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Tim Jones (author of Transported and various other books) has reviewed AUP New Poets 3 on his blog.  If you’re interested, you can read it here:


Finally the day comes when a poem matures, announces it’s leaving home and sets off into the world to seek its fortune.  Once I’ve waved goodbye, it’s hard to control what happens to them, but I like to check in now and then to see how they’re doing.


I was pleased to find one of my poems (“Three Hummingbirds”) on a photography and poetry website recently.  Great! I thought.  Until I realised someone had seen fit to change the title, remove the stanza numbers and delete the middle stanza altogether!  Oh and my name was spelt incorrectly (but I’m used to that).  I don’t believe it’s OK to change someone’s work in this way (and I expect it’s a breach of copyright).  I chose that title for a reason, the stanza numbers are an integral part of the poem and the middle stanza provides a clear link between the other two.  I’m following this up with the person whose site it is and hopefully can get it remedied.  (If it gets fixed, I’ll put up a link.)


If you want to read the poem in its true and proper form, you can see it here on the Poetry NZ website:


The other thing I found on the net recently was the first review I’ve seen of AUP New Poets 3.  It’s from Trevor Reeves in Southern Ocean Review and if you’re interested, you can read it here:  I must say I’m impressed with Southern Ocean Review’ broad coverage of poetry published in New Zealand with short reviews of pretty much every poetry book there is, as far as I can see.


I was a little surprised to be described as a “fresh new voice from the Auckland region” given that I’ve spent the last 25 years in Wellington and most of my poems in the collection are set in Wellington – but I expect that was because Auckland University Press is the publisher.  And I did live in Auckland for five years in my late teens, so I’m quite happy to be considered a JAFA. Trevor goes on to say my work “deals mainly with spiders” which is an interesting interpretation.  To me, the Alice Spider character I write about has always been human, but I know some people see her as an actual spider.


Anyway, there we have it.  Poems which now have a life of their own.  All I can do is hover in the background.  Like a spider.

I was chuffed to see another of my poems in the DomPost as the ‘Wednesday poem’ last week.  This time it was “Little Blue”, which is about the penguins that nest near Frank Kitts Park in Wellington.


The suburb I live in is called Vogeltown, after Julius Vogel a former New Zealand premier (in the 1870s).  But of course Vogel is also the German word for bird and it’s becoming increasingly apt.  With the opening of the Karori Sanctuary and the Wellington Regional Council’s possum poisoning programme, the birds have been – literally – flocking back.


When I first moved here (eight or nine years ago), I’d see the odd tui around, but it was mostly blackbirds, fantails, waxeyes and riroriro (grey warblers).  And there’s always been a kingfisher frequenting the power lines by the bus-stop. 


Now we’ll get several tui at once (in the lancewood trees outside the bedroom window) and lately, even kaka, which is pretty exciting.  Ruru (morepork) can be heard at night.  One day kereru?  Who knows?  Noisy little buggers, the lot of them.  Bring it on, I say. 



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October 2008

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