It feels as though Autumn is nudging her way into our days so it’s appropriate to acknowledge everyone who has contributed to our latest edition of Poems in the Waiting Room. We’ve gathered poets from Australia, America, and Great Britain, to join our New Zealand friends. Many thanks to all the poets for the loan of their work and to Creative New Zealand for sponsoring this edition. The following bios have either been provided by our poets or gleaned from other sources.
C. J. Allen’s poetry has appeared in a wide range of magazines & anthologies in the UK, USA, Ireland and elsewhere and has been broadcast on BBC Radio. In 2008/9 he worked with the sculptor Val Carman to produce site-specific sculpture featuring his poetry – which is now installed at a permanent base in the Peak District National Park. His most recent collections are: A Strange Arrangement: New and Selected Poems (Leafe Press, 2007), and Lemonade (a red ceilings press e-book, 2010 http://issuu.com/theredceilings/docs/lemonade). Violets – the winner of the 2011 Templar Press Pamphlet Competition – was published in November, and At the Oblivion Tea-Rooms is forthcoming from Nine Arches Press this year. He currently edits the reviews pages of the literary magazine Staple.
Meg Campbell grew up in Palmerston North, and studied acting in Wellington before meeting her husband Alistair Campbell in 1958. Meg published six poetry collections, beginning with The Way Back, which won the PEN Award for the Best First Book of Poetry in 1982. Poems Adrift, came out on 17 November 2007, a day after she died at home, and two days before her 70th birthday. It’s Love Isn’t It, a joint collection of love poems by Meg Campbell and Alistair Te Ariki Campbell, was published in 2008.
Cyril Childs lives in a high part of Port Chalmers looking out over Otago’s beautiful harbour. He has written haiku and related forms of poetry since working in Japan in the late 1980s and at times in the 90s.
Cyril sent me the above short bio in November. I learnt so much more about Cyril after listening to some heartfelt tributes from his friends at his February funeral. See http://www.poetrysociety.org.nz/cyrilshaikujourney to read more about Cyril’s wonderful contribution to the world of haiku.
Emilie Collyer lives in Melbourne, Australia. She writes poetry, prose, performance and also works as a copywriter. In 2011 she published Your Looking Eyes, a collection of illustrated poetry. You can find out about the book and see what else Emilie is up to at her blog: http://www.betweenthecracks.net
Kate Duignan lives in Wellington, and most of her time at the moment is spent looking after her young daughters (one 5 months and one 3 years). Her grandmother Molly, was still alive when Kate wrote Grandmother, and still in her own home with her husband Jack. Molly died in 2009.
Paula Harris lives in Palmerston North, which is a pretty good life indeed. She has been published in Takahe, Poetry New Zealand and JAAM, amongst others. Aside from writing poetry, she dances Argentine tango, teaches Italian cooking and listens to a lot of hip-hop – loudly.
Catherine Mair began writing in the late 1980s. At the time Catherine and her husband, Selwyn, were dairy farming in the Western Bay of Plenty. She loved the rural environment and enjoyed the space it afforded her family of four. Catherine became interested in writing haiku. One of her major achievements has been the inspiration of Katikati’s Haiku Pathway which evolved as Katikati’s millennium project. She is still involved as chairwoman of the Katikati Haiku Pathway Focus Committee.
Kenn Nesbitt lives in Spokane, Washington. He published his first collection of poetry, My Foot Fell Asleep, in 1998 followed by I’ve Seen My Kitchen Sink in 1999 and a third book, Sailing Off to Singapore, in 2000. He has published a further five poetry books with poems also appearing in magazines, school textbooks, numerous anthologies of funny poetry, as well as on television, audio CDs and even restaurant placemats. Check out his website http://www.poetry4kids.com. where Kenn tries to post a new funny poem every weekday.
Robert Louis Balfour Stevenson, Scottish novelist, essayist, and poet contributed several classics to the world of children’s literature. A Child’s Garden of Verses (1885), containing some of Stevenson’s best-known poems, is still regarded as one of the finest collections of poetry for children.
Essayist, poet, and storyteller, E. B. White wrote for the New Yorker, Harper’s Magazine, the Atlantic Monthly, and other magazines, and for newspapers. He published over twenty books, including One Man’s Meat (1944), The Second Tree From the Corner (1954), The Points of My Compass (1962), Letters of E.B. White (1976, and Revised Edition, 2006), Essays of E. B. White (1977) and three books for children: Stuart Little (1945), Charlotte’s Web (1952), and The Trumpet of the Swan (1970). Among his many awards are the Gold Medal for Essays and Criticism of the American Academy of Arts and Letters, the Laura Ingalls Wilder Award, the National Medal for Literature, and the Presidential Medal of Freedom. In 1973 he was elected to the American Academy of Arts and Letters.