… It’s exhausting, remaining /
humble amidst the vicissitudes of fortune. It’s difficult / to be anything at all
with the whole world right here for the having.
(from the poem Being in This World Makes Me Feel Like a Time Traveller)
Come along to Tūranga on Tuesday 6.30pm to hear Iranian-American poet Kaveh Akbar read some of his award-winning works and chat with Christchurch poet and editor Erik Kennedy. This event is proudly bought to you by WORD Christchurch, in association with LitCrawl Wellington. Tickets are $20 waged, and $15 unwaged (plus service fees). Buy tickets from Dash.
Kaveh has won awards, and his poems have appeared in heaps of prestigious publications like The New Yorker, The New York Times, Best American Poetry 2018, and The Guardian.
Check out Kaveh reading Max Ritvo’s “Touching the Floor” and his own poem “Portrait of an Alcoholic Frozen in Block of Ice”:
He founded DiveDapper, a poetry interview site. It is pretty much the poetry equivalent of Jerry Seinfeld’s show ‘Comedians in cars getting coffee’, but in DiveDapper you get two poets on top of their games in conversation. It features a stellar lineup of poets including:
- Jos Charles, “We must let our unknowabilities exist.”
- Sharon Olds, “I write as much crap as anyone.”
- Claudia Rankine, “I’m not investigating race as much as I’m investigating intimacy.”
- and slam poet Anis Mojgani (who many of you will remember from his previous visits to Christchurch, slaying us with his potent words).
It makes total sense that Jeevika Verma in NPR refers to him as “poetry’s biggest cheerleader”:
He believes that everyone should be reciting poems as they walk into a coffee shop, as they do the dishes, as they go on with their lives.
“The fact that poems exist is the load-bearing gratitude upon which I have built my life,” he explains. “And what do you do with gratitude when it piles up? You have to push it outwards.”
He says it’s sort of like eating a Snickers bar. “Not sharing your gratitude is like holding a Snickers bar in your mouth for a week. You’d just get cavities,” he laughs. “This is what I want to do with DiveDapper. As far as I’m concerned, poetry is the best thing that exists in the universe.”
The event will be followed by a book signing, with Scorpio Books will be selling copies of Kaveh’s book. There will be food and drink available for sale too.
- Visit Kaveh Akbar’s website (it includes many of his poems online and some have audio too).
- Read about Kaveh Akbar on the Poetry Foundation website.
- Read Kaveh Akbar Is Poetry’s Biggest Cheerleader, NPR, 14 January 2018
And in more Christchurch poetry news …
The New Zealand Poetry Slam Final Saturday 3 November
The New Zealand Poetry Slam national final is on this Saturday 3 November. It is the first time finals have been in the South Island.
The nation’s best poets will compete in a literary showdown on Saturday, November 3rd in Christchurch. Poets representing Christchurch, Auckland, Wellington, Hamilton, Hawkes Bay, Dunedin, Nelson and Southern Lakes will perform in a three-round poetry slam as selected members from the audience will judge to determine the winner. Can Christchurch defend their title or will a new city take the crown?
Featuring 2017 National Slam Champion, Christchurch’s own Daisy Lavea-Timo (DaisySpeaks), this is not a night to miss.
What: NZ National Poetry Slam Finals
When: Saturday November 3rd 2018
Time: Doors 7pm, Show 7:30pm
Where: Haeata Community Campus, 240 Breezes Rd.
Cost: $20 general, $15 students