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:
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.
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
We love FESTA! This Labour weekend “vibrant biennial celebration of urban creativity and community” is one of Ōtautahi’s most cool and unique events. It’s food for the mind, eyes, and soul. That is particularly apt in 2018 as FESTA gets foody – FESTA 2018 is all about architecture, design – and food. Contribute to the Pledgeme FESTA2018 by midday today (Thursday 27 September) and you’ll help the traditional Saturday evening mega-event street party FEASTA! be the best yet.
There are more than 55 events planned for FESTA 2018, here are some of my picks:
The big FREE street party is on Saturday 20 October from 5 to 11pm. It’s a FESTA tradition to activate different parts of the city, and this time Mollett Street (which runs between Colombo Street and Durham Street South) is the place to be.
There will be the stunning installations we’ve come to love at the FESTA party. The 2018 works have been created by more than 130 design and architecture students from across Australia and New Zealand, as well as NZIA and NZILA Canterbury branch members, in collaboration with Creative Director Barnaby Bennett. There will be loads of whānau fun, music, performances, art, markets, and plenty of yummy delights. One of the excellent initiatives on the night is Kono for Kai: 100 hand woven harakeke kono (small food baskets) filled with native plant seedlings and seeds will be available to the public in exchange for a koha of kai (non-perishable goods only please). All koha received will be gifted to a community group for distribution to those in need in the community. Read all about it.
FESTA at Tūranga
Ka rawe! Your new central library Tūranga will be open when FESTA is on, and it is the venue for:
Saturday 20 October and Sunday 21 October 1 to 4pm; Monday 22 October (Labour Day), 10am to 1pm at Christchurch Art Gallery Te Puna o Waiwhetū
Pop in to this drop-in session and make a cityscape out of food! Use the colourful clay provided to sculpt a house or a building in the shape of fruit and vegetables and add it to the map. Suitable for children aged 7+. FREE
Sunday 21 October 6pm to 7.30pm. Meet at Victoria Square. FREE.
Take a trip back in time and explore our culinary past. Join Nik Mavromatis as he hosts a guided walking tour around central Christchurch, starting with Ōtautahi’s oldest market square. Nik then takes you to former hospitality sites and reminisces over the cafes, bars and restaurants that were previously part of the fabric of our city.
This is a mere taster, visit the FESTA 2018 to explore all the events on offer.
New Zealand women gained the right to vote on 19 September 1893, so this year marks 125 years since women won the right to vote. The Suffrage 125 celebration is being led by the Ministry for Women, New Zealand Minitatanga mō ngā Wahine in partnership with Manatū Taonga Ministry for Culture and Heritage.
The Suffrage 125 Events and Celebrations include happenings in Ōtautahi, on Wednesday 19 September (and before and after the anniversary date):
The Mix: Suffrage City 125: Christchurch Art Gallery Te Puna o Waiwhetū Wednesday 19 September 6pm to 9pm Christchurch Art Gallery Te Puna o Waiwhetū.
Includes curator Felicity Milburn in conversation with Barbara Brookes, author of A History of New Zealand Women, NZI Foyer takeover with Fun Natural Fun (join Instant Fantasy, Misfit Mod. Trainwreck & blle fmme for an all-inclusive DJ night, drop in Feminist Badge making workshop …Subscribe to the Facebook event.
Kate Sheppard Suffrage Dollshouse display and Raffle for Cholmondeley Children’s Centre
Come along and see tiny suffrage dollshouses at the new Woolston Community Library 689 Ferry Road from Saturday 15 to Saturday 22 September and enter the live raffle draw at 11am on Saturday 22 September at the Woolston Library. You could win the Kate Sheppard dollshouse ($2 a ticket or 3 tickets for $5). Come and enjoy the display, tiny cupcakes, and coffee – and also see tiny dollshouse tributes to other women who campaigned for the vote including the Dunedin Tailoresses Union, Meri Te Tai Mangakahia and more.
More local Suffrage 125 events
Women’s Suffrage Ride Sunday 7 October 1-3pm Armagh Street bridge, Hagley Park. Part of Biketober, this guided ride around the central city will incorporate significant places of interest related to the women of Christchurch, both past and present. Places limited. Sign up via Facebook to secure your spot.
Suffrage Series at the Arts Centre Tuesday 16, Wednesday 17, and Friday 19 October
The Suffrage Series celebrates the diverse range of women we have in Canterbury through three nights of quick fire talks, discussions and music.
Suffrage and Suffering – Changing Canterbury Canterbury Museum 12 October to 22 October
Visit a display commemorating Kate Sheppard’s role in achieving suffrage for women in New Zealand. Tours: Tuesday 16 October 3.30pm to 4.30pm; Thursday 18 October 3.30pm to 4.30pm
Suffrage and Heroism Saturday 13 October 2pm to 3.30pm, Former Trinity Congregational Church, 124 Worcester Street
A floor talk by Dr Anna Crighton of the Christchurch Heritage Trust, will explain why the theme of Suffrage and Heroism relates to the history of the Church.
Methodist Suffrage Trail Talk [bookings required] Thursday 18 October 2pm to 3pm Methodist Church of New Zealand Archives, 50 Langdons Road, PapanuiCome to an illustrated presentation on the role of the Methodist Church in the campaign for women’s suffrage in New Zealand during the 1890s.
Trust the Women: Dora Meeson Coates Friday 19 October 12.30pm to 1pm Christchurch Art Gallery Te Puna o WaiwhetūChristchurch Art Gallery Curator Felicity Milburn discusses the extraordinary life of Canterbury College-trained artist Dora Meeson Coates (1869-1955).
Suffrage 125 national events
Here are some events and resources online specially for Suffrage 125:
#Trailblazing125 marks this massive milestone and honours all the amazing women of New Zealand. We are proud and privileged to bring you 24 incredible wāhine toa – one post for every day for the first 24 days of September.
Suffrage 125: The Women on Wikipedia Challenge
Celebrate 125 years of women’s suffrage by helping to increase the visibility of New Zealand women who have made a contribution to the arts and community life in Aotearoa. Your mission if you choose to accept it: think of a female NZ writer, artist or community figure, check whether they are represented on Wikipedia, and if not, create an article about them and their work. If an article already exists, check there’s nothing important missing and fill the gap if you can. When you’re done, post the links to the Women on Wikipedia Challenge Facebook page so other people can read, share, and add to them. Find out more.
And hooray, there’s a Funny Girls NZ Suffrage Special on THREE on Thursday 20 September 8.30pm to 9.30pm
Women’s Suffrage Petition
The petition was organised in 1893, and was described by Kate Sheppard as “a monster petition” demanding the right for women to vote. A digital image of the actual petition held at National Archives. Search for the names of women who signed the petition at New Zealand History Online.
Dr Michelle Dickinson wants everyone, everywhere to enjoy a meaningful relationship with STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, the Arts and Mathematics).
She introduced her book and her mission to a sold-out crowd of kids and whānau. If you missed her on Sunday, get ready for Nanogirl Live! “Out of this World!” – a Live Science Spectacular on at the Isaac Theatre Royal on Saturday 17 November 2018. Her bus is Paul McCartney’s old tour bus rigged out in a science-focused fashion, and it will be coming to Christchurch in a Hercules plane. There’s also a TV show Nanogirl and the Imaginauts coming soon to the TVNZ app HeiHei.
Michelle explained her mission – “teaching kids to have fun experiences with different technology”. Her nanotechnology career has involved cool jobs such as designing concept cars that will tap you on the shoulder if there is a cyclist behind you, and know if you are feeling a bit bleak and make your commute home go past the beach. She also helped devise a 6 nanometre wide coating for iPhones to protect the screen.
Home is where the learning is probably more powerful.
The book took three years of experimenting, and a determination that the recipes be achievable for all families, using what is in the kitchen. After shopping it to publishers who wanted to skimp on production values (she wanted the ribbon/bookmark in her book), she made the decision to self publish. Michelle used Facebook to solicit recipe testers. People were keen as. A Kickstarter campaign raised the necessary money ($85,462). Her father in law took the photos.
10,000 books have been sold already, and for each one sold, one goes to a needy family or school and there is a connection to organisations like Big Brothers, Big Sisters, and Pillars (for families with parents in prison).
Next up, it was kitchen science ahoy – and kids got to head up on stage to be part of the experiments. Can crushers, unicorn noodles, edible earthworms, chicken in a cup, centrifugal force – it was brilliant to watch, and kids had their hands in the air, desperate to get up on stage and do some kitchen science.
… Literature does its best to maintain that its concern is with the mind; that the body is a sheet of plain glass through which the soul looks straight and clear, and, save for one or two passions such as desire and greed, is null, and negligible and non-existent. On the contrary, the very opposite is true. All day, all night the body intervenes; …
(from “On being ill” by Virginia Woolf)
Sonya Renee Taylor opened up the particular body struggles of black women, and said:
I have a PhD in whiteness.
In her every WORD appearance, Sonya has been a revelation. She was here too, asking so many deep questions:
What does body positivity mean if black bodies are indiscriminately killed?
She explained the immense frustration of people telling you are not experiencing what you are experiencing. Sonya paraphrased WORD author Rajorsh Chakraborti’s view of privilege:
The function of privilege exists in not having to look at anything other than your own existence.
Annaleese Jochems read from her novel Baby with touching of armpits, and bodies that are disasters. The book is all about neediness, she said.
Helen Heath read poems from her brilliant collection Are Friends electric?: Anatomical Venus, Illuminated, and My Body as a leaky vessel, and Spilling out all over:
I ask if you would like a body.
You say, ‘No I’m beyond bodies now,
I’m ready to be fluid, spilling out all over.
Helen noted that AI is now moving towards intelligences with bodies, not brains in jars.
Tayi Tibble read Vampires versus Werewolves from Poūkahangatus, a Twilight (and FKA Twigs) referencing journey into high school bodies:
Because we crave otherness, and hate otherness.
Tayi talked about how post-colonialism plays out in interpersonal relationships, and the sense as a Māori wahine of “colonial entitlement to your body”. Charlotte asked if young women talk to her about this stuff? “Hard out!” said Tayi:
Lots of wahine tell me that it matters.
Ray Shipley read a series of poems about X and their gender issues. Filling out forms, toilets with Ladies and Gents indicated by a Handbag and a Pipe and X had neither … and a kid that asks “Are you a boy or a girl?”. Coming to the answer “Yes”. A journey.
Kirsten McDougall read an excerpt from her novel Tess. One of those encounters a woman has with men on the streets, who just want to say Hello …
What was ok? Not raped, not dead, the bar was pretty low.
Juno Dawson read from Gender Games, telling about an encounter at The Attitude Awards. The phenomenal scrutiny of transwomen’s bodies. Why don’t cisgender people have to talk on breakfast tv about their bodies? Identity has nothing to do with genitals. Juno’s birth certificate said boy, but is also said weight 6 pounds. Things change.
Women are objectified all the time … transwomen are no different. For all women, objectification is deadly.
Daisy is a local poet and performed her rugby league poem “Body Gospel”:
Your “fat girls” do not define us
and one on her traditional Malu tattoo piece “Laei”. She was astonishing, and held us in the palm of her hand, as she slapped her thighs, joyfully reclaiming her body as she was tattooed:
The woman that I do, the woman that i is!
Other topics covered included safety in public, ‘ethical periods’, eating disorders, and the poem Notes for Critics by Tusiata Avia was name checked. The talk turned to the importance of compassion and kindness, learning emotional literacy and intelligence, and finding support in groups, collectives and networks.
Ray noted that people are finding their networks of love and support, but that can come at the expense of being heard. We need to listen to each other.
The Body Issue is a big one, and this was a diverse and fascinating walk in and around it:
Most of our answers are actually in our questions. (Sonya Renee Taylor)
Friday night was Starry, Starry and then things took a turn. We headed off to Cafe 1851 in the newly opened Crowne Plaza for Bad Diaries Salon – a literary series created by Melbourne writer Jenny Ackland. This sold out sesh was co-curated by Jenny and the fabulous Wellington writer Tracy Farr, our MC.
I love the events in WORD Christchurch Festival that take you off piste a little, and it’s a joy that there are plenty of them. Adventurousness isn’t just about extreme sports.
Bad Diaries Salon at WORD was the first to take place outside of Oz. Local comedian/poet/librarian Ray Shipley, author of pony novels Stacy Gregg, AJ Finn – all the way from New York, and NZ blogger and writer Emily Writes were the brave souls who fronted up and shared …
But the first rule of Bad Diaries Salon is I can’t tell you a THING about what they shared. Suffice to say, I snort laughed myself silly. Bravo and Brava to the Salonistas – you were KA RAWE and TU MEKE. What I can share are some photos from the Bad Diaries Salon, and urge you to go to a Bad Diaries Salon if you ever get the chance.
Bad Diaries Salon was established mid-2017 when Jenny Ackland pondered on Twitter – were there any writers who still had their teenage diaries? Would they front up and read from them, live?Turns out heaps of them were more than willing.
The Bad Diaries Salon format is the writers read stuff from their diaries or other unpublished juvenilia. Each BDS has its own theme.
You can become part of Christchurch’s own River of Words.
River of Words is a ten metre wide installation in the South Quad of the Arts Centre, part of the House of Travel Botanic D’Lights (6pm to 9pm from Wednesday 8 August to Sunday 12 August). It is an interactive animation featuring a flow of words in six languages, and representing the changing nature of the people of Christchurch. Your shadow becomes a space for animations related to the words. We dived into the river last night, and had a ball – moving around, shining torches, and becoming part of the art.
Once he had the words and kupu, John explored game design and technology to see how it might work. The project started out as a mystery technically, but due to working with colleagues and experts like Spectrum Lighting, his knowledge grew exponentially. Using the programme Isadora (known for its use in theatre lighting and effects), vector animation, and security cameras, he came to a technical solution that brings his vision to life:
Christchurch has been through many painful experiences in the last few years, both personal to the people, who are the city’s lifeblood and to the buildings and roads that make up the city.
Even though the infrastructure of the city was damaged, the people of Christchurch have moved and flowed through its changes adapting and embracing its reinvention, though the process has been slow and stressful.
The inhabitants of this city are part of a human river, are always moving and flowing in this, our city. Each person is a part of the changes to the landscape of the city, and we are all linked by the words that we share about the city. These words bond us together. I have asked for people in the city, my friends and neighbours to lend me words that represent Christchurch, the people the cultures and the languages of the city. The words in the river represent the ever-flowing people in our city. The words within each person represent their humanity and resilience as we navigate through our lives in this city.
John says “I think people truly love Christchurch”. He’s right, and going into the River of Words feels like a warm embrace of Ōtautahi.
Creating this work is his way of giving something back to the community. It’s the antithesis of art as a commodity – this is art that can’t be bought. It is art for everyone to experience and enjoy.
River of Words – The Future
River of Words will carry on as a legacy piece from the House of Travel Botanic D’Lights. This 18 metre wide version will be installed for six months at 110 Cashel Street, and projected on to the vacant wall of 112 Cashel Street. This project is part of the Enliven Places programme, completed in partnership with the events team and Ara with the aim of enhancing the night time experience in Christchurch through innovative lighting.
John Maillard has exhibited in galleries around New Zealand and the United Kingdom for over three decades. John has specialised in documenting people and landscapes. For the past sixteen years John has been studying New Zealand landscapes and in particular the culture of rural New Zealand, assembling a body of work which will reflect his love for this country.
He has published or collaborated in four books on native plants, New Zealand landscapes and cultural history. John is working on a new book documenting the location of native habitat for migrating birds from the Alps to the ocean with Canterbury University Press.
John has worked as a photographer in many countries around the world, notably, Gambia and west Africa, the United States and Europe.
John’s previous works at Botanic Night of D’Lights
A brief history of Botanic D’Lights
Light up the Leafy Night was an event run in July 2013 as part of the 150th birthday of the Christchurch Botanic Gardens.The gardens were lit up for 8 nights with installations and performances.
The Press reporter Charlie Gates wrote a fascinating article about the decline in DVD rental stores in Christchurch: Ghosts and survivors in fading DVD market. There may be fewer places to hire DVDs from, but you can still get ’em at your local library!
Because I am decidedly average at getting to the movies, the library DVD collection is there to rectify my movie fails. I watched The Last Jedi recently, re-watched the beautiful Japanese animated time-travel body swap movie Your Name, and am looking forward to watching Lady Bird and Phantom Thread.
This led me to make my own list of an imaginary Film Fest of recent(ish) NZ docos!
“Every weekend come rain, hail or shine, this diverse group of amateur performers unite to terrify punters at the southern hemisphere’s largest scream park, situated in a former psychiatric hospital. Director Florian Habicht reveals the transformative and paradoxically lifesaving power of belonging to a community that celebrates fear. “
“With unique access to high-ranking candidate Helen Clark, award-winning filmmaker Gaylene Preston casts a wry eye on proceedings as the United Nations turns itself inside-out choosing a new Secretary-General.”
“Join members of the Christchurch Poultry, Bantam and Pigeon Club in the lead up to the NZ National Championships, as they battle history and each other in a quest for glory and for the love of their birds.”
“With walkers, rafters, farmers and fishing folk, we journey the alpine to spring rivers of Canterbury. Exploring above and below the surfaces, uncovering ways through our current freshwater crisis. This lyrical documentary from New Zealand is an intimate portrait of the struggles around water – globally the most precious resource of our time. ”
“After stumbling upon a bizarre “competitive endurance tickling” video online, wherein young men are paid to be tied up and tickled, reporter David Farrier reaches out to request a story from the company. “
“As demolition gangs reduce ruins to rubble, a dynamic group of artists, innovators and entrepreneurs are bringing life back to the streets of post-quake Christchurch, empowering the people and creating a promising future for a dynamic new city. ”
“These Hip-hoppers may each be almost a century young, but for Kara (94), Maynie (95) and Terri (93), the journey to the Las Vegas World Hip Hop Dance Championships is just the beginning of a life’s journey. ”
Galaxy Records on 336 St Asaph St are an “Indie Institution’ in Christchurch, selling new and used vinyl. Like Galaxy Records on Facebook. Record Store Day at Galaxy Records: Subscribe to the Facebook event
Rare & Collectable goodies! Featuring DJs: Pinacolada Soundsystem , Missy G & Skew-whiff from midday. Darkroom Bar will be open
Lyttelton Records have spilled out of their home recording studio to open a shop (and bar) in Woolston. You can buy merch here, guitar strings and maybe catch a live performance. Like Lyttelton Records on Facebook. Record Store Day at Lyttelton Records: Vinyl discounts, live music, happy hour 12pm to 4pm 650 Ferry Road
Penny Lane Records
If you are a record store fan in Christchurch, you can visit Penny Lane Records – they are at Eastgate Mall in Linwood, and in Sydenham at 430 Colombo Street. Penny Lane specialise in great quality second-hand music formats and collectibles. Like Penny Lane Records on Facebook. Record Store Day at Penny Lane Records: The crew were cagey as to what’s happening – so there might be some good surprises on offer. What they did say was they are open at 8am, there will be Record Store Day exclusives available, and stuff happening for customers, as well as specials.
Another hot tip for record fans: Vinyl Cafe at 24b Essex Street is a must visit for vinyl lovers. Like Vinyl Cafe on Facebook,
Get on down to your local record shop, buy yourself some vinyl to spin while the weather goes wild. Talk to people who appreciate quality music. Who knows you may make a new connection…
Record Appreciation – Fee
I love records! I still have a halfway decent collection of records. When I had to replace my stereo a few years back, I made sure it came with a turntable. I’m a purist – like Neil Young I can hear more depth and texture of sound in an LP (Long Player), than I can on a CD or a download. Neil developed PonoMusic to develop modern sound recording formats that delivered quality of sound almost as good as the studio, or the original record. (See Waging Heavy Peace, one of Neil’s engaging autobiographies.)