Mike Johnson: Selected Poems, ed. Jack Ross (2023)
Mike Johnson & Leila Lees: Sketches (2023)
Celebrated New Zealand novelist and poet Mike Johnson is having a triple booklaunch on Waiheke Island, where he lives, on Thursday next week. This biblioblitz of material includes a new novella, a new book of poems, and a substantial Selected Poems (edited by yours truly), sampling from his work in that medium over the last four decades.
Unfortunately I'm unable to be there, but I'm sure it will be a riproaring event - Murray Edmond will be launching the novella, and there will be discussion and readings from Mike and his collaborator Leila Lees, as well.
The details are as follows:
Afterworld, a novella, will be launched on Oct 5th, 6.30 – 7.30 pm, Waiheke Library, 133/131 Ocean View Road, Oneroa, part of our triple book launch which also includes Sketches, with Leila Lees, and Selected Poems edited by Jack Ross.
Afterworld is a novella length work of magical realism with a whodunit element. The plot follows a ghost who ends up in a hut on a New Zealand mountain. As the ghost seeks to understand their life and death, fragments of their past are remembered. Contending identities, times and events emerge.
Sketches contains lines caught on the fly. Poems which capture and celebrate the momentary, provisional nature of existence. Here we find the natural world, and matters of the heart, caught as they happen in language both natural and precise. They are beautifully complemented by the drawing and sketches of Leila Lees.
‘The immense complexity of human relationships, social, sexual and everyday are at the heart of much of Mike’s best poetry. However, there’s an almost equal pull towards the empyrean: the cosmic mysteries of nature and the visible world.' - Jack Ross, editor of Mike Johnson's Selected Poems (1983-2023).
Where: Waiheke Library, 133/131 Ocean View Road, Oneroa
When: Thursday 5 October, 6.30 to 7:30 pm
Mike Johnson: Three Books (21/8/23)
Mike himself comments:
I'm excited to have three new books to launch. These projects came together at the same time.
Sketches – Facebook readers might remember the Wednesday Poems that ran from June 2019 to June 2021, accompanied by Leila Lees' illustrations.
Afterworld – A novella which was also posted on Facebook, over 21 posts and finishing on Oct 19th 2022. Here it is thoroughly revised.
Selected Poems – Edited by Jack Ross, a selection of my poems since 1983, including Sketches.
NB: For further information, please go here
Katy Soljak: Mike Johnson (27/9/23)