28 January 2008

JAAM 25 hits the shops/Tim Jones to edit JAAM 26

JAAM 25 has been unleashed upon the world. I've posted about how to get hold of a copy on JAAM's MySpace page, including which shops currently stock JAAM.

Also, I'm delighted to announce that Tim Jones, poet, short-story writer, novelist and blogger, will be guest editor of JAAM 26. I've posted a call for submissions on JAAM's MySpace page, where you can read all about how to submit. Tim has said that, as well as the literary work we normally receive, he's interested in submissions of speculative fiction and poetry (science fiction, fantasty, horror).

Speaking of JAAM's MySpace page, I set it up on the suggestion of a friend in England, and I'm hoping it will become a useful networking and communication tool, as well as just a website that is really easy to update. I've noticed some other publishing-type organisations doing it too, including Virago Press, Litro, Harper Perennial and, more locally, Blackmail Press and Sidestream.

If you are on MySpace, JAAM would very much appreciate some new friends. Not that it's a popularity contest...

I've also set up a Facebook page for JAAM, but I haven't yet figured out how to use it. When I do, I'll let you know.

27 January 2008

Victor O'Leary, 1927-2008

It seems that Hone Tuwhare wasn't the only NZ poet to die on 17 January - apparently Victor O'Leary died just half an hour before.

Victor isn't a poet I'd come across, but Earl of Seacliffe Art Workshop republished his collection The Sensual Anchor last year as part of their ESAW mini series. Victor was part of a group of poets that included James K Baxter, Anton Vogt and Louis Johnson. The Sensual Anchor was originally published in Three Poets (1958) by Louis Johnson's Capricorn Press, with Peter Bland and John Boyd and was designed to show the development of young urban writing in the post-war years.

21 January 2008

Judge Helen/Poetry Society competition

I’m going to be the judge of the Junior Open section of the New Zealand Poetry Society’s International Poetry Competition, so if you know any budding poets aged 17 or under, encourage them to enter so I’ll have something to read.

The Poetry Society runs this competition every year, and publishes an anthology of poems from the competition. There is an Open section, Junior Open section, Haiku section and Junior Haiku section.

The closing date for entries is 30 May 2008. The rules for the Junior Open section are:

  • The entry fee is $NZ2 per poem.
  • The line limit for each poem is 40.
  • You can send an unlimited number of poems.
  • There will be prizes for two sub-sections: primary/intermediate, and secondary.

If you want to know more, visit http://www.poetrysociety.org.nz/about2008competition, where you can find entry forms and rules and information about the judges.

17 January 2008

Farewell Hone Tuwhare, 1922-2008

You have probably all heard about the death of Hone Tuwhare - well all of you in New Zealand anyway. Not too many poets get quite so much coverage when they die, but Tuwhare seems to be even better-known than I thought.

I first remember coming across his poetry in first-year English. We were looking at his poem 'Rain', (which is beautiful) and the main thing I remember is being delighted to see he'd liberated himself from punctuation. It was quite a significant discovery for me and now, in my poetry, I tend to leave it out too.

Earlier today, over at Signposts I wrote another post about Hone Tuwhare and his work. I seem to have become the obituaries writer. I hope no more NZ poets will die for a while, we're losing too many.

15 January 2008

Day-job blog

I can't get away from it! Blogging is now part of my work life as well as my ‘real life’.

I started my new job as an editor at Te Ara, the online encyclopedia of NZ, last week and one of my tasks is to manage the Te Ara blog: Signposts.

Mainly I’ll be editing and publishing other people’s blog posts, but last Friday, when we heard that Edmund Hillary had died, all the usual writers were nowhere to be seen. And so the task of writing a post about Sir Ed fell to me.

You can admire it here.

08 January 2008

Review of Cold Comfort, Cold Concrete, by Scott Kendrick

The latest issue of the Poetry Society’s magazine, A Fine Line, contains a positive review of Seraph Press’s latest publication: Cold Comfort, Cold Concrete: Poems & Satires, by Scott Kendrick.

Bernard Gadd (who unfortunately passed away last month), says:

[…] Kendrick displays a deft competence with rhyme and rhythm. He’s a useful writer for the times, his satires and barbs often being aimed at the nonsense that’s in our minds courtesy of corporate-dominated media. Readers may find themselves even reeling back in horror or shock at some of the things to be found here. And that’s as it should be … there’s plenty in our world to be horrified about.

07 January 2008

Mark Pirie in Dom Post

If you’re a reader of the Dominion Post, you probably saw the (virtually full-page) article about Mark Pirie and his album-cover-recreation book covers.

In the article, Guy Somerset (out-going books editor) talks to Mark and his collaborator Michael O’Leary about the album covers they’ve recreated on book covers over the last few years.

They’ve done a couple for JAAM, with the recreation of the famous Beatles’ Abbey Road on JAAM 21, Greatest Hits starting the whole thing off.

The Winter Readings always have an album/band theme, my favourites being Tupelo Hotel, inspired by The Doors’ Morrison Motel, and The Manuka Tree, a home-grown version of The Joshua Tree by U2.

I’ve previously pointed out to Mark that his album covers lack women. I suggested doing a Hole cover and he was enthusiastic, deciding he’d be Courtney Love!

Unfortunately the article doesn’t seem to be online, but it can be found on page E3 of the Dominion Post, Saturday 5 January 2008.

03 January 2008

Aotearoa New Zealand Poetry Sound Archive blog

I discovered over at Harvey Molloy's blog that the Aotearoa New Zealand Poetry Sound Archive has started a blog.

The ANZPSA, initiated by Jan Kemp and with the help of Jack Ross, is a collection of sound recordings of basically as many NZ poets as they could find reading their own work (the final count is 171). The recordings were done from 2002 to 2004, and copies of the archive are available for researchers to use at the University of Auckland Library and the Alexander Turnbull Library in Wellington. For more about the archive, see the Introduction.

On the blog, each poet who read has their own entry, with a pic, content list, biography, list of published works. Here's my page: http://aonzpsa.blogspot.com/2007/11/rickerby-helen.html. The recording came a bit early for me, because I think I've written much better stuff since I recorded in 2002. Also this bio is a bit out of date, though I do still sometimes claim to be writing that novel.