Tired of winter?


Poems in the Waiting Room Spring 2015

If you’ve got the winter blues and the word spring only conjures up an elastic device then take heart, our poetry cards are ready and waiting to brighten your reading days as soon as Spring shows her face in less than 6 weeks. I’m counting down.

August is going to be a busy month for me so I finalised the spring poetry card in June and gave it to our printer before I went on holiday.  This week I’ve started the enveloping process so I won’t be panicking about meeting my distribution deadline late August.

Talking of panicking….these Auckland Zoo hippos don’t know the meaning of the word! I stopped to admire them last week and apart from blinking they didn’t budge from their mud bath -they have perfected the art of relaxation.


Faith and Fudge at Auckland Zoo



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Great paper bags for your purchases at Time Out

We’re just home after spending 10 days visiting friends on Magnetic Island.  28 degrees most days on Maggie and arriving home to -5 in Dunedin – quite a shock! On the way home we stopped off in Auckland for a couple of nights to visit our son who is studying in that humongous city. Walking back to our accommodation on Friday afternoon we came across Time Out Bookstore. Well we couldn’t walk by so we popped in for a browse and lingered and browsed and bought 3 books. It had a wonderful bustling friendly inviting atmosphere. One customer saw me holding my book and whispered, whatever you do don’t put it down. She went on to say she had gathered two books when Time Out’s sale started, put them down while she picked up another book and when she turned back to get them they were gone! Hold tight she said and we burst out laughing. Go visit your local bookshop and support it – I can’t bear the thought of a world without bookshops. 

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Lilliput News and Thanks


Our Lilliput Library business cards – created and donated by friends.


A successful funding application, a visit to Cargill Enterprises, a meeting with Bunnings coming up and the Lilliput Libraries project is going ahead. Check out all the news here.

2014 framed

To the kind person who sent an anonymous donation ‘for more poems in the waiting room’ please accept our sincere thanks. Your amazing generosity is so very much appreciated.

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Gifts of happiness

Annie Lighthart1

The lovely Annie Lighthart

Today I received two gifts.

One was a gift of words from Annie Lighthart in response to my request for the use of her poem for our Spring edition. ( I know, I know we’ve only stepped into winter but I like to be prepared!)

Thank you so much for writing — your lovely email has made my day.  To have my poem included in Poems in the Waiting Room would be an honor.  I can’t think of any better wish than for a poem to go out into the world that way, hoping to find someone who might need it. 

This is such a delight — and to know that the poem will find a home in New Zealand, a place that I have always wanted to visit, makes it even more so!

I mentioned to Annie that I would have to play with the lines of her poem to make it fit within the constraints of our cards.

I don’t mind at all about the indented lines carrying over to fit the card.  I played with the lines a little and maybe this form would work for the carry-over lines in the first stanza?

Annie’s generosity is much appreciated. Roll on Spring when we can showcase her poem.


I was working away in my potting shed, sorting out seeds I’d gathered from my summer garden when I came across some which had gone mouldy. I immediately thought of my friend Mary. We’ve never met but through Poems in the Waiting Room we’ve struck up a seasonal friendship! I post each new poetry card to Mary and she always replies with a letter, maybe some seeds from her garden or perhaps some chocolate. As I was thinking I’d need to write and ask her about my mouldy seeds Barry called out ‘mail’ and….. it was a letter from Mary with some chocolate and a mention that she enjoyed Pat White’s poem Notes from a winter postcard.

The chocolate was my Saturday night treat. Next, a letter to Mary to ask about my seeds. Maybe I need to bring them in from the shed.

Next week, good news about Lilliput Libraries – can’t say any more just yet!!!


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Our winter-red poetry card is on its way.

Winter 2015 ready to post

Ten NZ Post boxes of cards, all gone. The spare bedroom is ours once more, well until the spring card arrives!

After a glorious autumn, winter has arrived with a rush. Never mind, we were all ready and prepared. The winter-red poetry cards were posted off this afternoon so they should be landing in medical waiting rooms, hospices, rest homes and prisons over the next few days.

Thank you to all the poets in our winter card and all the poets over the previous 26 editions who have so willingly allowed me to ‘borrow’ their poems. I frequently hear from readers that after reading the card they’ve googled a poet or gone to the library or their local bookshop in search of more poems by their favourite poet.

And now, over to our winter poets………

Kath Beattie Kath Beattie says – Writing has been away of life from the beginning. We had no money for books, so we wrote our own. Since then I’ve had several adult and children’s short stories, children’s chapter books, two books in the Scholastic ‘My Story’ series, early childhood readers, articles, travel pieces and poems published and/or broadcast. I’ve also self-published a book on Loss and Grief.

David Eggleton
David Eggleton is a performance poet and writer. Part Polynesian, he grew up between Fiji and New Zealand. Eggleton’s many awards include six times Book Reviewer of the Year in the Montana New Zealand Book Awards, PEN Best First Book of Poetry, the Robert Burns Fellowship and, uniquely among New Zealand poets, he was London Time Out’s Street Entertainer of the Year in 1985. He also writes non-fiction, has produced several documentaries, CDs and short films.

Catherine Fitchett
Catherine Fitchett lives in Christchurch and has had poems published in The Christchurch Press, Takahe, JAAM and various anthologies. She has a day job in accounts but once upon a time, worked as a forensic scientist. This is not as exciting as it sounds, as she wasn’t allowed to make stuff up.

Brianna Houston – I am eleven years old and was born blind. I like swimming, listening to music, reading and listening to books and writing poetry. My Dad says I am a cheeky monkey and I like a good laugh. I love having leaf fights with my friends in autumn. I like being around animals and one day I would love to have a dog of my own.

Leslie McKay
Leslie McKay lives in the Maruia Valley, on the west coast of the South Island, where she found refuge after the Christchurch earthquakes. A poet and short fiction writer, she is collaborating with Lisa Tui on poem/songs for an EP steeped in the pre and post quake city and also runs poetry workshops there. She has been published online, read her work at Christchurch venues and in 2014 won the Hagley Writers Institute National Poetry Day competition.

Elizabeth Pulford

Elizabeth Pulford has published stories, poems, and articles for adults and children. Nearing to sixty books for children, from early readers through to Young Adults; and one adult’s novel. Many of her adult short stories won competitions, while three of her children’s books, The Memory Tree, (Scholastic); Call of the Cruins, (Scholastic); and Tussock (Walker Books) reached the finals of the New Zealand Post Children’s Book Awards.

Sandra Simpson
Sandra Simpson lives in Tauranga and is secretary of the Katikati Haiku Pathway Committee, editor of the Haiku NewZ website and South Pacific editor for the annual Red Moon anthology (US). She has won several awards for her haiku and has published her first collection, breath.

Hone Tuwhare -photo courtesy of the ODT

Hone TuwharePic Charmian Smith

Hone Tuwhare was loved and cherished by New Zealanders from all walks of life. Touring tirelessly, Hone shared his talent and inspired audiences in every corner of the country from primary and secondary schools to universities, factories to art galleries and prisons. As he travelled, Hone encouraged others to write, express themselves, create and celebrate life.

Born in 1922 in the small set­tle­ment of Koke­wai, just south of Kaikohe, Hone spent much of his child­hood in Auck­land with his father Ben, fol­low­ing the pass­ing of his mother Mihipaea when he was five.

A move to Beach Haven on Auckland’s North Shore in 1963 with the publication of his first book, No Ordinary Sun, in the following year, was life-changing for Hone. The collection was widely acclaimed and established him as a significant and unique presence on the New Zealand literary scene. Over the following four decades he published 12 more collections of poems, some short stories and a play, and immersed himself in writing, performing and touring both in New Zealand and over­seas. He was the recipient of many awards and fellowships and was twice winner of the Montana NZ poetry award. Hone was Te Mata Poet Laureate in 1999 and received two honorary doctorates in literature. He was named one of New Zealand’s ten greatest living artists in 2003.

(Thanks to the Hone Tuwhare Charitable Trust website – honetuwhare.org.nz)

Pat White reading at Four Poets

Pat White is a poet and essayist who lives in Fairlie. His first collection of poetry, Signposts, was published in 1977, and he has since published a range of collections that draw on his experience living in different places around New Zealand. Pat was the 2010 Writer in Residence at the historic Randell Cottage in Wellington.

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Braille and boxes

winter 2015

Amanda, from the Blind Foundation, sent me this cover photo of our Poems in the Waiting Room winter braille edition. The braille booklets will be dispatched on June 10. Sincere thanks to The Lion Foundation who are covering the costs of the braille poetry booklets for the next 4 seasons.

Winter 2015 boxes

I’ve only got one more box of poetry cards to unpack and address and then all the cards will be off and away during the last week of May.

Leslie McKay

Leslie McKay

Our winter edition always features New Zealand poets –   Leslie McKay, Hone Tuwhare, Kath Beattie, Sandra Simpson, Catherine Fitchett, Pat White, David Eggleton, Brianna Houston and Elizabeth Pulford.  I’ll have all their photos and bios posted here for you to read  within the next 10 days.

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Haiku and Art

Ron Moss, a Tasmanian visual artist, poet and lover of haiku, has been in Dunedin this week.  This afternoon we called in to visit Rob Piggott, a Dunedin artist, whom Ron met at Ron’s multimedia presentation at Blueskin Bay Library last year.

Ron and Rob

Ron C Moss and Rob Piggott

Since their last meeting Ron has published a book and Rob is in the process of moving studios and setting up a Gallery.


I’m hoping to feature news about Rob’s wonderful studio space and Gallery in the next month or two.  It would be a wonderful location for my 2016 PitWR exhibition!

I can see Rob and Ron having a collaborative exhibition in the near future.

RPfinal image

Rob’s response to Kirsten Cliff’s haiku for the Poems in the Waiting Room 2012 When North Meets South exhibition.

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