Poetry


Christchurch music lovers – every week get your Freegal on and download your three free music MP3s.

This week the theme is jazz and blues.

Cover of John Coltrane Cover of Charlie Musselwhite Cover of Alberta Hunter Cover of Blind Willie McTell Cover of B. B. King Cover of Billie Holiday

Here in Christchurch, the Cavell Leitch New Zealand Jazz & Blues Festival runs from 22 April to 27 April 2014. This year’s festival will use a hotel ballroom, churches, restaurants and bars as venues. Performers at the Jazz and Blues Festival include:

Jazz and blues resources

Download with your library card and PIN. What have you downloaded this week? Do tell!

Christchurch music lovers – every week get your Freegal on and download your three free music MP3s.

Cover of Orff Cover of Jeff Buckley Cover of Matthew Sweet Girlfriend Cover of Bob Dylan Cover of Leonard Cohen Cover of Triple J's Hottest 100

Download with your library card and PIN. What have you downloaded this week? Do tell!

Christchurch music lovers – every week get your Freegal on and download your three free music MP3s.

Cover of Sexteto tango Cover of Burial Cover of Scott Walker Cover of Deep Purple  Cover of Off the wall Cover of Miles Davis

Download with your library card and PIN. What have you downloaded this week? Do tell!

Christchurch music lovers – every week get your Freegal on and download your three free music MP3s.

Cover of Gene loves JezebelCover of Africa BambaataaCover of Sharon O'NeillCover of The YoungbloodsCover od RachmaninoffCover of Hooverphonic

Download with your library card and PIN. What have you downloaded this week? Do tell!

Christchurch music lovers – every week get your Freegal on and download your three free music MP3s. This week let’s take a look at some poetry and literary audiobooks.

Cover of William FaulknerA Junior Anthology Of English VerseCover of Arthur Conan Doyle - The Poetry Cover of Nicholas NicklebyCover of How to Get on in Society and Other Poems by John BetjemanHowl by Allen Ginsberg

Download with your library card and PIN. What have you downloaded this week? Do tell!

There’s a poem called Warning by Jenny Joseph that starts:

When I am an old woman I shall wear purple
With a red hat which doesn’t go and doesn’t suit me.
And I shall spend my pension on brandy and summer gloves
And satin sandals, and say we’ve no money for butter.

There’s a weird  joy in getting to an age when you realise that you can pretty much do what you like and I was overjoyed to recently find a book that should be every woman’s fashion bible as they age.

Being on the ‘fine wine’ side of 50, I am never quite sure about my ‘style’. Should I just do what I want, wear what I want, or be sensible and fade in to the beige background the way youth focused society seems to want me to? I know I’m certainly not waiting until my dotage to wear purple.

Advanced Style by Ari Seth Cohen, is a celebration of confidence, style, glamour and fashion amongst a wonderful group of kick arse New York women aged over 60.

It is filled with wonderful glossy photographs of gorgeous, outrageous, fabulous fashionistas who are living life to the full. Sure they must have squillions in the bank and the way they look is their life, but hey, why not. There are also a few men in the book who also have their own style, sometimes they seem to be just trying to keep up with their partner.

Cohen was inspired by his own grandmother’s style. There are wonderful stories about these women, their lives, their inspirations and why they love to push the boundaries.

I identify with their obvious, ‘why wear one string of pearls when you can wear ten?’ ethos and their sense of colour and fabrics is stunning. Some of the pieces they wear are indeed art works. Accessories  are definitely their best friends and they just ooze confidence and a strong sense of self.

What are your thoughts on aging and fashion?  Do you think we should fade into oblivion, or do we stand proud, and raise a fashionable middle finger to convention?

We have the winners of our National Poetry Day poetry competition! Congratulations to Irena Tojcic and Daniel Bartlett. The judge said:

We had an overwhelming response to the poetry competition and every single entry was outstanding. It was a hugely difficult task to pick a winner out of the nearly 130 poems entered. It was even more difficult to pick a winner out of the top 10 shortlisted poems as each one was moving and/or thought provoking. I kept coming back to two poems in particular and after much angst chose this one as the overall winner.

Here are the winning poems:

Untitled by Irena Tojcic (Winner)

I touched the ground
Underneath your shadow,
Warm it was.
I turned around and
Met your name,
Familiar it was.
Yet,
I kept silent,
Holding tightly
A pulsating fish of my heart,
Not letting it escape
Into your river.

Birthday Party by Daniel Barlett (Runner up)

It’s pretty dark
And only getting darker
So put on your parka
And close your front door

You’re looking great
And I’m a mess
But nevertheless
I’ll be trying my best
To keep it together

And keep you interested
For at least
The next ten minutes

And when we get to town
When we get to your friend’s house
As I’m sure we will

I’ll let go of your hand
As you push ahead

And I’ll want to say your name
But instead
I’ll say nothing

I’ll just wait
For the security light
To click on

Letting your shadow

Measure the distance between us

It is National Poetry Day. You’ve still got until 5pm tonight to enter our competition.

Here are some tantalising samples of the poems entered so far

Woman and child pause
to rest on a flat, seat-like rock
that peers out to sea … (Shanee Barraclough)

After a while, the watched pot boils,
and I throw in handfuls of pasta.
Hotly splashing and then sinking,
like so many tiny slippers or even little toenails …  (Sile Mannion)

Fernbank Studio: away past elsewhere is a Christchurch Art Gallery exhibition at our Central Library Peterborough. It features a selection of hand-printed books, broadsides and ephemera from Fernbank Studio, a private press run by Brendan O’Brien in Wellington. One of New Zealand’s foremost letterpress printers, O’Brien has printed books for significant poets and artists including Bill Manhire, Jenny Bornholdt, Joanna Margaret Paul, Gregory O’Brien, Mari Mahr, Ralph Hotere and Pip Culbert. Fernbank Studio: away past elsewhere showcases the collaborative relationship that exists between poets, artists and the printer.

More Christchurch events & competitions

Be poetic out there.

Allen Curnow, Denis Glover, Bob Lowry, and unidentified friend.. Williams, Bridget :Photographs used in Port Nicholson Press biography of James K Baxter. Ref: PAColl-2146-008. Alexander Turnbull Library, Wellington, New Zealand. http://natlib.govt.nz/records/23135745

Allen Curnow, Denis Glover, Bob Lowry, and unidentified friend. Williams, Bridget: Photographs used in Port Nicholson Press biography of James K Baxter. Ref: PAColl-2146-008. Alexander Turnbull Library, Wellington, New Zealand. http://natlib.govt.nz/records/23135745

Cover of Haiku Poetry Ancient & ModernIt’s National Poetry Day on August 16th and you still have time to enter a little poem in our competition.

You could flirt with the 17 syllables of haiku, free range like e. e. cummings or dash off a sonnet.

Something short in other words.

Not that I’m suggesting that writing a short poem is easy, not if my blogging experience is anything to go by. A long time ago, we bloggers were challenged to write blogs of under 100 words on Canterbury. I produced four Pineapple Lumps blogs. They were the most difficult blogs I have ever written.

But here’s a thought: maybe tweets are the new haiku. With a limit of 140 characters and inspiring examples in Twitter Wit, could this be a new way to acknowledge Poetry Day 2013?

Reading poemsNext Friday is the perfect day to get your poetry on. First up, Christchurch City Libraries’ customers can enter our National Poetry Day competition. Write an original piece of poetry and drop it in to your local library, or download an entry form and email to us. You could win a $50 book voucher and have your work published on the library website or blog. Entries close 5pm 16 August 2013.

Fernbank Studio: away past elsewhere is a Christchurch Art Gallery exhibition at our Central Library Peterborough. It features a selection of hand-printed books, broadsides and ephemera from Fernbank Studio, a private press run by Brendan O’Brien in Wellington. One of New Zealand’s foremost letterpress printers, O’Brien has printed books for significant poets and artists including Bill Manhire, Jenny Bornholdt, Joanna Margaret Paul, Gregory O’Brien, Mari Mahr, Ralph Hotere and Pip Culbert. Fernbank Studio: away past elsewhere showcases the collaborative relationship that exists between poets, artists and the printer.

More Christchurch events & competitions

  • Phantom Billstickers presents Kiwi poets. Friday 16 August, 7.30pm at Addington Coffee Co-op. Features Tusiata Avia, Ben Brown, David Eggleton, Frankie McMillan, John Pule, and Jay Clarkson.
  • A Celebration of Hagley Poets. Friday 16 August, 6pm, Writers’ Block, Hagley Community College.
    Bernadette Hall will announce the winners of our poetry competition for students and graduates of the Hagley Writers’ Institute and this will be followed by readings from the winners and Hagley tutors and supervisors, Frankie McMillan, Kerrin Sharpe, Tusiata Avia, Jeffrey Paparoa Holman, Christina Stachurski and Bernadette Hall.
    Poets and poetry lovers welcome. Wine and nibbles.
  • Poetica launches Poetry project #5 El Tiempo in collaboration with artist Wongi. 157a Gloucester Street (behind Moko Cafe on New Regent Street, Saturday 17 August 4pm to 6pm.
  • Booksellers NZ lists local events including:
    • Poetic Licence Wednesday 14 August, 5:30 – 7:30pm Sydenham Room, South Library, After Hours entrance
      Your licence to read and enjoy poetry. The South Island Writers Association and Airing Cupboard Women Poets invite you to a BYO poetry event.
    • UBS Poetry for Lunch Friday 16 August, 12:30pm, University Bookshop Canterbury, University Drive
      Poets Jeffrey Paparoa Holman, Bernadette Hall and James Norcliffe will give readings, as will UBS’s 2013 Poetry Competition winners.
    • Poetry with Joanna Preston Saturday 17 August, 10:30am to 1:30pm
      Habgood Lounge, Lincoln Event Centre: Love, Death, and the Changing of the Seasons – a Reading for Writing class, focusing on poetry’s Big Three subjects: love, death, and change. Saturday mornings, August 17th to September 14th.

Other ways to celebrate

  • Take a walk down Victoria Street. It has this stunning poems by Hinemoana Baker, Ben Brown and Ariana Tikao on display.

Poetry nā Hinemoana Baker

  • Discover the splendours of Twitter Poetry Night. Poet Ashleigh Young has thrice brought together a bunch of keen New Zealand poets and poetry lovers to read put favourite poems.
  • Explore two wonderful poetry pages by poet Paula Green:

Graphic of NZ Poetry shelf

Graphic of Poetry Box

  • Get a book of poetry or two out of the library – go New Zealand poets. Some recent collections I have loved (or am keen to get my paws on:

Cover of GraftCover of Magnificent MoonCover of Odour of Sanctity

  • Read one of the poems that Phantom Billstickers put on the streets.  Check out their Facebook page for examples of poetry they put up all around the world. This one was in Tuam Street. I see Phantom Poetry every day and it gives me a zing.

Tuam Street

Put a poem in your pocket

And more poetry

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