First, the anthology:
Yes indeedy, the anthology of poems from ten-years-worth of my poetry classes is finally here. Isn‘t it lovely? The cover was designed by Kate Rennie, who is also one of the (37!) contributors. We’re having the official launch at Tūranga, 5.30pm to 7.30pm on the evening of Thursday September 24th and will be doing some other readings at various libraries afterwards to promote it and celebrate – I’ll post information about those when the details get confirmed. (If you would like to get us along to your local library to read and talk about the book, get in touch!) I’ll put up a dedicated page for the book here on the website (in the Books menu area), but for now the best place to go (and the place to go if you want to snaffle your own copy for $30) is the Pūkeko Publications website: www.pūkeko-pukapuka.com. It was great fun to put together, and really wonderful to see the poems that have grown out of the various exercises. Not everyone who attended classes made it in, and the competition for places was pretty stiff – poems had to get a yes from both Karen and me, and then a second round of yeses when we started to whittle things down again, and then a third double affirmative when we made our final selections. To borrow from Siobhan Harvey’s back-cover blurb, we found ourselves “in turns, moved and awestruck.” Hope you’ll feel the same.
The other news is that the annual Canterbury Poets’ Collective Poetry in Performance readings are just about here – we kick off on at 6.30 pm on Wednesday 23rd September, where the guest poets are Elizabeth Smither, Marisa Cappetta, and Janet Wainscott. (Incidentally, Janet and Marisa have work in the anthology, so I get to feel very happy indeed.) The venue is the same as the last few seasons – the Imagetech theatre in Ara. The reappearance of Covid19 in Auckland has complicated things rather a lot, which is why I’m not announcing this with a poster. And for that matter, why it’s so close to the start of the season before I start telling you all about it! But we are still here, and still going, and will adjust to circumstances as needed. This is the thirtieth year in a row of CPC – the longest running poetry readings series in New Zealand. And we have some equally amazing guests following Elizabeth Smither in the weeks to come, including more people from The Poetry Class! So mark off your Wednesday nights from September 23rd to November 11th, keep an eye on this blog and/or the CPC Facebook page for updates. The world is going to hell in a delicately woven wicker basket: let poetry be the thing that keeps you sane. Or insane in a verbally dextrous, memorable way. Whatever works for you.