20 September 2016

Tuesday Poem: Fey Exchange, by Harvey Molloy - and news of a joint reading in Dunedin!

My Tuesday Poem this week is "Fey Exchange", by Harvey Molloy, from his wonderful collection Udon by the Remarkables - check the poem out below.

But wait, there's more: Harvey and I will be doing a joint reading in Dunedin on Sunday 9 October, from noon-1.30pm at the Dunningham Room, 4th Floor, Dunedin Public Library. I'll have more details next week, including the poster for the event, but for now you can join the Facebook event here:


Even if you can't make it, please share this event with your Dunedin and Otago friends!

Fey Exchange

A cornflower comb in her hair
and a beetle-wing nose stud
permitted by the deputy principal
for cultural reasons. 
We are not to eat her cakes
or listen to her singing.

Peer mentors warn the entrant bullies
not to be deceived by her stature
and to accept  full responsibility
for any provoked translations.
We are not to teach history
or animal husbandry.

Paper cranes build their nests
on the light above the whiteboard.
Her greatest delight is mathematics.
Her most perplexing question:
How can we live in just three-sided space?
All term we repeat the approved answer:

We know no different.
Until the Monday we find her gone
back to where the world’s light and shape are different,
where nouns are crowned
with capital letters, and consonants
wear diacritical vowels

like a dandy wears a tricorne hat,
and at the festival of braids
the homecomers in the harbour towers
light paper lanterns
the dusty grey velvet of moth wings,
and place them on the bay’s slow water

for the faces of those they remember
back in the steel canyons of fast time,
where the rectors embroider shadows
cast by unspeakable home truths,
and there’s a series of unfortunate errors
in the academy’s final examination.

Credit note: "Fey Exchange" was published in Udon by the Remarkables (Mākaro Press, 2015) and is reproduced here by kind permission of the publisher and the author.

Tim says: I think Udon by the Remarkables is a wonderful collection, and I am looking forward very much to reading with Harvey in Dunedin. I like the sly way this poem makes good on the pun in the title, while maintaining its mystery.

08 September 2016

Saving Christchurch's Notable Trees

Tim says: Christchurch has been through an awful lot since the September 2010 and February 2011 earthquakes. I don't think Christchurch residents should be deprived of their much-admired heritage of notable trees on top of all that. If you agree, please donate to help save those trees, as Rebekah Lynch outlines below.

Already convinced? Donate now: Give A Little: https://givealittle.co.nz/fundraiser/saveheritagetrees

Saving Christchurch's Notable Trees – We Need Your Help

My name is Rebekah Lynch and I am part of a group of citizens who care about Christchurch's unique landscape character, which is defined by its legacy of urban trees. We really need your help to support the continued protection of some of Christchurch's most significant trees – 80% of which have been proposed for delisting from Council's register, which means they can be felled "as of right".

In particular, we need help to cover the expert and legal expenses that we have had no choice but to incur, in order to speak for the trees through the Court-style Plan hearings being fast-tracked under the emergency earthquake legislation.

Why We Need Your Help

What has made this process particularly difficult for ordinary people like ourselves is that we have had to go through not one but an unprecedented two hearings, which effectively doubled our costs. Our costs were further increased when Council reneged on a mediated agreement that would have seen 56% of the listed trees return to Council's register.

As you can imagine, the second hearing and Council's subsequent action presented an almost impossible hurdle for individual submitters and small Trusts to overcome in order to speak for a public good – and to have any hope of being heard in a Court-style process where outcomes are being determined by expert evidence and legal submission.

Here are some links to articles that chart the Christchurch tree situation and our campaign:
·      Christchurch Tree Owners Allowed to Oppose Protected Status – Again: http://www.stuff.co.nz/the-press/news/81847639/Christchurch-tree-owners-allowed-to-oppose-protected-status-again
·      Christchurch Council Makes Another U-turn on Protected Trees: http://www.radionz.co.nz/news/national/310639/chch-council-makes-another-u-turn-on-protected-trees

What We're Doing – And How You Can Help:

We are currently running a fundraising campaign under the umbrella of the Christchurch Civic Trust and donations can be made via:

Or directly to the Christchurch Civic Trust:

Electronically to: KiwiBank Account # 38 9003 0081396 00 (Please include your name and "Trees" as a reference); or

By cheque to: Christchurch Civic Trust, PO Box 1927, Christchurch 8140.

All donations are tax deductible and will be receipted. All funds will be used solely to meet the expert and legal costs of the tree campaign to date and to review the Hearing decisions once they are made.

Social Media and Spreading the Word

You can also help by:
  • linking directly to our Give A Little fundraiser on your own social media pages and/or your blog or website – simply cut and paste in the Give a Little link above; and also
  • encouraging others to do the same by also liking and sharing the link.

We would deeply appreciate our cause being shared with other individuals, organisations, groups, or businesses that you believe may care about the fate of Christchurch's Heritage and Notable trees. We believe this will assist us greatly.

Contacts and Further Information:

Please contact the following if you have further questions:

secretary@christchurchcivictrust.org.nz (Attention Lindsay Carswell)

Thank you for your time, your support, and your generosity for a cause that is so important to Christchurch's unique urban character and to its post-earthquake regeneration and recovery.

Yours sincerely,

Rebekah Lynch

06 September 2016

Going Upstairs: Two Reviews

What with focusing on the New Sea Land launch, I've neglected to post about a couple of reviews I've written of recent New Zealand fiction.

First of all, my review of Dad Art by Damien Wilkins appears in the August edition of Landfall Review Online. I said:

Dad Art is a short, easily read and quickly digested novel, set in a very recognisable contemporary Wellington.... Michael [the protagonist] may be approaching the age at which the best opportunity to catch up with one’s friends is at other friends’ funerals, but he still retains curiosity about the world and a desire to engage with it. I liked Michael, and because I liked Michael, I enjoyed Dad Art.

Next, my review of Mean: Short Stories by Michael Botur appeared on Beattie's Book Blog. I said:

The stories in Mean are gritty social realism, so I wasn’t sure how much the book would appeal to me. But social realism has gone urban since the days of Coal Flat, and that’s where Mean is located: the underbelly of New Zealand’s towns and cities. So it’s the realism of DJs and remixes, drugs and needles, shit and piss and cum.... Michael Botur knows the mean streets of the big city well, and he writes about them with wit, compassion and insight. That makes Mean a tough but rewarding read.


01 September 2016

Photo Post 2: Photos from the Wellington City Libraries readings on National Poetry Day

This week, it's all about photos. On Tuesday, it was more photos of the New Sea Land launch: today, here are a few photos from the Wellington Central Library readings on Poetry Day organised by Mākaro Press. You can find more photos from these events, including photos of the individual readers in action, on Facebook.

Auckland poet Jamie Trower and publisher Mary McCallum

An attentive audience

Enjoying what we're hearing

Stefanie Lash and Harvey Molloy in discussion in the foreground. In the background, Pete Carter watches my one-act play "Man vs. Beanie"

30 August 2016

Photo Post 1: More Photos from the New Sea Land Launch

My report on last Wednesday's launch of New Sea Land included a few photos from the launch - now, here are some more!

(All photos by Mary McCallum except for the first, which is by Rohan Molloy. Thank you both!)

How to buy New Sea Land

Copies of New Sea Land are currently available from the publisher, from Ekor Bookshop & Cafe (17b College St, Te Aro, Wellington), from Unity Books, and from your local independent bookseller. If your bookseller doesn't have them in stock, they can order the book for you. It helps the bookshop if you can give them the following details:

Title: New Sea Land
Author: Tim Jones
Publisher: Mākaro Press
ISBN: 978-0-9941299-6-3

The RRP is $25.

The launch crew: Harvey Molloy, me, Mary McCallum, Paul Stewart
Harvey launches, George listens in

Sue and Lindsay in the foreground, Niki and (I think) George from Ekor at the back left

A beautifully put together display of New Sea Lands - thanks, Niki and George!

One side of the audience...

... and another side of the audience

The height of elegance: Mark and Julia at the launch

Photographer (possibly a secret agent) lurks behind pile of interesting books to capture photo of launch

26 August 2016

Poetry Day Is Here! Check Out These Events

I'm planning to post some more photos from my book launch, but today is National Poetry Day, and that takes precedence! There are heaps of events on round the country. Here are three I'm involved in.

25 August 2016

New Sea Land Launched: Thanks to everyone who made the event a success!

My fourth poetry collection, New Sea Land, was launched last night at Ekor Bookshop & Cafe in Wellington. The launch went really well - lots of lovely people came, Harvey Molloy gave an amazing introductory speech that made me sound like George R. R. Martin crossed with Sylvia Plath (in other words, chirpy and fun-lovin'), and I spent the evening signing books, which is a gratifying thing for an author at a book launch.

Lovely people, lovely bookshop

Thanks to everyone who helped make this launch a great event - Helen Rickerby for recommending Ekor Bookshop to me in the first place,Niki Ward and George for running the event, Mary McCallum and Paul McCallum Stewart of Mākaro Press for accepting, designing and publishing the book, Harvey Molloy for launching it, Claire Beynon for the lovely cover images, William Carden-Horton for the interior images, and everyone who took part in the launch or sent apologies!

This is a cover version of "Possessed to Skate". I call it "Poised to Sign".

(Thanks also to Mary for the photos used in this post. You can find more of Mary's photos of the launch here: https://www.facebook.com/mary.mccallum.566/posts/10210587683551982)

There were a few people I barely got a chance to talk to at the launch - to all of you, thanks for attending, and I hope we'll catch up soon!

No rest for the wicked, though - well, a little rest, but then I'll be taking poems from "New Sea Land" for a spin at three events on National Poetry Day this Friday:

Copies of New Sea Land are currently available from the publisher, from Ekor Bookshop & Cafe (17b College St, Te Aro, Wellington), and from your local independent bookseller. If your bookseller doesn't have them in stock, they can order the book for you. It helps the bookshop if you can give them the following details:

Title: New Sea Land
Author: Tim Jones
Publisher: Mākaro Press
ISBN: 978-0-9941299-6-3

The RRP is $25.

Tim Jones, Mary McCallum and Paul Stewart. Poet was going for Byronic air of mystery - didn't quite achieve it.