Thursday, February 21, 2008

I say Te Mata

Yes, it's that time again! Poetry junkets are in the air. Here's the nzepc crew setting off for Stewart Island in Easter 2006. This year Michele Leggott, our new Poet Laureate, is taking a busload of poets down to Hawke's Bay for a powhiri and presentation of her Tokotoko carved poet's staff at Matawihi marae. This will be followed by a reading at the Hawke's Bay Opera House on Saturday night (23rd February: 8 pm. If that information makes you feel curious, then you should definitely come along).

I must confess that it's the roadtrip aspect that appeals to me most. After all, term starts on Monday, and there won't be any more fun after that till Easter at the earliest. The readings should be good, though (even if that Stewart Island crowd pictured below looks a little restive -- they don't know that they're about to experience the epic intensities of my "Zen and the Art of America's Next Top Model" poem).

So here's the (planned) list of readers on Saturday night (everyone's promised to keep to five minutes each, so it'll be short, sharp and very disciplined):

MCs: John Buck & Penny Carnaby

1. Elizabeth Smither
2. Rowley Habib
3. Nic Harry
4. Jessie Macnell
5. Paula Green
6. Jack Ross
7. Keith Thorsen

- break-

8. Selina Tusitala Marsh
9. Brian Flaherty
10. Sue Mun Huang
11. Sonya Clark
12. Helen Sword
13. Murray Edmond
14. Michele Leggott

And as for that "Te Mata" pun ... I guess the idea is that this is a kind of changing of the guard between the five Te Mata Vineyard Poet Laureates and the new National Library-funded Laureates. The same kind of thing happened in America, as I understand it, when the rather unglamorously-labelled "Poetry Consultant to the Library of Congress" became the "Poet Laureate of the United States." I think we can all drink to that -- in Te Mata sauvignon blanc, preferably.

1 comment:

Michael Steven said...

Ahh, but will the crowd be able to handle the Douglas & Rita experience?