By Gill Ward and Elizabeth Coleman

The wonderful Trish Harris

Trish HarrisWasn’t it a delight to be present when Trish Harris was our guest for July? We were spell-bound. What more can we say than these two comments from notable poets, referring to “My Wide White Bed” from which Trish read: Glenn Colquhoun describes the collection as a “poetic memoir”, showing “how crucial imagination is to being well”. 

 Jenny Bornholdt says: “With a sharp eye and an ear alert to language and tone, Trish Harris gives us this sequence of brave, often funny poems, detailing a lengthy stay in hospital. We feel the mood of the ward, sense the fear underlying the casual comment, rejoice in the kindness of staff and wish the tea lady could get a break. The reader is left with a sense of a time and place, and an experience deeply felt.”

Open Mic sessions – a plea!

As usual, our Open Mic session was well-supported, and included a wonderful variety of styles and themes. We do not want to put anyone off – we are a welcoming bunch of poetry-lovers — but PLEASE, don’t read anything over one page long. (We know you’re sick of hearing this, but we need to remind poets that we want everyone to have an opportunity to share, without compromising the guest slot and to leave enough of an ‘interval’ so that people can order drinks or snacks. Although we ‘tip’ the café, they provide the café and their staff – after hours – to us for free).

Kate CampKate Camp featuring later in the month

As fitting finale to National poetry week we have Kate Camp as our August guest poet. 

Poets to the People Robert Harris Café, 4- 6 pm Sunday, 25 August

The posters are up around Kapiti now with some information about Kate but here is her bio:

A wild, imaginative energy flares throughout the collection. Kate Camp is a fearless writer. Judges’ comments, New Zealand Book Awards.

Kate Camp is a Wellington-born poet, author of six collections of poetry from Victoria University Press: Unfamiliar Legends of the Stars (1998), Realia (2001), Beauty Sleep (2005), The Mirror of Simple Annihilated Souls (2010), Snow White’s Coffin (2013), and The internet of things (2017). 

Unfamiliar Legends of the Stars, won the NZSA Jessie Mackay Award for Best First Book of Poetry in 1999. The Mirror of Simple Annihilated Souls won the 2011 New Post Book Award for Poetry. Snow White’s Coffin was shortlisted for the award in 2013, and The internet of things longlisted in 2018. 

Camp’s poems have appeared in journals in New Zealand and internationally and in anthologies including Essential New Zealand Poems; 121 New Zealand Poems; New Zealand Love Poems and The Best of Best New Zealand Poems.

Camp was appointed Writer in Residence at Waikato University in 2002. In 2011 she received the Creative New Zealand Berlin Writers Residency and in 2017 received the Katherine Mnasfield Menton Fellowship. 

Essays and memoir writing have appeared in journals including The Griffith Review, Sport, North and South and Women of Letters. The essay “I wet my pants” was a finalist in the Landfall essay competition in 2018. 

Camp is also known as the voice of “Kate’s Klassics” – discussions of classic literature with Radio New Zealand’s Kim Hill. She has broadcast the regular segment since 2001. 

So there you see it – Kate comes with a pretty solid c.v. We are fortunate!

As a tribute to National Poetry Day the Paraparaumu Library is hosting an early evening poetry event.

Open Mic Poetry Night

Join us to celebrate Phantom Billstickers National Poetry Day!

Friday 23 August 2019, Paraparaumu Library, 5.30 – 6.30 pm

Poetry 1We will mark the day with an open mic session, where anyone is welcome to read their poems to a live audience, and hear poems read aloud from other poets

This will be followed by an announcement of the Kāpiti Coast District Libraries 7th Annual poetry competition  “If you’re a poet we want to know it!” 

Prize winners, and presentation of prizes. The winning poems will be read aloud also.

“Peat chronicles the expressway build

Lynn JennerFurther to that news the Friends of the Library are also holding an event on Sunday 18 August at 2 pm in the Paraparaumu Library meeting room, this is to introduce Lynn Jenner’s new book Peat. 

This book starts out as Lynn Jenner’s study of the Kapiti Expressway, built between 2013 and 2017 and passing, at its nearest point, about a kilometre from her own house. She decides to create a kind of archive of the construction of this so-called Road of National Significance. 

How did it come to be built? She presents us with poems and essays and links to Charles Brasch in this thoughtful and timely volume. Lynn will talk about her intriguing book to an audience who is intimately involved in the whole process of seeing our expressway evolve.

Check out Phantom Billstickers National Poetry Day! Lots and lots of events and competitions.