Lordy me, having had an earthquake-inflicted hiatus in things of a cultural nature, Christchurch is returning to its rightful place as the centre of the New Zealand literary universe. There are two book launch events approaching, both happening in semi-association with the CPC readings. (Is there a better way to start an evening than with a book launch, followed by a reading?)
The first is the launch of Wellington poet Tim Jones’s third collection, Men Briefly Explained. I like Tim, and I enjoy his work. (His previous collection was the equally spiffily named All Blacks’ Kitchen Gardens.You can read my review of it here.)
Actually it’s a double launch – Keith Westwater (winner of the Interactive Press IP Picks Competition for the Best First Book in 2011) will be also launching his collection, Tongues of Ash, at this event. And the two of them are doing a bit of a whirlwind tour to promote the books:
- Dunedin: Tuesday, 25 October, Circadian Rhythm Cafeì, 72 St Andrew Street, 8pm
- Christchurch: Wednesday, 26 October, CPIT, Madras Street, 5:30pm
- Wellington: Thursday, 27 October, Wellington Central Library, 5:30 for 6pm
- Lower Hutt: Friday, 28 October, Rona Gallery/Bookshop, Eastbourne, 6pm
- Auckland: Tuesday 1 November, Poetry Live, Thirsty Dog, 469 Karangahape Road, 8pm
I reckon getting them after they’ve been to Dunedin is about right. (No doubt the various interpretations of that statement will vary greatly, depending on which island people live on …) The CPC guests this night are Diana Bridge, Rodney Foster and Helen Bascand, (but you remembered that, right?) For more info about the launch and the books, take a quick sashay across to Tim’s blog.
The next launch is a week later, and I’ve somehow managed to become involved. For reasons known only to himself†, David Howard has asked me to launch his The Incomplete Poems. Just the flyer itself is a thing of beauty – you can download your own copy from this link, but the essential details are:
- Wednesday, November 2, 5.30pm
- CPIT Students Association (CPSA) Hall
- 5 Madras Street, Christchurch
And there must be something in the water, because David is also sharing his spotlight†† – with Christchurch artist Wayne Seyb, whose chapbook, Broken Shadows, (poems & woodcuts about proto-conservationist Richard Henry) was published by Cold Hub Press at the end of last year. And after the launch, there is the chance to sit back and listen to Selina Tusitala Marsh, Mark Raffills and Helen Jacobs, all of whom give pretty damn fine readings.
Two innovative publishers; four poets launching; six other poets reading.
Blimey. Just typing this has been a cultural experience … welcome back, Christchurch!
† Oh, alright – he did tell me why.
†† Bizarrely, I originally typed ‘share his postlight’ …