Welcome to the twenty-first edition of Poems in the Waiting Room (NZ). I’ve sourced poems for this edition from the UK, the USA and NZ. It may appear rather ‘light’ on NZ poems but NZ poets get the chance to shine in the winter poetry card which is our ‘exclusively NZ poets’ edition. It will also feature the four winning poets from our competition which closes on February 28. You’ve still got plenty of time to enter. Be inspired by this summer edition and with ‘time off’ over the Christmas break treat yourself to a game of words. You might just come up with the winning poem! If you would like some guidance hop over here and read what our judge Helen Lehndorf has to say about the competition.
Now read all about the poets whose work features in our summer poetry card.
Moira Andrew, born and educated in Scotland. Ex primary Head, ex College of Education lecturer, for six years a part-time tutor in Creative Writing at the University of Glamorgan. Now living and working in Cornwall. The author of a number of books on language and poetry-teaching for primary teachers, ‘Language in Colour (Belair)’ and ‘Paint a Poem’ (Belair) probably the best-known. Moira writes for both children and adults. Her most recent collection for children is ‘Wish a Wish’, from Poetry Space, 2012. Her fourth collection for adults is ‘Firebird’, from Indigo Dreams Publishing, 2011, with a follow-up, ‘Man-in-the-Moon’ due from IDP later in 2013.
Ruth Dallas was a poet and children’s author who published more than 20 books in her lifetime. She was the Burns Fellow at Otago University in 1968. She received an honorary doctorate from Otago University in 1978, and a CBE (Companion of the Order of the British Empire) in 1989.
Lola Haskins lives in Gainesville, Florida. Her work has appeared in The Atlantic, The London Review of Books, London Magazine, and elsewhere. She has published eleven books of poetry and three of prose. Among her awards are a silver medal from the Florida Book Awards, the Iowa Poetry Prize, two NEA fellowships, four Florida state fellowships, the Emily Dickinson Prize from the Poetry Society of America, and narrative prizes from New England Review and Southern Poetry Review. Since 2005, when she retired from teaching Computer Science at the University of Florida, Ms. Haskins has served on the faculty of a low-residency MFA program in Tacoma, WA. For more information, please visit her at http://www.lolahaskins.com.
Robert Hedin is the author, translator, and editor of twenty-three books of poetry and prose. The recipient of numerous honors and awards for his work, he is co-founder and current director of the Anderson Center, a residential artist retreat, in Red Wing, Minnesota, and co-editor of Great River Review.
Karen Hubbard was born May 17, 1952 in Chicago. She lived her early years in the Chicago area and is currently a Professor of Biology at The City College of New York and has published extensively in research areas of cancer and aging. She lives in West Orange, New Jersey. Since coming to New Jersey, she has given readings in several venues such as the Poet’s Forum, the West Orange Arts Council Art Expo and Watchung Booksellers. She has published poetry in Amelia, A Stone Unturned (Anthology), Austin Downtown Arts Magazine, Maultrommel, Open Doors (Anthology), Promethean, and Shot Glass Journal. She has published two books of poetry, Rain (2006) and The Day is Quieter than Night (2012).
Cilla McQueen has published eleven collections and a CD of her poetry. As poet, artist and language teacher, her work has extended into areas of performance, music and the teaching of creative writing. She lives and writes in the southern New Zealand port of Bluff. Her work has earned many honours and awards, including three New Zealand Book Awards, two terms of the Robert Burns Fellowship, inaugural writer’s fellowships to Australia and to Berlin, and a Fulbright Visiting Writer’s Fellowship. New Zealand’s Poet Laureate in 2009-11, in 2010 she received the Prime Minister’s Award for Literary Achievement in Poetry.
Robert Morgan: I was born October 3, 1944 in Hendersonville, North Carolina and grew up on the family farm in the Green River valley of the Blue Ridge Mountains. As a teenager I was interested in composing music as well as in writing poetry and fiction. But I was encouraged to study science in those “Beat the Russian” years after the first Sputnik was launched. After starting out in engineering and applied mathematics at North Carolina State University, I transferred to UNC-Chapel Hill and graduated in 1965 with a B.A. in English. In 1968 I received a Master of Fine Arts degree from UNC-Greensboro.
My first story was written in the sixth grade, on a day when the rest of the class visited the Biltmore House near Asheville. I did not have the three dollars for the trip, and rather than let me sit idle all day my teacher, Dean Ward, suggested I write a story describing how a man lost in the Canadian Rockies, without gun or knife, makes his way back to civilization. All day I sat in the classroom by myself working at the details of my character’s escape from the wilderness. I was so absorbed in my story I was surprised to find the other students had returned that afternoon.
My earliest publications were short stories, but I soon became caught up in the excitement about poetry in the late 1960s. After coming to Cornell in 1971 I wrote only poems for ten years, and published three more books of poems, Land Diving, Trunk & Thicket, and Groundwork. But in 1980 I began writing fiction again, and published my first book of short stories, The Blue Valleys, in 1989. But I also published three more books of poetry, At the Edge of the Orchard Country, 1987, Sigodlin, 1990, and Green River: New and Selected Poems, 1991.
In 1992 I published The Mountains Won’t Remember Us, a volume of stories and a novella. Good Measure, a collection of essays and interviews on poetry, was published in 1993. In 1994 I published the novel The Hinterlands. My novel The Truest Pleasure was listed by Publisher’s Weekly as one of the notable books of 1995 and was finalist for the Southern Book Critics Circle Award. My story “The Balm of Gilead Tree” was included in the 1997 O. Henry Awards anthology. A new novel, Gap Creek, was published by Algonquin Books in 1999. At present I am Kappa Alpha Professor of English at Cornell, and served as Distinguished Visiting Professor of Writing at Appalachian State University, Fall 2000.
Greg O’Connell “I’m a poet and performer working in schools throughout New Zealand, and around the world. I’m a wholehearted ambassador for poetry, because poetry brings words and the world alive, in ways that only poetry can. Poetry has the power to make literacy exciting, enriching, and sensational fun.”
So goes the official blurb on the home page of my website and, more recently, my Facebook page. But the real magic happens when young faces, and eyes, and minds, and hearts, light up with the pure fun of taking part in a live, interactive poetry show. There is no experience quite like it!
John Stuart was born in the south-east of England of Scottish parents and spent his childhood and adolescence living on a farm. He decided early that he was not cut out for farm life but it remains one of his recurrent themes. He read Russian and German at university and also speaks French (languages were the only school subjects he was good at, he claims).
He spent most of his working life commuting from Hertfordshire into London but moved to Somerset in 1995 to open a regional office for his employers and feels it is the best move he ever made. A self-confessed slow starter, he retired early in 2005 specifically to devote himself to writing his own poetry and developing the audience for poetry in Somerset.
He hadn’t made much effort to get published or win prizes but had a few poems in print and won one prize before his first collection Word of Mouth, was published in 2009. An ‘impressive debut’ said Staple magazine editor Wayne Burrows. He is currently chairman of Fire River Poets, organises the Poetry at The Brewhouse events in Taunton and is an active advocate for south-west poets and poetry.”
Look out for this purple card appearing in medical centre waiting rooms, rest homes and hospices very soon. If you know of a medical centre, resthome, or hospice which doesn’t receive the cards, and they would like to, please contact me – Ruth. waitingroompoems (at) gmail(d0t) com.