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You are invited to the launch of


AUP New Poets 3





What is it?

The launch of a poetry book by Janis Freegard,

Katherine Liddy and Reihana Robinson

followed by music from the fabulous Sans Souci


Where is it?

at the Mighty  Mighty  Bar in Cuba Mall

(upstairs between Rex Royale and Mr Bun)


When is it?

on Weds 13th August 08  5:30  – 7:30pm


Can I bring my friends? Workmates?  People I meet on the street?

The more the merrier!


What can I expect there?

poetry! at 6ish

  accordion music! at 6:30ish

  free spiders!

   fine company!

  cheese straws!


What if I hate poetry?

You can hang out at the bar with the other philistines until it’s over.


What’s with the spiders?

Janis’ section of the book is called ‘The Continuing Adventures of Alice Spider and Other Tales”

but only Janis will be there on account of the other two being overseas


OK, I have been out looking for spiders.  I have promised free spiders at the poetry book launch and I shall deliver.  Over the past couple of weeks, I have been to every $2 shop and craft shop in Wellington and today I have come home with several bags of plastic spiders, in varying lurid colours.  I thought it would be easier.  I thought there would sheet upon sheet of spider stickers and fake spider tattoos, that the craft shops would be full of little wooden spiders and fluffy spiders and spider stamps.  Alas, I was mistaken.  Some of the things I found didn’t even have the right number of legs (8 – they’re arachnids; if they have 6 legs they are either insects or differently abled).  And what is the deal with butterflies?  Butterflies galore; butterflies as far as the eye can see;butterly upon butterly upon sparkly, glittery butterfly, but a sad and inexplicable lack of spiders.

I like spiders.  I had a flatmate once (who shall remain nameless) who, despite spending his university holidays working at the freezing works, would call me if he came across a spider in the bath.  Personally, I was brought up to believe that spiders were worthy, fly-eating creatures and that, while it was permissable to vacuum up their uninhabited webs, the spiders themselves should be left to rebuild in the ceiling corners. 

If you want to read one of my spider poems, you can click here:



If you want a spider of your own, do come along to the Wellington version of the AUP New Poets 3 launch.  I’m hoping it will be at Mighty Mighty on Wednesday 13th August 2008, at 5:30pm, but right now I can’t get hold of Rich the Gig Booker to confirm.  Katherine Liddy is also planning a launch in Vancouver – so it’s a truly global publication.

Perhaps you’re wondering: why spiders?  My section of the book is called “The Continuing Adventures of Alice Spider and other Tales” – a reference to an interminable prose poem I started writing when I was 18 or 19. 
Be kind to spiders: eight legs good; two legs bad.





My main writing project at the moment (apart from the novel looking resentful and neglected on top of my printer) is organising The Launch.  My two fellow poets (sister poets?) are overseas, so there’s no hope of a joint event.  Instead I am endeavouring to organise a bit of a do in Wellington, during which I will subject my friends, colleagues and uninterested observers to a small dose of poetry.  Some will like it, some will clap politely whilst stealing surreptitious glances at their watches and some will hide out at the bar until it’s over.  (A bit like life, really).

Planning is under way.  The word “Planning” is included in my job title, so I feel I ought to have a few clues by now.  Mostly it’s about making lists of things to do and writing people’s names next to them.  Must get on to that.  No, really, I have taken action already and made a phone call and sent an email.  I’m hoping it will all happen at Mighty Mighty on Weds 13th August (just need to confirm a few things).  I will be offering free spiders.  Watch this space.

Friday 18th July, of course, is Montana Poetry Day and there will be jolly poetry events all across New Zealand (hurrah!).  Personally, I shall be trekking to the City Gallery at lunchtime for a movie about Maori poets and in the evening will venture forth to the Newtown Public Library for an open mike session (read your own or someone else’s – I hope to do both).  There’s also the all day poetry marathon at the Bucket Fountain in Manners Mall.  Yay!

My exciting news is the imminent arrival of AUP New Poets 3 in all good NZ and online bookstores.  I’m one of three poets featured – the others are Katherine Liddy and Reihana Robinson. 

Here’s a synopsis:

“This is the third book in AUP’s New Poets series, which began in 1999 and has launched an oustanding range of poets. The new poets in this third volume, Janis Freegard, Katherine Liddy and Reihana Robinson, all have vastly different yet complementary styles. Freegard writes quirky and often surreal poems about a Wellington inhabited with strange animals, art and people; the humorous prose poem is a favourite vehicle but there are also serious, luminous moments in this selection, called ‘The Continuing Adventures of Alice Spider and Other Tales. Liddy is a promising young poet with an unusual interest in and ear for rhyme and rhythm. While some of her poems are texturally dense she has an impressive range and there is a pleasing variety in her selection, ‘Artefacts Exhibiting Love’, which is ordered chronologically from the Bronze Age to the space age. Finally, Robinson’s poems are tropical but gritty, set as many of them are on Pitcairn Island ‘A Hum for Pitkern’ is her strong centrepiece – and elsewhere in the Pacific. She intersperses touching lyrics about family and identity with sharper poems written in a fractured English. ”

and here’s a picture:


AUP New Poets 3

AUP New Poets 3

Now I’ve just got to sort out a launch…



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July 2008

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