeare and doing a little writing. I'm going to keep this short as Rohan wants to hop on the net. I can hear the Waiwhakakaiho from the rental apartments we're in and it sends me to sleep very quickly. We're having a good time here.

Monday, September 21, 2009

BMP 25 launch. Voyagers tour.

Falling through time

The BMP 25 launch went very well at the Thistle Inn last week. We had a great turn out and by the time the reading was on the way we had standing room only at the back. We had fine readings from Lorraine Singh, Pat White, Janis Freegard, Cameron Griffith, Lynn Davidson and Rachel O’neill and speeches from Sarah Jane Barnett and Bill Nelson. I particularly enjoyed Helen Rickerby’s poem 'The happiness of Mary Shelley' for three voices; she was accompanied by Shaun Molloy and a friend who read the part of Victor Frankenstein and the monster. I read the poem ‘Closer’ and Mc-ed the evening.Many thanks to Sarah Jane Barnett, Bill Nelson and all who read and attended.

At the reading, Helen gave me my subscriber’s copy of the flash new Jaam 27. Rachel Walker’s image Falling through time and Anna Brown’s excellent cover design (that simple, lovel I’m going to continue reading through the whole issue over the holidays (I take it slow reading an author or two a night). Helen had a copies of Issue 19 and 20 of Miriam Barr’s poetry zine Sidestream which features poems by new writers as well as established writers such as Vincent O’Sullivan (who published widely and reaches a very broad audience: something to pay attention to when considering the next poet laureate. Good one, Vincent).

At the reading, I also picked up a copy of Pat White’s Planting the Olives & other essential acts and as I’m not that familiar with Pat or his work I’ll be reading this over the holidays. I like meeting poets at poetry readings: we are surrounded by bloody poets and writers here in Wellington! In Singapore there was nothing, or, more accurately, nothing I could easily notice that resembled a live poetry scene.

There’s another Voyagers reading coming up so if you feel like hearing some poetry come along to the Wellington City Library on:


Wellington Library, 5:30pm on Monday 19 Oct

(Note from Tim: this is a couple of hours before Helen Rickerby is the guest reader at that night's New Zealand Poetry Society meeting. Make a poetry night of it!). I'll be reading 'Nanosphere.' Full details of the Voyagers NZ book tour are over at Book in the Trees.

Friday, September 04, 2009

BMP 25: The Rebel Issue/Speculative fiction

Art by Mephisto Jones

Black Mail Press 25: The Rebel issue has now gone live. There's work (among others) by Pip Adam, Ruth Arnison, Hinemoana Baker, Brenda Ann Burke, Lynn Davidson, Janis Freegard, Joan Fleming, Siobhan Harvey, Mariana Isara, Helen Rickerby, Lorraine Singh, Sam Searle, Laura Solomon, Pat White, Hayden Williams, Ashleigh Young, cool art by Mephisto Jones, and my own poem 'Closer' addressed to Ian Curtis.

Tim Jones and Helen Lowe are talking about speculative fiction on Thursday September 17 and I'm hoping to make it there. Tim's been included in the upcoming Penguin Book of Contemporary Short Stories evidence of the fruits of his hard work as a writer and the of the important shift in thinking that sees speculative fiction not as a marginal literature but as a seminal current in the culture. And happy father's day to all the dads.