25 May 2008

Events at Storylines Festival of New Zealand Children's Writers & Illustrators

Info on four bookish events in Wellington, courtesy of the Storylines Festival of New Zealand Children's Writers & Illustrators, follows below:

30 May – 30 June: Exhibition at Capital E
Illustrators taking part in the Storylines Festival display their work for sale at the Capital E gallery space. Artists featured include Ruth Paul, Bruce Potter, Gavin Bishop and Scott Tulloch. Free entry.

Wednesday 4 June: School Journal Stories Performed Sarah Delahunty's teenage drama group
First Gear Productions presents 'Child's Play: Performing the School Journal'. Stories adapted for the stage include Sir Edmund Hillary's 'The Summit' and Margaret Mahy's 'The Lion in the Meadow'. National Library Auditorium, 7 – 8pm (coffee from 6.30pm). Introduced by Gregory O'Brien. Entry by koha. Please RSVP for catering to the New Zealand Book Council, email: reception@bookcouncil.org.nz or phone: 499 1569

Sunday 8 June: Free Family Day in Newtown
Authors, illustrators, storytellers, craft activities in a jam-packed schedule for kids and their caregivers at the Storylines Festival Free Family Day. Special guests include Joy Cowley, Mrs Wishy Washy, Hairy Maclary and Babette Cole. Activities change every 30 minutes.

Sunday 8 June, 10am – 3pm, Te Whaea National Dance & Drama Centre, Hutchison Road, Newtown. Free fun for all the family. Thursday 12 June: Evening Seminar at National Library Join Babette Cole (UK) and Carole Wilkinson (Aust) for a glass of wine and conversation. `From Factual to Fabulous', an evening seminar at the National Library Auditorium, introduced by Dylan Owen. Thursday 12 June from 6.30pm. Bookings essential. Phone The Children's Bookshop: 04 387 3905 Tickets $35 and $25 (members & students).

18 May 2008

Lindsay Rabbit at Poetry Society/JAAM 26 progress report/Congrats to Tim Jones

I prefer my posts to be tightly written, focused explorations, nay elucidations, of a single topic (surely you’ve noticed), but today I’m gong to cheat and do three-in-one.

Lindsay Rabbitt at Poetry Society

The May meeting of the Poetry Society is this Monday, 19 May, at 7.30pm, in The Greta Fernie Room, Leuven Belgian Beer Cafe, cnr Featherston and Johnston Sts, Wellington (New Zealand, for my international readers).

Lindsay Rabbitt is the guest poet. According to his website, he is ‘a New Zealand writer and multi-media artist based on the Kapiti Coast. He has published poems, essays and short stories. His latest book is These Lives I Have Buried, which was published as part of the Montana essay series, edited by Lloyd Jones and published by his Four Winds Press.’

While researching him on the net, I found this kind of random interesting tidbit in an interview with Bill Manhire: ‘Nowadays, whenever I meet Lindsay Rabbit, another poet who lives in Wellington, I have an immediate rapport with him, because we both grew up in pubs in the bottom of the South Island. There are things we know about that no one else in Wellington does.’

JAAM 26 progress report

Tim Jones, guest editor of JAAM 26, has posted on his blog a wee report about where he’s up to with compiling the next issue.

Basically, he’s read through heaps and heaps of submissions, has found some treasures, and now has to make some tough decisions. He’ll be getting back to submitters soon, and then we’ll start getting it ready for publication.

Sounds like it will be (another) great issue, and I’m looking forward to it.

Congrats to Tim Jones

While we’re on the subject of Tim Jones, congratulations are in order. Tim’s soon-to-be released second short story collection Transported has been long-listed for the 2008 Frank O'Connor International Short Story Award.

This award, organised by the Munster Literature Centre, Ireland, goes to the author of the book judged to be the best collection of stories published in English for the first time anywhere in the world in the past year. Tim is one of four New Zealanders to be long list, along with Sue Orr, Elizabeth Smither and Witi Ihimaera. Congrats to all. Read more about it here.

10 May 2008

My Iron Spine cover/New Zealand writing

Hello again. I feel like it's ages since I've posted, and it has been over a week. I hope you didn't think I'd given up. I'd like to say I've been doing lots of terribly useful and important things in the meantime, but I haven't been doing much writing of any kind. Or much reading for that matter.

One thing I have been doing is working on cover concepts for My Iron Spine. I'm down to two concepts - one a rather cool but possibly too dark photograph, the other involving a little painting of a torso in a corset, seen from the back - constriction/containment etc (painted by moi, on Tuesday night, and I think it's turned out pretty well). I'm going to tinker further with them, and then see what my publisher thinks. I'd better hurry up, because the distributor needs a cover soon. I've been showing various options to people, and mostly they don't agree. There did seem to be a general preference for the two I'm favouring though. When I have something sorted, I'll post it here.

What I was actually planning to write about, though I got slightly sidetracked, was about a post over here on Undulating Ungulate, where Billy asks for advice on what New Zealand literature he might like. It helps of course if you know Billy, but I'd be interested to know what some of your favourite New Zealand writers/books are.

I suggested Billy should read Maurice Gee, especially Plumb; Lloyd Jones, especially Biografi; and Tim Corballis. For Billy, I should have also mentioned Julian Novitz and the stories of Tim Jones.

For myself, I am also a big fan of Katherine Mansfield - I think my fav story is 'Daughters of the Late Colonel', though I'm also very keen on 'At the Bay'. (My first, and I thought rather successful, short screenplay was an adaptation of 'At the Bay' - though at 30 pages, it's probably too long to get made. Sean and I also wrote a screen adaptation of 'Daughters of the Late Colonel', which I think needed some more work, but such a beautifully surreal and hilarious story would be great on screen if you could get it right.) I think it's kind of a pity that we often study her at school, when I'm not sure we're really ready for her.

There's also lots of New Zealand poetry I like. Some of my favs include the writers I've published: Vivienne Plumb, Anna Jackson, Jenny Powell-Chalmers, Scott Kendrick. Also Harry Ricketts, South by Chris Orsman. Also influential: Fleur Adcock, Mark Pirie, James K Baxter, Ursula Bethell, many more.

Now that I've started thinking about it, I'm sure there's lots more I'd add. But I'm really keen to know some of your favs - expand my horizons.