With all the busyness of being at Olveston, and organising the PoARTry @ Olveston exhibition, winter has whistled by this year. Our kowhai is in flower, our daffodils are blooming, and other bulbs and plants are busy pushing up through the cold winter earth so, Spring is very nearly here.
The Spring card is bright, very bright and very hard to miss. It’s packed with wonderful poems. Richard, Grace, Kaitrin and Todd have all appeared in our cards before but we have newcomers as well. Cate, Kaitrin and Lindy’s poems were entries in the 2014 Poems in the Waiting Room competition. Although they weren’t selected as winners by Helen Lehndorf they definitely deserved a placement in our cards. Lindy’s poem is a very clever concrete poem – its shape is the subject of the poem. I thought that might be too tricky to present in our cards but nothing is impossible for my wonderful printers!
I’ll be distributing the cards next week so they’re be available from September 1. Pick a card up and have a read when you’re next at the doctors or if you’re well and healthy you’re always welcome to pop into your local medical centre and take a card home.
Introducing the Spring poets
My name is Cate Campbell, I am 12 years old and I go to Waikowhai Intermediate. My favourite subject at school is writing because there is no limit to my creativity. I have two cats called Phoebe and Stanley, an older brother and a younger sister. I decided to send a poem in because I haven’t written much poetry and I have found that I really enjoy it.
Born in the Bronx in 1922, Grace Paley was a renowned writer and activist. Her Collected Stories was a finalist for both the Pulitzer Prize and the National Book Award. She died in Vermont on August 22, 2007.
Kaitrin McMullan was born in Scotland where she lived until she was two. She now resides in the green Leith Valley Dunedin where birdsong threads the sky She is a professional storyteller, tale trader and puppeteer.
I was raised in Currie, Midlothian, the child of an ordinary, non-literary Scottish background. Writing poetry was an odd thing to do. I don’t know why it began, but it was secretive and liberating and real.
I have what Robert Louis Stevenson called ‘a strong Scots accent of the mind’ and my
constellation of interests seem to include the natural world (widely defined), archaeology, medical humanities, and art. To produce work I’ve walked and sailed many miles, and benefitted from the company and expertise of visual artists, pathologists, curators, ornithologists, and from encounters with other species too, especially birds and whales.
Since 2010, I’ve held a part-time post as Professor of Poetry at the University of Stirling.
Find out more about Kathleen here
I’ve been living on the West Coast since taking a job here as community education co-ordinator in 1998, and becoming the first South African to organise a chainsaw workshop attended by Keri Hulme. From 2005 I did a four year stint in Nelson as Costume Design tutor at the polytech but am back on the Coast working (paid or unpaid) as a designer, textile artist, art tutor and advocate, curator, facilitator, shop assistant, window dresser and amanuensis for my neighbour, an octogenarian historian. I have a BA in English & Drama from last century and would like to return to the world of words now that I’m of a certain age. I think you “get” poetry and literature better when you’ve lived a bit.
Richard Langston’s five books of poetry are Boy (2003), Henry, Come See the Blue (2005), Newspaper Poems (2007), Trouble Lamp (2009), Things Lay in Pieces (2012). All published by Fitzbeck of Wellington.
Ron C. Moss is an artist and poet from Tasmania, a place of wilderness that inspires his work. Ron is recognized as an outstanding illustrator and designer of many poetry books, and his haiku and achievements in related genres have been widely published and honored with many awards.
“I consider myself a student of the Zen arts,” Ron writes, “which have fascinated me from an early age. I enjoy the distilled conciseness of haiku, the exploration of art and mixed media, and sometimes I like to combine the two, as in the ancient tradition of haiga. I try to bring a sense of contemplation into my work. Moments of stillness are important in our very busy lives, and my path is to practice the way of art and haiku poetry.” Read more about Ron here.
Todd Boss grew up on an 80-acre cattle farm in west central Wisconsin. His poetry collections are Pitch (2012) and Yellowrocket (2008), both from W. W. Norton. His poems have appeared in The New Yorker, Poetry, NPR, and the London Times. He has collaborated on an array of creative projects from film and public art to dance and opera. His is a founder of Motionpoems, a poetry film company. Todd lives in north suburban Saint Paul with his wife and children. Read more about Todd here.
To read about Tony have a look here. Many thanks to David Higham Associates for permission to include Tony’s poem in our cards.