03 October 2017

Poetry Collection Launch: "Homeless", Poems by John Howell, Tuesday 10 October, 5pm, Wellington Central Library

I've heard John read a number of these poems, and discussed others with him. I think this will be a really fine collection of poetry, and I'm looking forward to attending the launch.

What's more, all profits go to a great cause - DCM Wellington.

If you can't make the launch of Homeless, you can order a copy through Mākaro Press.

19 September 2017

I'm Guest Poet at Poets to the People: Sunday 24 September 4–6pm, Hightide Cafe, 43 Marine Parade, Paraparaumu Beach. Should be fun!

From Poets to the People Newsletter

Our next event: Sunday 24 September 4–6pm, Hightide Café, 43 Marine Parade, Paraparaumu Beach

We welcome Tim Jones as our guest poet. His poetry collections include Boat People, All Blacks’ Kitchen Gardens and Men Briefly Explained, and his latest, New Sea Land (Makaro Press, 2016). He was the guest poet in Takahe 89 (April 2017). His interest in science fiction is reflected in short story collections and poetry anthologies Voyagers and most recently The Stars Like Sand: Australian Speculative Poetry, co-edited with P S Cottier (Interactive Press, 2014). He was the recipient of the New Zealand Society of Authors Janet Frame Memorial Award for Literature in 2010.

Open mic from 4pm.

$5 entry.

P2P dates for your diary

October 29: guest poet Chris Tse

November 26: guest poet Mary Cresswell

We look forward to seeing you all there.

Elizabeth Coleman and Michael Keith

15 September 2017

Why I've decided to party vote Green this election

After some careful thought, I've decided to party vote Green this election - and give my electorate vote to my excellent local MP, Labour's Grant Robertson.

In my view, the present National Government has exhibited a disastrous combination of complacency and stupidity, especially on issues such as the environment, climate change, water quality, poverty, transport and housing, and I'm desperate to see the back of them. At this election, for the first time in nine years, it seems they face the real prospect of defeat - now Labour has finally selected a leader that stands for the future rather than the past.

So why am I going to give my party vote to the Green Party, not Labour?

Because, on the issues I care about most, the Labour Party's actual policies still lag well behind Jacinda Ardern's exciting rhetoric. And because Labour's past record in Government has shown that, given the choice, they usually back off from making the big changes that are needed, for fear of offending one constituency or another.

Jacinda Ardern has called climate change 'the "nuclear free moment" of this generation. I agree. In my view, we are now in a climate emergency. But Labour's climate change policy tells a very different story.

In 2009, James Hansen wrote a book titled Storms of My Grandchildren, about the massive storms he expected his grandchildren to have to endure if greenhouse gas emissions weren't sharply reduced. But if he re-released this book in 2017, he'd need to call it "Storms of Us", because - in Edgecumbe, in Mumbai, in Bangladesh, in Houston, in the Caribbean and in Florida - we are now experiencing those storms.

They are already bound to get worse in response to continuing greenhouse gas emissions, but the world still has a chance to prevent them - and sea-level rise, and fires, and sheer heat - become civilisation-ending. But we must act to quickly reduce emissions, act to prepare ourselves for the consequences of climate change, and act now.

And while leadership matters, policy - the things a party says it would actually do in Government - matters too.

Sadly, Labour's climate change policy and its more detailed climate change manifesto come nowhere near matching up to Jacinda Ardern's inspiring rhetoric. Far from a vision of bold action, this is a cautious, incremental, not-stepping-on-any-toes policy, a policy that allows the mining and drilling of the fossil fuels that are cooking the planet - coal, oil and gas - to continue unchecked.

In contrast, the Greens' climate change policy captures the necessary urgency. A Labour-Greens Government is much more likely to take the necessary action on climate and a range of other issues than a Labour Government with Winston in its ear.

Every vote for the Greens helps the election of a Government that will tackle the major challenges facing this nation. And that's why I've decided to party vote Green this election.

08 September 2017

Readings This Month: Poetry At The Fringe on the 17th, Poets To The People on the 24th

Just before we get to the readings: My review of James McNaughton's New Zealand science fiction/climate change novel Star Sailors is now up on Landfall Review Online.

I have two readings coming up this month: First, I'm reading with Harvey Molloy at September's Poetry At The Fringe in Wellington - Sunday 17 September, 4-6pm, Fringe Bar, 26-32 Allen St., with Paul Stewart as the guest musician and an open mike to kick things off.

I'll be reading some poems from my latest collection, New Sea Land (about climate change and sea level rise), plus some of my new poems about music and musicians. Come along!

A week later, on the 24th, I'll be the guest poet at Poets to the People - which starts at 4pm at Hightide Cafe, 44 Marine Parade, Paraparaumu. I'm told there's a great open mike at Poets to the People - I hope to see you there! (Poster and further info to follow for this one.)

05 August 2017

Poetry Day 2017, 25 August: Wellington and Hutt City Events


Hutt City

06 July 2017

Dan Davin Literary Foundation – Short Story Conference September 2017

I'm presenting a paper at this conference - alongside some rather distinguished writers and academics - scary but hopefully fun! I'm really looking forwards to it.

Dan Davin Literary Foundation – Short Story Conference September 2017
The Dan Davin Conference on the New Zealand Short Story – its traditions and departures – will be held 1-3 September 2017.

The conference is an opportunity to celebrate Southland-born author Dan Davin as one of the fathers of the modern New Zealand short story, and the development of the New Zealand short story to today. The short story has always been of significance in New Zealand literature, and continues to be an important form of writing.

Some of New Zealand’s foremost writers of the genre including Owen Marshall, Dame Fiona Kidman and Tracey Slaughter will attend.   Janet Wilson will be key note speaker. It will be the first conference for many years devoted entirely to the short story and its place in New Zealand literature.

The programme will begin on Friday 1 September with the annual Dan Davin Award presentation – this is a local Award in three categories – junior and senior student and adult. Janet Wilson will give the key note address focusing on Dan Davin’s war stories while also touching on Katherine Mansfield and examining the New Zealand-overseas and international frames for reading and interpreting short stories with a local origin.

Saturday 2 September
will be held in the drawing room of Invercargill’s majestic Civic Theatre. Throughout the day papers will be presented from a variety of writers and academics. Dame Fiona Kidman, Owen Marshall and Tracey Slaughter will present papers as well as participate in a panel discussion with Janet Wilson. Saturday evening will be a chance to relax and enjoy some local entertainment and cuisine.

Sunday 3 September
will begin with a bus trip to Bluff and the magnificent Te Rau Aroha Marae where you will be welcomed onto the Marae and into the Wharenui and treated to the stories of the carvings. This will be followed by several more papers and finally a delicious lunch featuring Bluff’s famous seafood.

For those able to stay into the afternoon (which we highly recommend) the bus will take you to Stirling Point and Motupōhue (Bluff Hill). And then you will head out to Riverton to visit Southland’s thriving coastal community.

For more information and to register visit our website: www.dandavin.org.nz

Dan Davin Short Story Conference 1-3 September 2017

Presenters List

Majella Cullinane
A Foot In Two Countries: Writing Short Stories as an Irish-Kiwi

Paula Morris
Short Story Writers or Readers?

Tom McLean
The intended audience of mid-twentieth century New Zealand short stories have been relatively little discussed.

Thom Conroy
‘Images that Wouldn’t Leave’: A Typology of Pleasure in Tracy Slaughter’s Short Fiction

Anna Smith
Ghosts on Dee Street: Scaring the crap out of the short story

Tim Jones
“Below the Thunders of the Upper Deep": The Visibility and Invisibility of New Zealand Science Fiction, Fantasy and Horror

Frankie McMillan
'Every sentence, every phrase, every word has to fight for its life.' - Crawford Kilian

Craig Cliff
The moves in contemporary New Zealand short stories

Rebecca Styles
‘Show don’t tell’ and endings

Katie Wilson
Short stories of Phillip Wilson

James Eunson
Ballard of a Scarfie: A Love Letter to the Dunedin Literary Scene

Maggie Rainey-Smith
Reading short stories in prison

Kevin Ireland
Putting a gloss on a glossary

Keynote Speakers:

Dame Fiona Kidman
Digging for Truffles: Why New Zealand short story anthologies are important.

Tracey Slaughter
‘Something Very Red Comes Very Close’: Intensity and Short Fiction

Janet Wilson
Imagining New Zealand/Aotearoa; A Century of the Short Story

Panel Discussion:

Topic: Short Stories – How We Make ThemChair – Paula Morris
Panel – Dame Fiona Kidman, Tracey Slaughter, Janet Wilson and Owen Marshall
Register here: http://www.dandavin.org.nz/dan-davin-conference-2017.html