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Next weekend marks the start of the Manawatu Festival of New Arts 2010.  The theme for this year is “Back to Earth” and the programme features the prize-winning plays and poems from the competition that was run earlier this year.  My poem ‘Crunch’ was placed third in the competition and will be performed as part of the programme next Saturday 2nd October, Thursday 7th October and Saturday 9th October. 

There are two different programmes at weekends (ie you will need to go on both days to see everything) and the same material is rearranged into three programmes for performance at Square Edge during the week.  The programmes for Saturday and Sunday will last 90 minutes to 2 hours each and will be identical at both Massey and at the Globe Theatre. 

All performances begin at 7.30pm apart from the final Sunday’s performance at the Globe, which will begin at 3.30pm, and will be followed at 7.30 by the Student City Arts and Cultural Awards, at which the prizes for both the plays and poems will be presented. 

The full programme can be accessed here: Manawatu Festival of New Arts 2010

Back to Earth

A Programme of Film, Music, Performance Poetry, Theatre, Dance, and Visual Arts

Dates and Venues

2nd, 3rd October, 7:30pm
Sir Geoffrey Peren Building (formerly Old Main Building)
Massey University

5th, 6th, 7th October, 7:30pm
Square Edge
Palmerston North

9th October, 7:30pm
10th October, 3:30pm
The Globe Theatre
Palmerston North

To be sure of a seat, you can contact Joy Green at J.B.Green(at) for tickets.

We’ve just got back from a trip to Greymouth and Christchurch (booked well before the earthquake). We took the Tranz-scenic over the southern alps with a small group of friends and had a great time.  On the way over, everything was frosted with snow

that strange halo effect is my camera lens reflected in the train window

and on the way back the next day, much of it had melted


Magic.  Greymouth has some great little cafes, like dp one (by the river) with its retro Formica tables and Frank’s (on the main drag), which often has live music (just not on the night we were there).

It was fun being snowed on on the way back, when they let us out for 5 minutes at Arthur’s Pass.

Arthur's Pass

Then it was back to Christchurch.  The centre of the city seemed in better shape than we had feared – the occasional pile of rubble, closed-off street or taped-off building, but overall, Christchurch is open for business and no doubt the retailers would be happy to see you.  But some of the outer suburbs are apparently in far worse shape, with thousands of homes expected to be demolished.  Clearly, the after-effects will ripple on for a long time to come.

Hoaxed photo of the Loch Ness monster

Image via Wikipedia

Just a quick note about well-loved Scottish poet Edwin Morgan, who died recently in Glasgow,  where he was born and where he spent his whole life (except for some time in the Middle East during the Second World War). 
Morgan’s poetry was first published in the 1950s.  He was appointed Glasgow’s first Poet Laureate in 1999 and in 2004, became ‘Scots Makar’,  Scotland’s poet laureate. 
You can read more about him at the wonderful Scottish Poetry Library website.  They say:
“Endlessly curious, open-minded and humane, Morgan experimented with the language of machines as well as translating brilliantly from a variety of European languages. He translated plays into Scots, and wrote a trilogy on the life of Jesus, AD. 
His Sonnets from Scotland rank as one of the most important works of post-war literature, exploring the life, landscapes and potential of the country”.
My favourite of his poems is the Loch Ness Monster’s Song, best listened to, I think.  You can hear him reading it at the link below:
Thanks to Mary Cresswell for suggesting this post.


I burned in sleep; not knowing how to wake.

I danced
in a room with mirrored walls
in the company of identical dancers
and stopped alone to an empty room.

I danced to memory’s constant soundtrack
I danced to imagined concerts never performed.

Before you
I knew only humdrum adolescent wants
a fantasy book for the weekend
a scratch-free second-hand LP.

First night
the ceiling boundary lost in dark
the mirror stilled till morning
our fingers touched patchwork
where we were stitched, seamed; where we became undone.

We were flame, we were paper
we knew only our singular want.

We did not know; how could we know?
What we would be when we awoke.

Harvey Molloy


Thanks to Harvey for letting  me post this new, unpublished poem.

Harvey Molloy is a Wellington poet who blogs at

He is also author of the poetry collection ‘Moonshot’, published by Steele Roberts and pictured above.



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September 2010

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