Monday, 15 October 2007
Speaking of Books
Hey S - you've been skyped!
You can read the latest instalments and exciting developments over at Shameless Lions Writing Circle where it seems Grace, the main character, is being unwittingly embroiled in some skullduggery. Of course, as is the nature of such collaborative works, the characters, readers and writers are completely unaware of where it will all end ... However I am sure that some writer yet to take up the plot, will realise that Grace (and readers) deserve to be enlightened sooner than later!
I hadn't got around to reporting on the poetry reading I was mc for - almost a fortnight ago now; which I will now hasten to rectify.
Cy Mathews was the featured poet, and he did the event proud with his urbane, modernist poetry of images. I don't always enjoy poetry like this, however, to me it appears that Cy's poetry entices, at the same time as it seemingly defies. It's poetry that is hard to understand completely - in fact, it almost creates a whole art form out of that very lack of clarity - and yet it delights with its strangeness, its surreal journeys into a world of images and dream-scapes. For me, one such image that stands like a pattern in relief, was Cy's description of a man making hand-holds in the back of a wave.
Bill Direen also read again. His landscape poetry describing countryside around Dunedin was full of strong, fresh images. I look forward to hearing more of the same at future readings.
Other poets read that night, but in all my rush to get away to the North Island, I have mislaid the list. Martha Morseth, Poppy Haynes, Jenny Powell, Larry Matthews ... and Graham, a local from Kaikohe, who is down visiting his mother ... they were some of the readers anyway.
The main impression of the night, I guess, was of variety; an assortment of voices and some spilt drops of poetry. And, best of all, I survived being m.c. No bottles smashed against the microphone tonight (something which did happen to me one night a few years ago during the reign of wild poetry nights at the Arc Cafe. Ah. Those were the days! Strangely, I find myself missing them ... )
This Wednesday (17th October) is the last reading of the Spring Season of Poetry at the Circadian Rhythm restaurant - supplier of superb vegetarian meals.
The other major literary event (to which ABM and myself hightailed it to from the airport) was the launch of Claire Beynon's superb - beautiful! wonderful! - book.
Superlatives do not seem adequate when trying to describe this book of poetry meeting art. It achieves a perfect dovetailing act: image with word. Maxine Alterio introduced the book beautifully, and I believe she mentioned the dovetailing aspect to it - it is certainly the perfect description.
As is the way of Claire's generous personality, the event charmed all present. It was held at the printer's (Rogan McIndoe) where the book was printed. A perfect place for a book launch when you think of it, there among the metal presses and mechanical surety. Down at ground level, where all the sweaty, inky work is carried out to birth a book. Claire is someone who manages to place the lovely, the surprising, the perfect, into the middle of everything she does. This launch was no exception.
Speaking of books. This one arrived in the mail the other day.
It's what I bought with the Amazon gift tokens I won from the Shameless Lions Writing Circle's competition, a few months back now, for the poem I wrote about the lion I named Kauri (refer to the sidebar.) I am also looking forward to receiving the latest Joni Mitchell cd, 'Shine', which I ordered about the same time.
And speaking of books ...
There's a whole book behind this door-handle.
Kowhai in rain.
And speaking of shine. The last of this kowhai's flowers seem to do just that - especially in the rain.