26 August 2016

Poetry Day Is Here! Check Out These Events

I'm planning to post some more photos from my book launch, but today is National Poetry Day, and that takes precedence! There are heaps of events on round the country. Here are three I'm involved in.




25 August 2016

New Sea Land Launched: Thanks to everyone who made the event a success!


My fourth poetry collection, New Sea Land, was launched last night at Ekor Bookshop & Cafe in Wellington. The launch went really well - lots of lovely people came, Harvey Molloy gave an amazing introductory speech that made me sound like George R. R. Martin crossed with Sylvia Plath (in other words, chirpy and fun-lovin'), and I spent the evening signing books, which is a gratifying thing for an author at a book launch.

Lovely people, lovely bookshop

Thanks to everyone who helped make this launch a great event - Helen Rickerby for recommending Ekor Bookshop to me in the first place,Niki Ward and George for running the event, Mary McCallum and Paul McCallum Stewart of Mākaro Press for accepting, designing and publishing the book, Harvey Molloy for launching it, Claire Beynon for the lovely cover images, William Carden-Horton for the interior images, and everyone who took part in the launch or sent apologies!

This is a cover version of "Possessed to Skate". I call it "Poised to Sign".

(Thanks also to Mary for the photos used in this post. You can find more of Mary's photos of the launch here: https://www.facebook.com/mary.mccallum.566/posts/10210587683551982)

There were a few people I barely got a chance to talk to at the launch - to all of you, thanks for attending, and I hope we'll catch up soon!

No rest for the wicked, though - well, a little rest, but then I'll be taking poems from "New Sea Land" for a spin at three events on National Poetry Day this Friday:

Copies of New Sea Land are currently available from the publisher, from Ekor Bookshop & Cafe (17b College St, Te Aro, Wellington), and from your local independent bookseller. If your bookseller doesn't have them in stock, they can order the book for you. It helps the bookshop if you can give them the following details:

Title: New Sea Land
Author: Tim Jones
Publisher: Mākaro Press
ISBN: 978-0-9941299-6-3

The RRP is $25.

Tim Jones, Mary McCallum and Paul Stewart. Poet was going for Byronic air of mystery - didn't quite achieve it.

23 August 2016

The New Sea Land Launch Is Tomorrow!


... and if you're in Wellington, you are most welcome to come along! Here are all the details:




You're warmly invited to the launch of my new poetry collection, "New Sea Land", published by Mākaro Press, at Te Aro's new bookshop, Ekor Bookshop and Cafe at 17b College St opposite Moore Wilson's (see map).

The launch is on Wednesday 24 August, starting at 6pm with the traditional drinks and nibbles. The formalities will start at 6.30pm, with the book to be launched by Harvey Molloy.

These are poems of the land, sea and shore - and of what happens when the sea rises up to claim the land. I hope you'll join me to celebrate the launch!

There is also a Facebook event for the launch - please join and share! Alternatively, please RSVP to senjmito@gmail.com


16 August 2016

Tuesday Poem: Memorial (for Jonathan Franzen)


Memorial
for Jonathan Franzen

Arms outstretched, the novelist
stands amid the ruins of nature.

It’s a curated nature: his
cultivated rescue garden,

a scoop of hills and plains,
wind large among dead pines and dying needles.

He has gathered all the birds, these valiant
survivors of drought and storm

into one remaining protected preserve:
the last refuge of wildness, this circle of life

kept smoothly spinning by selfless human cogs,
volunteers who’ve let the world go to hell

in the service of saving a fragment. This
is their last best hope, their final stand.

But climate, the revenger’s tragedy of the commons,
cannot be bought off or set aside.

Their predator-proof fences, their best
intentions, have no effect on fire or air.

Lightning sparks a firestorm, trees
adding their carbon to the oversaturated sky.

Birds roast in the updrafts, volunteers
are crisped below. In the aftermath,

the novelist arrives, surveys
the ruins of the little world he’s made,

and stretches out his arms. Tiny skeletons
flutter to perch on his scarecrow bones.


Credit note: This poem is included in my new collection New Sea Land (Mākaro Press, 2016). It is previously unpublished.

Tim says: Why is this poem addressed to Jonathan Franzen? Because he wrote this article for The New Yorker in 2015:


The central thesis of this article, as I read it, is that because contemplating the likely effects of climate change is too depressing, and because taking action on it is too hard, it's better (or at least, it's better for Jonathan Franzen) to focus on try to save what he's most interested in - birds.

I'm a big fan of wildlife conservation and bird sanctuaries - on our offshore islands, on mainland islands, and maybe even nationwide at some point. But to imagine that birds can be exempted from the effects of climate change is short-sighted and self-defeating.

Fortunately, New Zealand groups such as Forest & Bird are well aware of the risk climate change poses to New Zealand's birds and forests. Jonathan Franzen's love of birds does him credit,and I'd love to see him place that in a wider context.



09 August 2016

National Poetry Day on 26 August: Events in the Hutt and Wellington


National Poetry Day is coming up on Friday 26 August - two days after my new collection New Sea land is launched.

There are events all round the country, including a whole bunch in the Hutt Valley and Wellington.

I'm due to take part in three events on the day, the first two organised by New Sea Land publisher Mākaro Press:

I'll have my new poetry collection New Sea Land available for sale at these events.


 

03 August 2016

You're Warmly Invited To The Launch of My New Poetry Collection "New Sea Land"




You're warmly invited to the launch of my new poetry collection, "New Sea Land", published by Mākaro Press, at Te Aro's new bookshop, Ekor Bookshop and Cafe at 17b College St opposite Moore Wilson's (see map).

The launch is on Wednesday 24 August, starting at 6pm with the traditional drinks and nibbles. The formalities will start at 6.30pm, with the book to be launched by Harvey Molloy.

These are poems of the land, sea and shore - and of what happens when the sea rises up to claim the land. I hope you'll join me to celebrate the launch!

There is also a Facebook event for the launch - please join and share! Alternatively, please RSVP to senjmito@gmail.com

26 July 2016

Tuesday Poem: Spitsbergen, a poem from my new collection "New Sea Land"


As soon as winter lifts they come,
straggling up from Europe, blank-faced,
bearing the burdens of families, of the diseases
that chase them north from the burning lands
to those that are merely falling apart.

So many miles of ocean. So small the boats
that thread the lanes of iceberg and storm,
upsetting, overturning, sudden frozen death
in the heaving seas that freshwater melt
keeps no less frigid than before.

Faces greyed with suffering. Tiny bodies
clutched in shivered arms. Small treasures, euros,
tucked into boots and inner pockets. The smugglers
turning south to try their luck again. The shore
a frieze of shattered bodies, splintered wood.

They come north, and we do our best,
here in our slim green habitable fringe
between rising sea and dying ice.
We do our best, but we are overwhelmed,
and there is nowhere further north to go.

Credit note: "Spitsbergen" is previously unpublished. It will appear in my new poetry collection New Sea Land, published next month by Mākaro Press.

Tim says: Spitsbergen is the largest island of Svalbard, an island group administered by Norway in the High Arctic, well north of Iceland and Norway itself. About 3000 people live there, mainly in the capital, Longyearbyen. It's not a very green place at the moment, but with the High Arctic warming very rapidly at the moment, that could soon change.