many moons

moons_1Hello! Its been a few moons since I posted…I took an unintended break there for a bit!

What have I been up to? (I’m going to assume the fact you are reading my website means you are interested…ha ha.) Last year I received a grant from the Earle Creativity Trust to write a book about my life-long practice of keeping a journal. It was so wonderful to get the grant and I’ve been busy working on this time-bound project, which has to be completed in 2016 (a condition of the grant.) It will be coming out SOON and I will write some more about it later this week.

Here’s a bare bones catch-up of the rest of my working/writing life since I wrote my last blog post: I finished year one of a permaculture design course last year, but took this year off the course to work on the journal book. I also had a go at making yoga teaching my main source of income, really didn’t like it and am back to teaching just two classes a week, which is just the right amount for me. I had a year’s contract working for an environmental trust, doing communications and events work, and now I’m back at Massey, teaching writing.

Working with the Palmerston North City Library, I edited this anthology – you can download a .pdf version here. I gave a talk about nature writing at the Massey University-based symposium, ‘Working With Nature: understanding entanglements of humans and nonhumans in the Anthropocene’.  I have a lot to say about nature and writing and nature writing, so I really enjoyed being a part of this great event.

I taught at the 2016 Kahini Retreat – it was terrific, a whole weekend of being steeped in writing and writing conversation. There will be another one in March next year, in case you like the sound of it! Kirsten from Kahini interviewed me for the last one. 

Me and my dear friend, Nga Taonga Puoro artist Rob Thorne  collaborated on a performance combining poetry with music, called ‘Tohu’. Huge satisfying fun, and we hope to do it again soon.

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I was part of Massey University’s ‘writing in / writing of’ talk series, in a panel about Manawatu writers.

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In May, I read with Janet Charman, Belinda Diepenheim and Johanna Aitchison at the Palmerston North City Library. I’ve loved Janet’s writing for a long time, so it was a real privilege to read with her when she visited Palmerston North from Auckland.

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Last Friday was National Poetry Day and I read with other Seraph Poets and friends at Vic Books in Wellington, Paula Green took some great photographs. 

I also started (with my friend Marolyn Krasner) a writing group we call the Manawatu Sunday Writers Group. We meet, you guessed it, one Sunday per month. There is always tea and cake, it is very casual, very supportive and we don’t intensively workshop stuff (unlike other groups I’ve been part of in the past). We read our work out loud to each other, share writing-life news and opportunities, and have a lot of fun!

Whew! I think that is all the major stuff I’ve been up to over the last year…I’ll probably think of a bunch of stuff I forgot as I drift off to sleep later tonight – that’s usually how it works, right?

My most recent creative act, though, has been painting moons. My friend is opening a shop in town with a theme of earth-based and earth-friendly hand made things. So I’ve been making moon gift tags, wall strings and cards for the shop. It is so much more enjoyable than writing poetry, which is always kind of masochistic and gnarly for me.

I promise it won’t be many moons before I write again!

 

 

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KUPU, part two

Looking through my photographs from recent times I realised I forgot to post more photographs of KUPU, the ‘poetry off the page’ installation which I did in the Palmerston North City Library with fellow local poet, Leonel Alvarado.

First installment was back HERE, when they had only installed one poem.

Here are some photographs of the other poems. The poems are still up and will be left up until the vinyl letter starts deteriorating. (Or kids work out they can pick them off, lol!)

Glimpses of Leonel’s poems (his were harder to photograph in their entirety than mine):

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And the other two of mine which I hadn’t shared with you yet:

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‘KUPU’ – a poetry installation at the Palmerston North City Library

Happy National Poetry Day! I have done something (read poems, handed out poems, chalked poems on the street, pot-luck poetry lunches, megaphone poetry on Cuba Street etc etc…) every year since Poetry Day began in the 1990s. Of course, every day is poetry day when you are a poet, but it’s lovely to have a day dedicated to celebrating poetry.

This year, the Palmerston North City Library invited Leonel Alvarado and I to work together on ‘installing’ six of our poems (three each) somewhere around the library. Inside or outside – it was up to us.

I had a wonderful time walking around the library with Leonel, looking for potential interesting sites.

The installation was ‘launched’ at a gathering last night, where I read with Leonel and Glenn Colquhoun. (Glenn was there to unveil an artwork he had donated to the library.) Unfortunately I only have photographs of one of the poems, because it was the only one installed when I was in the library during the day yesterday, and last night I forgot to take my camera. But below is my piece ‘Poem Without the L Word’ going up a staircase, so you begin reading at the bottom. (You can read the whole poem here.) 

Leonel is originally from Honduras but now lives here in Palmerston North. He recently came second in a very prestigious Latin American poetry prize, the Casa De La Americas Prize. (Read more about it here.) I love to hear Leonel read with his thick Latin American accent, and sometimes he reads in Spanish, too. If you’d like to hear his voice, he was recently on ‘Playing Favourites’ with Kim Hill. (You can hear it here.)

Anyway, here is one of the installed poems….it was tricky to photograph, but hopefully you get something of an idea…I’ll get some photographs of the other poems soon.

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