23 December 2012

Merry Christmas and JAAM call for submissions and some other stuff

I've been a terrible blogger this year. It's been a great year though. Different. There's a big chunk in the middle where I got transported out of my ordinary life and into Europe. It was very cool. I keep on thinking I'll write about it, but I haven't yet. I did blog a bit while I was away, on a secret Tumblr blog, because I got a bit funny about the idea of any old person knowing where I was. But, if you want to follow my trip through Europe backwards, it's here: http://hcatatplay.tumblr.com/.

The only publishing I've done this year is JAAM, which has come out, hurrah!: http://jaam.net.nz/2012/12/17/jaam-30-in-a-letterbox-or-bookshop-near-you/. It has a particularly attractive cover. I love when you get the perfect image (by photographer Ingrid Boberg) and the rest just falls into place.

In other JAAM news, we've just put out a call for submission for the next one: http://jaam.net.nz/2012/12/20/call-for-submissions-jaam-31-the-2013-issue/. It's going to be edited by by co-managing editor Clare Needham (prose) and fellow poet Harvey Molloy (poetry). The deadline isn't for ages though (end of March next year) so no hurry. It's an open issue, but they're posing the question of what is the/your 2013 issue.

Despite having published no Seraph Press books this year, the ones I published towards the end of last year – The Cheese and Onion Sandwich, by Vivienne Plumb, and The Comforter, by Helen Lehndorf – have been trucking along very nicely. Vivienne has just finished her Randall Cottage residency. We've had to reprint The Comforter, a poem from it was included in Best New Zealand Poems, it was one of the Listener's 100 Best Books, and Helen has just been awarded the Massey writing fellowship: http://www.seraphpress.co.nz/1/post/2012/12/helen-lehndorf-awarded-massey-visiting-literary-artist-residency.html. All in all, a great year.

Also, I have a couple of exciting projects underway for Seraph Press in 2013, which I'll be announcing soon.

My own writing, it has to be said, has suffered a bit this year, but I've finished my 'cinema' poems, once and for all (probably), and am starting on something else. I have rashly decided that I'm going to write a poem a day for the two weeks I'm on holiday (they don't have to be long, they don't have to be good) as a bit of a creative kickstarter. I'll see how I go...

I hope you've had a great year, hope you get to have a good holiday, and Merry Christmas and all that. x x

19 December 2012

The return of Kilmog Press and Starch

I was very sad when earlier this year (I think, or maybe late last year?) Kilmog Press decided to stop publishing. Kilmog Press was run by Dean Harvard and was based in Dunedin. He made beautiful, beautiful books that I had admired since I first came across them, and I was very happy when he published my poetry sequence Heading North in 2010. (BTW, I still have a few copies for sale, if anyone wants to buy one.

So, I was delighted when a few days ago I got an email saying that Kilmog Press was getting back in the game, and was also going to publish the second issue of Starch, which had been close to publication. Hurrah. Here's the details: 
This might come as a surprise, indeed, also for some of the contributors themselves, but Kilmog Press has returned to publishing and has just this moment published STARCH: VOLUME TWO – 96 pages, hardback, hand sewn & stitched & bound, letterpress cover & titling, letterpress contents page : 18 contributors of poetry, short fiction, etc – Sarah Bainbridge, Iain Britton, Pauline Dawson, Bill Direen, Lynley Edmeades, Martin Edmond, David Eggleton, Henry Feltham, Roger Hickin, Mariana Isara, Hamish Keith, Jessica Le Bas, Maris O'Rourke, Bob Orr, Mark Pirie, Vaughan Rapatahana, Elizabeth Smither & Lani Wendt Young.

Normal RRP $50.00 - however, an early-bird-of-war-chest price of $35.00 + ($5.00) postage is available to until 31/12/2012 or stock lasts.
For copies: kilmogpress@hotmail.com or Kilmog Press PO BOX 1562, Dunedin.
I've put in my order. The first one was the most beautiful literary magazine ever, and this one sounds pretty spesh too.

03 December 2012

Tuesday Poem: 'The News' by Saradha Koirala

The News

At the zoo café you can watch pocket monkeys
tiny hands clinging to twiggy branches
swift and feathery as birds.

It’s here my brother tells me about his poppy seed child,
the first four weeks passed
swelling, beaming into existence.

That night a woman’s scream wakes the street
we leap from our beds but are no use. Cops the next morning
the next morning’s paper.

Everyone has news: Mum falling off her bike
and then completing a triathlon,
my brother the poppy seed

and me, ah.
I'm like . . . an old window
slowly remembering
it's really a liquid.

Saradha Koirala

From Tearwater Tea, forthcoming 2013, Steele Roberts.

Saradha Koirala is a poet and sometimes-teacher from Wellington. Her first collection, Wit of the Staircase, was published by Steele Roberts in 2009.

A month or so ago I got to read at Meow with Harvey Molloy and Saradha Koirala. I don't think I'd ever heard Saradha read her poetry before, and it was lovely especially to hear her read new work that will be in her second poetry collection, which will be published next year. I asked her if I could post this poem because it is the one that stayed with me the most afterwards. I was especially struck by the phrase 'an old window/slowly remembering/it's really a liquid.' Gorgeous and evocative. And, living in a 100-year-old house, I have windows like that, that you can see the lines in where the glass has slowly, slowly slipped down, or slumped down? Another thing I love about that image is that it's ambiguous, to me at least. Is it a positive or negative image? A liquid which moves so sluggishly it appears solid, a solid that still has some ability to change.

People are already putting up their Tuesday Poems, and you can find some more here, at the hub blog: http://tuesdaypoem.blogspot.co.nz/.

Twitter Poetry Night NZ last night

Yesterday I posted about Twitter Poetry Night NZ, which went ahead last night and was a success, with lots of participants. At least one person joined Twitter especially to be part of it, and at least one person (me) joined SoundCloud so they could record their poems. Thanks to Ashleigh Young for organising such a cool thing. 

I missed it live, as I was busy hosting a barbeque/reunion of friends, but I caught up with some of it later last night, and will listen to more tonight. If you missed it to, you can still follow its progress and listen to some of the wonderful poems people recorded. And just to make it even simpler to follow, Ashleigh has storified it here: http://storify.com/ashleigh_young/poetry-night-nz.

And I managed, with surprisingly little fuss, to record a couple of poems using a SoundCloud app on my phone sitting in my bedroom, which were included in Poetry Night:

02 December 2012

Twitter poetry night tonight

Tonight, from around 8 pm, Twitter is going to turn into a Bohemian coffee house where you can have poetry read to you. You will want to click this link: http://twitterpoetrynightnz.tumblr.com/ to find out more.

And I'm about to go experiment with my new SoundCloud app to see if I can record a poem.