Haere rā Peter Gossage

Haere rā to Peter Gossage who died last weekend. His stories and art are familiar to many New Zealanders, and Peter was renowned for retelling the myths of Aotearoa.

His Storylines profile delves into his career:

Peter Gossage has worked as a display artist at the Auckland War Memorial Museum, and as a graphic designer and scenic artist at TV2. His first job on leaving school was at an ad agency, and his drawings of Māori motifs on a television commercial drew interest from a publisher. This led to a career retelling and illustrating Māori legends for children.

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His work was striking and unique. We interviewed him back in 2002, and Peter’s advice to aspiring writers was:

Read everything you can. Be simple and plain. Simplicity is the essence of good design.

Resistance is futile

Cover of Star Trek, The Green LanternHave you ever seen a book and known you just had to read it–not because you thought you would actually like it necessarily, but because not reading it was just–inconceivable? Well, that’s how I felt when I saw Star Trek, Green Lantern: The Spectrum War.

I’ve never really gotten into reading graphic novels, unless you count the Asterix and Tintin books I used to read when I was a kid. And I don’t know much about the Green Lantern, except that he’s, uh, green, and he, well, carries a lantern. But I am a Trekkie!* And even though I’ve never really felt the need to read much Trek fiction, I just had to read this! Resistance was futile!

And you know what? I loved it! The artwork beautifully captures the rebooted Star Trek characters, and as I read, I could literally hear Chekov, Spock, and Bones talking in my head. What’s not to love about a book that does that?

I mean, OK, the Superhero-Trek mash-up was a little goofy, but reading it put a smile on my face, and sometimes that’s just what you want a book to do.

And while we’re talking about Star Trek, last weekend Mr K had the brilliant idea of sending the kids to see Finding Dory while we went to see Star Trek Beyond, and I have to say I had a fantastic time! It was funny, exciting, and even touching. Bones and Spock were hilariously paired up, Kirk was his usual arrogant self, and new-girl Jaylah kicked butt, which was awesome. In the August issue of Empire, director Justin Lin said:

In making Star Trek Beyond, I wanted to embrace the essence of Trek

And that is exactly what he did. It’s Trek as it should be!

 

*Read about my fangirl experience when I met Marina Sirtis

Quick questions with Danyl Mclauchlan – WORD Christchurch

We are asking four quick questions of writers and thinkers coming to the WORD Christchurch Writers and Readers Festival on from 24 to 28 August.

Danyl Mclauchlan is a biologist who  has written two novels, Unspeakable Secrets of the Aro Valley and Mysterious Mysteries of the Aro Valley.

Danyl Mclauchlan Image supplied
Danyl Mclauchlan. Image supplied.

What are you looking forward to doing in Christchurch?

I have only been to Christchurch once before in my life, way back when I was a teenage backpacker, and all I remember is getting lost looking for my hostel and standing on a street called ‘Barbados’ in the pitch dark and pouring rain, so maybe I will try and recreate that moment from my youth.

What do you think about libraries?

I find them enormously relaxing. Something about being surrounded by all those books. If I’m having a bad day I will sometimes go into the library at my university and stand in the shelves and recompose. A surprising number of people have this response to literary places, like libraries and bookshops and as libraries transition into the digital space I think they need to be aware of the important role that huge rooms filled with physical books play in the emotional lives of the public.

What would be your “desert island book”?

CoverI used to think this would be Proust, but then I read the first volume and hated it. I liked Middlemarch a lot, but can’t imagine finding the time to read it again in a non-desert island scenario, so I’ll pick that.

Share a surprising fact about yourself.

I have very soft earlobes. Softer than anyone else’s.

Danyl Mclauchlan appears at WORD at Tickled Fiction, Sun 28 Aug, 9.30am

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Poetry at Parklands: the Poet Within

2016 Phantom Billstickers National Poetry Day 2016 hits New Zealand on Friday 26 August and the celebration unleashes the power of poetry all around our great nation with lots of events and poetry competitions.

Parklands Library draws on “the poet within”, within the Christchurch City Libraries that is. That’s right, many of our librarians are writers too. Instead of dispensing poetry books to customers, on Saturday 27 August 2016 at 2pm four of our librarian poets will be reading their own work.

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The poets:

Damien Taylor is a street poet who loves to retell his experiences from deprived small town aspirations to broken big smoke dreams. He likes to call himself Tīhore and wishes he was more Māori than he actually is.

Rob Lees is a born and bred Cantabrian and Goddess of the Knowledge Mountain, according to her husband. She says that her poetry is a reflection of her life experiences and is a way of keeping the voices in her head out!!

dYLAN kEMP is an artist of some renown. Not heaps, but some. He has published 3 books of poetry, all available from Christchurch City Libraries. He also paints, drums, dances like a wild man, and tickles his children.

Andrew M. Bell has published two books of poetry, Green Gecko Dreaming and Clawed Rains, and one book of short stories Aotearoa Sunrise (all available from Christchurch City Libraries). His work has been published and broadcast in Aotearoa, Australia, England, Israel and USA.
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