23 February 2010

Poetryish stuff to do: Haimona by Mike Eager at the Wellington Fringe Festival

I've seen Mike Eager perform some of this poetry before, and it's well worth seeing.

Here's all the info:

Rush Hour Productions Presents
Featuring the poetry of Simon Williamson
Arranged and performed by Mike Eager
3-7 March, 8.00pm
Katipo Café, 76 Willis St, Wellington
Bookings: 021 064 5893 (text or call) Cost: $15/12/11

"Every poet is a bit like Maui; part myth, part reality"

So begins Haimona, a fringe festival show of rich language and imagery performed by Mike Eager telling the story of his friend Simon Williamson using Simon's own poetry.

Simon died in 1999 at the age of thirty-one. He was well known in the New Zealand underground poetry scene and was regularly published in publications such as Takahe and Jaam, but greater recognition has come posthumously with two published books displaying the range of his poetic vision (Storyteller and Twenty-five Cars).

Mike has arranged and linked a sequence of Simon’s moving poems to form a narrative - taking the audience on a journey from Simon's childhood in the Waikato into the tumultuous experience of mental illness, which included a short stay in Purehurehu, a locked ward at Porirua Hospital. From there a road trip to the serenity of the Hokianga and a return to Wellington's Lyall Bay resulting in a recovery of self and belief in his artistic mission.

A copy of Simon Williamson's book Twenty-five Cars - which includes the poetic sequence Haimona as well as Miss you, bro, a powerful sequence against suicide - will be a bonus with each ticket that is purchased.

Poetryish stuff to do: Poetry Brothel

Side Stream, a poetry zine from the north (north of me anyway), is organising a rather creative event to raise some money to keep the going. If you're in Auckland, it sounds worth checking out, if you're game...

Poetry Brothel you can enjoy an intimate evening with poets of your choice - all good clean fun I'm sure! For more information check out: http://www.facebook.com/event.php?eid=175368106754

Saturday, February 27, 2010 at 9:00pm
Forde's Front Bench
122 Anzac Avenue

20 February 2010

Ithaca reviewed

It's been a gorgeously sunny day today. And it's been a fine Saturday for Ithaca Island Bay Leaves by Vana Manasiadis too - not just one review, but two!

It's only thanks to Ms Art and My Life that I know about the review in the Otago Daily Times. Poetry-reviewing stalwart Hamesh Wyatt seems to like Ithaca, but doesn't seem to be entirely up his alley. He's impressed (or intimidated?) with its intelligence, but doesn't seem to have found the thread that carries through it and instead finds it a bit random. Nevertheless, he says 'This is clever stuff that takes the reader in unexpected directions', 'Manasiadis knows how to craft a poem', and wonders 'where she will take us next.' You can read it yourself here: http://www.odt.co.nz/entertainment/books/94309/review-special-poetry?page=0%2C1

I'm smiling a particularly proud publisher smile about the review in the New Zealand Herald by Paula Green - a poet who I have a lot of respect for. And none of the books I've published have been reviewed in the Herald before! And, best of all, she really likes it.

She says that it is 'a treat', and that the bringing together of Greek mythology and everyday Wellington 'feels authentic rather than literary trickery'. She continues: 'I lingered on each page to absorb the deliciously fresh lines and the nimble sound effects, then I gravitated to the chorus of voices.' And concludes: 'This elegantly produced book, with a stunning Marian Maguire print on the cover, is a little gem.' Yay!

Postscript, the Herald review is now online.

13 February 2010

Poetryish stuff to do: Poetry Cafe at the Ballroom Cafe

A new Poetry Cafe is starting up next Sunday at the Ballroom Cafe in Newtown. I believe it's being run by Neil Furby, who previously ran the Poetry Cafe in Porirua, and L E Scott, our local jazz poet. I'm really pleased to see another regular poetry event in Wellington - I think all we had left was the Poetry Society after the sad demise of Aunt Daisy's in Titahi Bay.

Anyway, the details:

Sunday 21 Feb (and the third Sunday of the month thereafter)
4 pm onwards
Ballroom Cafe, upstairs, corner of Adelaide Road and Riddiford Street, Newtown.

Poetryish stuff to do: John Ansell at the Poetry Society

This Monday the Poetry Society kicks off for the year with John Ansell, poet and 'funny man', as the guest reader. It will start off with an open mic.

Mon 15 Feb 10, 7:30pm - 9:30pm
Thistle Inn, 3 Mulgrave St, Thorndon, Wellington
$2 at the door

02 February 2010

Vana on the radio

It was a proud day in my life as a publisher to get Vana on the radio to talk about Ithaca Island Bay Leaves. Lynn Freeman interviewed Vana on her Arts on Sunday programme, which played last Sunday - you can listen to her here: http://www.radionz.co.nz/audio/national/art/2010/01/31/poetry_-_vana_manasiadis.

Yay Vana - you did an excellent job.

I have been rather neglectful of this blog of late, and in fact I haven't managed much writing of my own either. But I have some blog posts planned, and I wrote some kind of poem this evening, so hopefully I'm on the up and up.