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.


Avus said...

a book in the door handle? There is, indeed!

Tammy Brierly said...

I loved your holiday shots and I must get "Open Book." Thanks CB!

Kamsin said...

Those yellow flowers are gorgeous!

S. Kearney said...

Oh, isn't skype wonderful, CB!
I used MSN for a while to talk with my mum in NZ but then discovered skype, which has amazing sound quality. No more expensive phone calls home! :-)

As for Grace, she's really turning out to be a mystery in the making! :-)

I'm glad to see you bought a Clampitt book with your prize money. I remember a friend in London was given a copy of her Kingfisher book years ago by an American lover, which had lots of great pieces. Lots of beautiful poems about animals, plants and nature if I remember rightly. :-) Enjoy.

Catherine said...

The last of the kowhai? It still seems to be flourishing in Christchurch - but when you posted daffodil photos, they were mostly wilted here. So the daffodils are earlier and the kowhai is later in Christchurch? - seems a bit strange
The Claire Beynon book looks wonderful. I've long wanted to buy a book of her poetry, but fear I can't afford one that includes art work - what's the price?

Kay Cooke said...

avus - Oh yes - and one day i will write it! :)

tammy - Thanks tammy. Good to see you back on beoard1 :)

Kamsin - They just say "Spring!" don't they?

shameless - Thanks so much - thanks to you for the gift of the Amy Clampitt book one I have wanted to buy for a very long time.

Catherine - Thanks - I've changed it now to read this kowhai as I realised it was a little misleading the way I had it before - don't worry, there are still kowhai flowering here in Dunedin too - there are early and late varieties I believe.
Claire's book is fifty dollars retail.

apprentice said...

Lovely pictures and a great post.
I've been trying to keep up with developments with Grace.

The poetry sounds varied and interesting and I'm sure you must be relieved to be through your MC spot.

The door picture would go well with Clarity of the nights spooky stairwell/cellar shot!

Becky Willis Motew said...

You are an important part of the poetry scene, CB, and I'm sure your colleagues are glad for it.

It's a little like church in its way.


Kay Cooke said...

apprentice - Thanks! I must go check out where the door handle might fit!

becky - Hee hee ... church! ... hee hee!
I can't wait to use that line! ;)

64BakerSt said...

Wonderful photos as usual!

The door handle is exactly why I like antiques. You can't help but wonder what lives they have lived and what things they have seen! (not that a thing can see, or live, but you know what I mean.) :-)

That could be the seed of a NaNoWriMo project... ;)

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