Poetry Ōtautahi – National Poetry Day, Friday 26 August 2016

National Poetry Day is on this Friday 26 August. Poetry Day events in Canterbury are listed on the 2016 Phantom Billstickers National Poetry Day website:

Events on National Poetry Day – Friday 26 August

National Poetry Day Celebration Readings 12.30pm at Scorpio Bookshop in Hereford Street. Winners of the Hagley Institute 2016 Poetry Day competition will be announced by judge James Norcliffe and there will be readings from Frankie McMillan, Bernadette Hall, Christina Starchurski, Teoti Jardine, Jeni Curtis, Marisa Cappetta, Rose Collins and the competition winners. Part of  WORD Christchurch Writers and Readers Festival.

WORD Christchurch Writers and Readers Festival has a strong programme of poetry including the following sessions on Poetry Day itself:

Poetry in the Aotearoa New Zealand Centre

More poetry events

Thursday 25 August

Speaking proud Thursday 25 August 6pm. Event to raise funds to continue the work of Q-topia, an organisation that supports LGBTQIA+ Youth in Canterbury.

New Regent Street Pop up Festival  Thursday 25 August, 6pm – this WORD Christchurch event includes Lady Poets at Shop Eight – a badass, subversive poetry show like no other! Lady Poets celebrates the voices and stories of women and genderqueer poets and performers. MC: Audrey Baldwin. and Catalyst at The Last Word Catalyst is a literary arts journal committed to experimental and non-traditional creative forms: song lyrics, script/screenplay excerpts, spoken word, rap, visual poetry, and more.

Saturday 27 August

Poetry events at WORD:

Hear my voice Christchurch performers Sophie Rea, Daisy Speaks and Tusiata Avia are current National Poetry Slam champ Mohamed Hassan, former US National Poetry Slam champ Ken Arkind, fast talking PI Selina Tusitala Marsh and internationally renowned Canadian storyteller and writer Ivan E. Coyote. MCed by Ciarán Fox

Poetry at Parklands – the Poet within
2pm. 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 on the day after National Poetry Day, four of our librarian-poets will be reading their own work. The poets are Damien Taylor, Rob Lees, Dylan Kemp and Andrew Bell.

Sunday 28 August

More WORD poetry events including:

Poetry spots in Christchurch

Poetry nā Hinemoana Baker

Poetry nā Hinemoana Baker. Victoria Street, Christchurch. Flickr 013-07-30

Go down to The Terraces and see the poetry on the banks by Apirana Taylor. Wander further afield and see Ōtākaro to Victoria nā Hinemoana Baker at a mini-park at 108 Victoria Street. There are also poems on power poles on Victoria Street: Whakapapa by Ariana Tikao, and Victoria Street by Ben Brown. There are always fab poems about the town thanks to Phantom Poetry posters as provided by Phantom Billstickers.

Poems in your pocket

Why not put some poetry in your pocket? Download this year’s poems from the National Poetry Day website including one by WORD Christchurch guest Tusiata Avia.

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WORD Finder: Things to do in Christchurch – WORD Christchurch

Kia ora, welcome to Ōtautahi if you are in town for the WORD Christchurch Writers and Readers Festival. Here’s some things to check out while you are here – with a focus on the central city, where this year’s WORD takes place.

Poetry

Poetry nā Hinemoana Baker
Poetry nā Hinemoana Baker. Victoria Street, Christchurch. Flickr 013-07-30

Go down to The Terraces  and see the poetry on the banks by Apirana Taylor. Wander further afield and see Ōtākaro to Victoria nā Hinemoana Baker at a mini-park at 108 Victoria Street. There are also poems on power poles on Victoria Street: Whakapapa by Ariana Tikao, and Victoria Street by Ben Brown.

Booklovers

The splendid University Bookshop UBS will be on site at festival venues.

Scorpio Books is in the new BNZ complex at 120 Hereford Street if you want to wander to a bookshop in town and browse. They will be hosting National Poetry Day readings on Friday 26 August.

(If you want to browse old books as well as new, try Smiths Bookshop at the Tannery).

Arty types

Biochemic handbook by Natasha Allan
Biochemic handbook by Natasha Allan. Carpe Librum: Seize the book exhibition. ArtBox, Ara Institute. Flickr 2016-08-17-IMG_5568

Carpe Librum: Seize the book is on show at the Artbox by the Ara Institute in Madras Street. We’ve taken some photos – it is stunning.

Christchurch people are very proud of our Christchurch Art Gallery – the people as well as the building and exhibitions. Some WORD events take place here. Take the opportunity to check out the exhibition Bloomsbury South: The Arts in Christchurch 1933 – 1953 that ties in with Peter Simpson’s new book – he’ll be presenting a session as well as the book launch. (Book your tickets for Bloomsbury South, Sat 27 Aug, 4pm). Other shows are well worth a look including Doris Lusk and Fiona Pardington.

There’s an Antony Gormley sculpture in the river called Stay. And HEAPS more cool public art and street art.

Stay by Antony Gormley
Stay by Antony Gormley. SCAPE Public Art. Flickr 2015-10-4-IMG_9872

Libraries (and free wifi)

As a librarian, it behoves me to plug our temporary central libraries. Central Library Manchester (not open on Sunday) – 1.2 km from The Piano – and Central Library Peterborough – a mere 550 metres or 7 minutes walk. There is free wifi, and computers to use as well as books, mags, etc.

If you want to find out more about Christchurch, our website has a motherlode of local history information.

Margaret Mahy Playground

Not just for kids. I am having visions of writers and festivalgoers shooting down the flying fox of an evening. Make it so.

Plus the place is a tribute to our great writers – word witch Margaret Mahy and peace activist heroine Elsie Locke. The wonderful David Levithan will be delivering the Margaret Mahy Lecture on Saturday morning (27 August).

Margaret Mahy Playground
Margaret Mahy Playground. Flickr 2015-12-23-IMG_1733

Botanic Gardens and the Museum

Cuningham House
Cuningham House, Christchurch Botanic Gardens. Flickr 2014-07-27-IMG_0809

A favourite local outing is a visit to the Canterbury Museum and the Christchurch Botanic Gardens. Highlights are the daffodils, the new Visitor Centre at the Botanic Gardens, gaudy, gorgeous Peacock fountain,  conservatories, and the interesting Christchurch Antarctic collection at the Museum.

The Quake City exhibition is on display at 99 Cashel Street, near the ReStart container mall and gives a good insight into what Christchurch people have been through.

The Reading Room

A photo op for you book-loving types, near the site of our new Central Library.

Food & drink

Here are plenty of great hospo venues in close proximity to the Festival including:

C1 Espresso  – there are some exciting WORD collaborations going on this place. The book launch for Let’s take a walk is here tomorrow (Wednesday) at 6pm. It’s a pretty damn cool spot in general – curly fries and pneumatic tube food are a Christchurch must. The Spinoff after dark will be on here on Saturday night.

New Regent Street is full of foody spots including:

There’s some new takeaway spots at the new BNZ Centre in 120 Hereford Street – including Burger Fuel, Hachi hachi, and Mumbiwala.

Here’s a few more gourmand faves:

  • Vanilla Ices in Victoria Square (weekends at the moment) I love the ice-cream and secret recipe raspberry.
  • Escarto Espresso in Cathedral Square (great coffee, and they use Whittakers Dark Ghana in their hot and iced chocs – yum).
  • Rollickin’ Gelato at the Margaret Mahy Playground.
  • Friday Night Food Trucks in Cathedral Square, after which you might feel like a wee boogie at the Dance-o-mat on the corner of Colombo and Gloucester Streets.

If you want to explore more things to do in Christchurch, try:

Any other tips for places to see? Share them here!

Storylines Christchurch Free Family Day – Sunday 28 August at Upper Riccarton Library

If you are looking for something for the family to do next week, do I have news for you! The annual funfest that is the Storylines Christchurch Free Family Day is on Sunday 28 August at Upper Riccarton Library between 10am and 3pm. Find out all the cool stuff on offer by viewing the full programme [220KB PDF] and:

Storylines

What’s happening?

There are plenty of workshops, events, and competitions including:

  • *Lily Max* Satin Scissors Frock Arts and Crafts (ages 7 to 12)
  • Tyre Repair at the Library! (teens and adults)
  • Writers’ Workshop: Designing Characters
  • Kapa Haka (All ages)
  • Face Painters Galore (All ages)
  • Treasure Hunt (All ages)

CoverThis year’s Storylines Christchurch Family Day will feature a special performance at 2pm by the TKKM o Te Whanau Tahi immersion school Kapa Haka group. They will bring the book He Taniwha i Te Kura to life – te reo Māori – as part of the Books Alive programme. This book by Tim Tipene is about how to overcome classroom bullying.

Great New Zealand authors, illustrators and performers will be there, including:

And waaaay more. Get in amongst it!

Storylines Christchurch Free Family Day 2014
Storylines Christchurch Free Family Day 2014. Upper Riccarton Library. Sunday 24 August 2014. File Reference: P1040738.JPG

Quick questions with Rachael Craw – WORD Christchurch

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

Rachael Craw is the author of YA sci-fi crossover trilogy Spark, Stray and Shield.

Rachael Craw. Image supplied.
Rachael Craw. Image supplied.

What are you looking forward to doing in Christchurch?

I was born in Christchurch and lived there my whole life till 4 years ago so all my friends and whānau are there which means catching up with as many people as I can in 48 hours in between going to as many festival events as I can. So basically, I should just give up on eating and sleeping, right?

What do you think about libraries?

Enablers? Suppliers? Dealers? They fed my Trixie Belden addiction in childhood so my love for libraries is large.

What would be your “desert island book”?

CoverThe Lord of the Rings. Which is kind of cheating – 3 books in 1. But it is still my favourite book. The Grey Havens choke me up every time.

Share a surprising fact about yourself.

I can sing.

 

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Your own personal Christchurch – we pick things to do and see for WORD Christchurch writers

Our team of WORDy librarians have handpicked some places and experiences for WORD Christchurch Writers and Readers Festival guests.

Caitlin Doughty

I reckon mortician Caitlin might like to see that slightly creepy mourning jewellery made of hair at the Canterbury Museum.

Hair jewellery at Canterbury Museum

Caitlin Doughty appears in:
PechaKucha Night, Thurs 25 Aug, 8.20pm
The Stars Are On Fire, Fri 26 Aug, 7.30pm
Embracing Death, Sat 27 Aug, 9.30am
Ask a Mortician: Caitlin Doughty, Sun 28 Aug, 2pm
The Nerd Degree, Sun 28 Aug, 5pm

Debbie Stoller

Anne recommends the Outlaw Yarn and their Saloon for Debbie Stoller. Outlaw yarn in NZ made in one of the last remaining spinning mills in New Zealand. The centre of operations is right here in Beckenham, Christchurch. There’s also a wonderful whalebone wool swift in the Canterbury Museum.

Debbie Stoller appears in:
Busted: Feminism & Pop Culture, Sat 27 Aug, 11am
The Sunday Fringe – How to Start a Magazine, Sun 28 Aug, 10am

Steve Hely

Moata thinks Steve might like the Casa Publica South American themed bar in New Regent Street.

Steve Hely appears in:
The Stars Are on Fire, Fri 26 Aug, 7.30pm
How to be a Writer: Steve Hely, Sat 27 Aug, 3.30pm
The Great NZ Crime Debate, Sat 27 Aug, 7.30pm
The State of America, Sun 28 Aug, 12.30pm

Steve Braunias

For the criminally inclined guests like Steve, Moata recommend a visit  to Victoria Park (scene of Honora Parker’s demise). See our pages on the Parker-Hulme murder.

Given his taste for quirky New Zealand experiences, I’d recommend a sway past Baz’s charity barn on the corner of Ferry Road.

Steve Braunias appears in:
True Crime, Fri 26 Aug, 3.30pm
Spinoff After Dark, Sat 27 Aug, 10pm

Toby Morris

Christchurch street art might be worth a look, reckons Moata. (Have a browse of our street art pics).

Street art on Millennium in Cathedral Square

Toby Morris appears in:
Where Do You Get Your Ideas From?, Sat 27 Aug, 12.30pm
Sunday Fringe – Writing to Make a Change, Sun 28 Aug, 11.30am
Giving Them Hell: Political Cartoons, Sun 28 Aug, 2pm

Tim Flannery

Something for the science-inclined guest: Moata points out that Tim will be here in time to visit Rutherford’s Den (it’s open again from 27 August).

Tim Flannery appears in:
2050, Fri 26 Aug, 5.30pm
Atmosphere of Hope: Tim Flannery, Sat 27 Aug, 2pm

Alok Jha

Alok might like to take a look at the water feature at Margaret Mahy playground. And that river that wends it way around the city – the Ōtākaro – Avon River.

Alok and other guests interested in the Antarctic would like the Antarctic section of Canterbury Museum and the International Antarctic Centre.

Antarctic vehicle

Alok Jha appears in:
Inspiring Writers – Secondary Schools Day, Thurs 25 Aug, 11.30am
PechaKucha Night, Thurs 25 Aug, 8.20pm
Water: Alok Jha, Sat 27 Aug, 11am
Tales from the Ice, Sun 28 Aug, 3.30pm
The Nerd Degree, Sun 28 Aug, 5pm

Tara Moss

Moata reckons Tara would like to visit the Kate Sheppard memorial.

Kate Sheppard memorial
Friday 19 September 2014. Flickr 2014-09-19-IMG_2212

I am picking Madame Butterflys and Etcetera for Tara and other Festival vintage clothes-lovers.

Tara Moss appears in:
Inspiring Writers – Secondary Schools Day, Thurs 25 Aug, 9.45am
Speaking Out: Tara Moss, Sat 27 Aug, 12.30pm

Roger Shepherd

Fiona would match Roger Shepherd with bar and music venue darkroom. Or indeed Blue Smoke, where Roger’s special event will be held. He’d probably be up for a fossick at Galaxy Records or Penny Lane too I reckon.

Roger Shepherd appears in:
In Love With These Times: A Flying Nun Celebration, Sat 27 Aug, 7.30pm

Bill Manhire

Fiona reckons Bill Manhire might like the Woolston Twisted Hop – “best home made beer in Christchurch” (she loved his wee book on South Island pubs).

Bill Manhire appears in:
The Perfect Short Story, Fri 26 Aug, 3.45pm
Power of Poetry, Fri 26 Aug, 5pm

David Levithan

David’s going to be delivering the Margaret Mahy lecture at the Festival.  Moata suggests a visit to the brilliant Margaret Mahy portrait by Glenda Randerson. It is on display at Central Library Manchester. I reckon he might like a visit to the playground named in her honour – with all its little Margaret Mahy words and images.

Portrait of Margaret Mahy by Glenda Randerson

David Levithan appears in:
Inspiring Writers – Secondary Schools Day, Thurs 25 Aug, 9.45am
Speaking Proud, Thurs 25 Aug, 6pm
Margaret Mahy Memorial Lecture, Sat 27 Aug, 9.30am

Visit our page on WORD Christchurch Writers and Readers Festival 2016.

Have you got any picks for Festival guests? Share away!

Quick questions with Nadia Hashimi – WORD Christchurch

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

Nadia Hashimi, born in the United States to Afghan parents, has degrees in Middle Eastern studies and biology, and is a trained paediatrician. Her 2014 debut novel The Pearl That Broke Its Shell was followed by When the Moon is Low. Her latest book is A House Without Windows.

Nadia Hashimi. Photo by Chris Cartter. Image supplied.
Nadia Hashimi. Photo by Chris Carter. Image supplied.

What are you looking forward to doing in Christchurch?

That’s going to depend on how hospitable the weather will be while I’m there. I’d love to see a wildlife preserve and to see how the people of Christchurch are rebuilding their city after the earthquake. I’m up for just about anything that will be uniquely Christchurch. Extra points for historical significance.

What do you think about libraries?

I could wax eloquent on libraries or I could quote Caitlin Moran who so brilliantly described libraries as “cathedrals of the mind; hospitals of the soul; theme parks of the imagination.” They’ve been a part of my life since I was a child and going back to my hometown libraries to give book talks and has been an incredibly moving experience. In different times of my life, I’ve turned to libraries for different reasons. Libraries are where I:  blazed through summer reading challenges, had my first volunteer job, learned that my tween angst was not that abnormal, studied for medical school entrance exams, conducted research for my novels, found a quiet space to write my last chapter. Finally, the library is where I bring my children so they can do all the above and more as well.

What would be your “desert island book”?

CoverLove in the Time of Cholera. (Although, if I were allowed to bring my e-reader, I would have lots more options. Does the desert island have Wi-Fi?)

Share a surprising fact about yourself.

Though I’m a vegetarian, I hate mushrooms. They are fungi and should be treated as such. (No offense to mushroom lovers.)

Nadia Hashimi appears in:
Can Books Change the World?, Thurs 25 Aug, 6pm
Read the World, Sat 27 Aug, 12.15pm
An Hour with Nadia Hashimi, Sun 28 Aug, 3.30pm

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Quick questions with Leigh Hopkinson – WORD Christchurch

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

Leigh Hopkinson is a New Zealand-born, Melbourne-based writer and editor. Her work has appeared in the Guardian, the Australian and The Press. Her first book Two Decades Naked is a memoir about her years working in striptease.

Leigh Hopkinson. Image supplied.
Leigh Hopkinson. Image supplied.

What are you looking forward to doing in Christchurch?

I’m looking forward to catching up with family and friends, and to immersing myself in the WORD festival. I’m especially looking forward to meeting Kate Holden, whose memoir inspired my own. And I’m keen to get out into the Southern Alps for a few days.

What do you think about libraries?

I love them! I’m very grateful they exist and that they’re free for everyone to enjoy, to take shelter in and to be nurtured by. In Melbourne, I often write at the State Library of Victoria. When I doubt the sensibility of pursuing my passion, I need only look around.

What would be your “desert island book”?

Just one? Well, I haven’t read Robinson Crusoe yet, but perhaps something more sensible might be in order, such as a Dummies Guide to Survival on a Desert Island.

Share a surprising fact about yourself.

When I was a kid, I was a tomboy, happiest out of doors. I hated anything girlie, such as make-up, dresses or Barbie dolls. Post-stripping, I still associate these things with the performative, not with the everyday.

Leigh Hopkinson appears in:
PechaKucha Night, Thurs 25 Aug, 8.20pm
Work/ Sex, Sun 28 Aug, 12.30pm

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Quick questions with Jarrod Gilbert – WORD Christchurch

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

Jarrod Gilbert is a sociologist, Canterbury University lecturer, firefighter, New Zealand Herald columnist, and the author of Patched: The History of Gangs in New Zealand.

Jarrod Gilbert. Image supplied.
Jarrod Gilbert. Image supplied.

What do you like about living in Christchurch?

I live in Sumner, which gives every indication of being the best suburb in the world, It has a terrific beach, is surrounded by hills, and has a cool village feel.

What do you think about libraries?

Libraries are fundamental to democracy and ideally are hubs for communities. Changes to make them less stiff and more welcoming are awesome.

What would be your “desert island book”?

CoverTo a God Unknown by John Steinbeck. I can read it over and over and love it each time.

Share a surprising fact about yourself.

I eat the same meal every day.

Jarrod Gilbert appears in:
True Crime, Fri 26 Aug, 3.30pm
The Great NZ Crime Debate, Sat 27 Aug, 7.30pm

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Quick questions with Helen Lowe – WORD Christchurch

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

Helen Lowe is a Christchurch-based novelist and poet. The second book in her The Wall of Night series won the Gemmell Morningstar Award 2012. Book three Daughter of Blood was published earlier this year.

Helen Lowe. Photo by John McCombe. Image supplied.
Helen Lowe. Photo by John McCombe. Image supplied.

What do you like about Christchurch?

I am a Christchurch person, but I have to say that the “what I like about it” question is one I often struggle with in the post-earthquake environment. However, one thing that I have always loved about Christchurch is its wide and very blue skies — not infrequently very blue, at any rate. I also love its trees, especially the city’s heritage of English trees and the seasonal change and interest they bring to the landscape. So that is why I can’t help feeling really sad when I see them being cut down so indiscriminately in the central city in particular, where greenspace is being replaced by sterile (and very expensive) stonescapes, all purportedly in the name of “recovery.”

What do you think about libraries?

I love libraries and always have done so. A little like the wardrobe that leads into Narnia, they open doors into so many fantastic worlds. Long may they continue, say I — and I hope the Crown frees up the land they promised in the central city very soon (in exchange for the old library site going to the convention centre project, I believe), so that the city’s new central library can finally get underway! Nearly six years without a central library is quite simply, six years too long.

What would be your “desert island book”?

That is such a hard question because of course there can be only one…So that means we’re talking about a book I would never get tired of, no matter how often I read it. For that reason, I think it might have to be the Pears Encyclopedia I’ve had since I was a child. It’s compact in size but full of all sorts of useful information, including basic medical information, a full collection of completely out-of-date maps, which in itself renders them interesting, as well as a section on the Greek myths and legends that I loved as a child and still find a very useful reference.

Share a surprising fact about yourself.

I always think that I am the world’s most unsurprising person, although that may only be because I have an insider’s low-down on all the Helen Lowe facts so do not consider any of them surprising. Although sometimes, harking back to Question One, I suspect it may be surprising that I still live in Christchurch despite all that the earthquakes and their aftermath have visited upon us.

Helen Lowe appears in:
Making it Overseas, Sun 28 Aug, 3pm

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Quick questions with Helene Wong – WORD Christchurch

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

Helene Wong has taught classes in scriptwriting, film criticism, cultural identity and the media. She is now a full-time writer and occasional actor.

Helene Wong. Photo by Akura Makea-Pardington.mage supplied.
Helene Wong. Photo by Akura Makea-Pardington. Image supplied.

What are you looking forward to doing in Christchurch?

Mine is just a lightning visit, so although I’d like to, I won’t have time to check out how the rebuild is going. I was last in the city in 2012, appearing in “Man in a Suitcase” at the Court Theatre, and I remember being impressed by the evidence of people’s spirit to soldier on. This time I’ll just have to be content with immersing myself in the festival, discovering great books and meeting up with other writers. Damn.

What do you think about libraries?

Essential for human wellbeing. On one level, cosy and intimate – a room full of books is like being in a womb – and on another, limitless in their capacity to expand one’s horizons.

What would be your “desert island book”?

CoverThe Complete Works of Shakespeare – because I get comedy, tragedy, history and songs in a package. Also because by reading all the parts out loud I can people the island and not feel so much like a hermit.

Share a surprising fact about yourself.

Back in the 60s, I was a member of the Victoria University Ski Club women’s drinking team.

Helene Wong appears in:
Being Chinese/ White/ Other, Fri 26 Aug, 12.45pm

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