We're launching Paula Green's new collection The Baker's Thumbprint in both Auckland and Wellington on the 18th and 21st of May. Come along to one or other, or both! The launch invitations are below, and the Facebook events are here for Auckland: http://www.facebook.com/events/468081233260334/ or here for Wellington: http://www.facebook.com/events/163956803780493/.
Helen Lehndorf, author of The Comforter, and Maria McMillan, author of the up-coming collection The Rope Walk (which we're publishing in July), are doing a couple of Massey University 'Writers Read' sessions at in Wellington and Palmerston North. The first session is at Massey's Wellington campus this Wednesday, and the other is at the Palmerston North City Library a week later. Here's the blurb:
The Wellington programme begins with an event featuring Helen Lehndorf, the 2013 Visiting Artist (Creative Writing) in the School of English and Media studies. Lehndorf is a Manawatu writer and writing teacher. Her work has appeared in many journals including Sport, Landfall, Hue & Cry, Takahe and North & South magazine. Her feature writing has appeared in the Dominion Post and her fiction produced on Radio New Zealand National. Her debut collection of poetry, The Comforter, featured in The Listener's '100 Best Books of 2012' list. Lehndorf will be joined by friend and fellow poet Maria McMillan, a poet, activist and undercover librarian. McMillan’s poetry sequence The Rope Walk comes out with Seraph Press in July and her second book Tree Space is to be published by Victoria University Press in 2014. In this session they'll share their poetry and discuss writing, the writing life and their shared love of op shopping.
Wednesday 17 April
Reading: 12:30 pm | Light refreshments to follow
Theatre Laboratory (Block 5, Level D, Room 14) Wallace Street, Entrance A
Wellington Campus, Massey University
Palmerston North session:
Wednesday 24 April
Reading: 6 pm | Light refreshments to follow
Palmerston North City Library
Helen has written a blog post about her friendship with Maria and their shared love of writing in a blog post: Celebrating a long apprenticeship.
I didn't quite manage to figure out how to get Seraph Press books to the Frankfurt Book Fair last year, but thanks to the good grace and proactiveness of Roger Hickin of Cold Hub Press, Seraph Press books have made it to the AWP Conference twice now. The most recent conference was earlier this month, and Roger has kindly written a piece explaining what AWP is and what he was up to there.
At the AWP Bookfair, Boston, 7–9 March 2013
I’d just come from 35˚C in Nicaragua. In Boston the temperature was scarcely above 0˚C and there was a snowstorm on the way.
I was in Boston for the AWP Conference. AWP is the Association of Writers and Writing Programs, i.e., all the university creative writing programmes in the USA. And each year, in a different US city (this year Boston), they have a big conference, more of a convention perhaps, with now upwards of 11,000 aspiring writers, practising writers, writing teachers and administrators, all eager to progress their careers. Lectures, seminars, discussions, readings, book launches. “Nothing else has quite the packed, desperate frenzy of AWP,” writes my friend Jim Kates, poet, translator, co-director of Zephyr Press, an AWP veteran.
There’s a bookfair too, for three days, from 8.30 am to 6.00 pm, with all the associated university presses displaying their magazines and peddling the first books of their ambitious star graduates. And among this orgy of programmatic creativity (“This is, after all,” says my friend, “a conference not of writers, but of writing programs”), like Daniels in the lions’ den, are some independent small presses and literary magazines. These are mostly US-based, but this year Versal was there from Amsterdam and for the second time, Seraph Press and Cold Hub Press from New Zealand.
The aspiring writers, mostly unacquainted with world literature, or indeed with anything much other than their tutors’ work and their own dreams of publication, drift by the tables with a casual glance at covers, but there are enough genuine readers, writers, editors, translators to make the thing worthwhile.
Books are examined, admired, discussed, swapped, bought; cards are exchanged, invitations issued to submit work to magazines. On the Seraph/Cold Hub table Vivienne Plumb’s The Cheese and Onion Sandwich (Seraph Press) sold out (it’s a little guidebook to the quirks of Middle Earth after all); John Gallas’s Fucking Poets (a three-volume Cold Hub Press chapbook) was, unsurprisingly, the most scrutinised title on the table and almost sold out.
Outside, in a foot of snow, brownstone Boston was doing its best to look like an impressionist painting. But by the time we emerged from the cavernous Hynes Convention Centre for the last time the snow was beginning to turn to slush.
Isn't it gorgeous!
The cover features a wonderful artwork by Michael Hight, which was especially painted for this book. I've just added a page for The Baker's Thumbprint, so you can go there to find out more about the collection, and about Paula: http://www.seraphpress.co.nz/the-bakers-thumbprint.html. There's also a sneak preview of a few poems from the book.
The Baker's Thumbprint is going off to print next week, and will be all ready for us to launch it at the Auckland Writers and Readers Festival, on Saturday 18 March, from 1.15 to 2.15, at Q Theatre, 305 Queen Street. Invitations will be forthcoming closer to the time (and also to the second launch we're planning to have in Wellington later in May), but all are welcome. Unfortunately the book launches don't seem to be included in the listings on the website, but you'll find them in the front of the print booklet.
Immediately after the launch, you'll also want to see Paula introducing the Poets Aplenty event later on that Saturday afternoon, which features Fleur Adcock, John Newton and Maris O'Rourke (2:30 to 3:15 in the Limelight Room, Aotea Centre).
It's a great weekend for seeing Helens read poetry on the Kapiti Coast.
First up, Helen Heath joins the Rocky Outcroppers: Kirsten McDougall, Pip Adam and Ashleigh Young, and other special guests: Lynn Jenner, Tina Makereti, in an event chaired by Lawrence Patchett. That's at St Peters Hall in Paekakariki, on the afternoon of Saturday 23 March, at 2 pm. (Here's the Facebook event thingy, if that's useful to you: https://www.facebook.com/events/452016948197657/.) Rumour has it there will pikelets and ginger crunch! The event is free, but you'll most likely want to buy their books, so cash is useful.
And then the next day, on Sunday 24 March at 4 pm, at Valhalla in Raumati South, you can see (and hear!) Helen Lehndorf and fellow Palmerston Northian Poet Tim Upperton read their poetry. There'll be an open mic before the guest poets wow us.
Maria McMillan has written on her blog about her 'next big thing', which is The Rope Walk, the poetry collection we're publishing in July. She explains the project's genesis, swhat she's exploring in the poems, and that Jennifer Lawrence could play all the characters, should it ever be made into a movie.
Here's a taster:
I became fascinated with the idea of waves of people from Scotland and England, leaving their countries, their parents, their siblings, the graves of their ancestors and coming somewhere new. And then sometimes awful ship journeys where babies died, and adults too. And then arriving somewhere so utterly different. There must have been so much grief with that. And then I started thinking about how every generation seems to go through some major losses, men being lost in wars, the soul destroying recession of the 1980s, the suicides, the bitter thread through all those years of violence against women. I think grief often isn't dealt with well, and what does that mean, and how does that get passed on down the generations. All that feeds into the book, You might not realise it reading the poems, some of which I hasten to add, are more joyful than sad, but all that stuff is going on there in the background.
Read the whole thing on her blog here: http://mariamcmillan.weebly.com/3/post/2013/03/the-next-big-thing.html
Poet Paula Green, whose poetry collection The Baker's Thumbprint we are publishing in May, is running a poetry competition for children. The five winning poems will be included in a new anthology of New Zealand poetry for children that she's editing, which will be published by Random House in 2014. Check out the details here on her new poetry blog for children: http://nzpoetrybox.wordpress.com/2013/02/14/a-fabulous-poetry-competition-for-children/.
Vivienne Plumb, whose most recent poetry collection was The Cheese and Onion Sandwich and other New Zealand Icons: Prose Poems, is the judge of the Ben Cauchi Poetry Competition for Wellington's City Gallery.
She has selected her top 10 out of the 68 entries and now you have a chance to vote for your favourite. The winner of the voting will win the People's Choice Award.
For more details, and to read the top 10 poems: http://www.citygallery.org.nz/news/people-s-choice
For more about the Ben Cauchi exhibition, Sophist's Mirror: http://www.citygallery.org.nz/exhibition/ben-cauchi-the-sophist-s-mirror
After a bit breather last year, Seraph Press is making up for it in 2013, with two poetry books already scheduled for publication.
In May we will be launching The Baker’s Thumbprint, a new book by well-known poet Paula Green. Philosophers, scientists and artists such as Socrates, Simone de Beauvoir, Albert Einstein and Jane Austen make appearances in these playful and thought-provoking poems. The cover (which is almost finished) features a painting by artist Michael Hight (who just happens to be Green’s partner). Green has published seven previous collections, including two for children, and has written children’s books. She co-authored 99 Ways into New Zealand Poetry (2010) with Harry Ricketts and edited Dear Heart: 150 New Zealand Love Poems (2012).
Paula Green is a poet I’ve admired for a long time, and while I love her previous books, especially Making Lists for Frances Hodgkins I think this may be her best yet. It’s a great honour to be publishing it.
In July we launch The Rope Walk, a poem sequence by Wellington poet Maria McMillan. The non-chronological collection tells the story of generations of a fictional family, from rope makers in 18th-century Scotland, to shipboard migrants in the mid-19th century on their way to New Zealand, and finally to a rope-climbing aerialist in the late 20th century. The Rope Walk will be hand-bound, with a letterpress-printed cover.
Maria McMillan isn’t a new poet by any means, but this is her first collection. It’s always wonderful to be involved with introducing a poet to a broader audience. I’m also a big fan of poem sequences, so this is right up my alley.
2013 also marks the year that Seraph Press has finally gotten around to printing a proper catalogue of the books its published. I’m very proud of all of them.
Helen Lehndorf has been awarded the Massey Visiting Literary Artist for 2013. This is excellent news to cap off a great year for Helen, whose debut collection The Comforter has received great reviews, had a poem selected for Best New Zealand Poems and been included in the Listener's 100 Best Books of 2012. It's also sold out the original print run, and has just been reprinted.
Helen will take up her residency in April, and will be working on her next poetry collection which she says 'will be a creative response to environmental decline and humanity as an endangered species'.
As well as writing her own work, Helen will be involved with Massey's masters of creative writing and will be the first guest at the 2013 Writers Read Series, organised by the School of English and Media Studies, at the Palmerston North City Library.
There's more information on the Massey University site, here: http://www.massey.ac.nz/massey/about-massey/news/article.cfm?mnarticle_uuid=AE97C76F-C3B3-DE12-DEDD-68F167FEC929