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The e-book version of Tales for Canterbury has now been released, with copies available from Random Static Press.  A paperback version will be released soon. I’m very pleased to have a story in it (The Magician).

Tales for Canterbury

Tales for Canterbury is an anthology of 34 short stories loosely themed around survival, hope and future. All profits will be donated to the Red Cross Earthquake Appeal. 

It features stories by RJ Astruc, Philippa Ballantine, Jesse Bullington, Anna Caro, Cat Connor, Brenda Cooper, Debbie CowensMatt Cowens, Merrilee Faber, AJ Fitzwater, Janis Freegard, Neil Gaiman, Cassie Hart, A.M. Harte, Karen Healey, Leigh K Hunt, Lynne Jamneck, Patty Jansen, Gwyneth Jones, Tim Jones, Kim Koning, Jay Lake, Helen Lowe, Kate Mahony, Tina Makereti, Juliet Marillier, Angel Leigh McCoy, Linda Niccol, Ripley Patton, Simon Petrie, Grant Stone, Jeff Vandermeer, Mary Victoria and Sean Williams.

Pre-orders are now available from Random Static Press.

Many thanks to editors Anna Caro and Cassie Hart who made it all happen.  So far, they’ve raised over $2,000 for Christchurch.

If you want a preview of some of the poems in Kingdom Animalia, here are some links to online journal Trout:


My Year of the Ant Gardens

and here is the link to a video of me reading The Icon Dies

and the link to more photos of the launch which I hope to add to.

L to R My cousin Heather, my father, me.

Next Sunday, I will be reading from Kingdom Animalia:the Escapades of Linnaeus for 10 minutes at the Auckland Writers and Readers Festival Open Mike:



A festival institution, Open Mike shoots unpublished poets onto the stage alongside stars of the poetry firmament. On the hour, established poets perform for ten minutes. The rest of the time, five-minute slots are available to anyone who wants to read – just put your name down on the board on the day. 


10:00 – 10:10 Apirana Taylor
10:30 – 10:40 Emma Neale
11:00 – 11:10 Anna Jackson
11:30 – 11:40 Joanna Preston
12:00 – 12:10 Janis Freegard
12:30 – 12:40 Rives

Event Details

  • Date: 15 May
  • Time: 10:00 a.m. – 01:00 p.m.

Maybe see you there!


That’s me in the bird mask, Peter (MC & my partner) in the bat mask.  Check out the botanical wallpaper, complete with Linnaean names.

Fleur on the left, me signing.

Mask made by Sally Blyth of Masquerade

My poetry collection, Kingdom Animalia: the Escapades of Linnaeus, is now officially available.  If you’re in Wellington, I’d love to see you at the launch this Wednesday:

Venue:    the Terrace Bar, upstairs at the Garden Club (13 Dixon St, Wellington, just around the corner from the reverse bungy on Taranaki St, next to Subway, used to be Wellington Repertory Theatre)

Date:       Wednesday 4 May 2011

Time:      5:30pm to 7:00 pm (reading at 6ish)

Featuring Animal Biscuits, Cheese Straws and Various Beverages 

You are kindly invited to wear an Animal Mask or Similar (Not Compulsory). 

All welcome.  Bring your friends.

'Bluebird' by Mary McIntyre

 Here’s what it says about the book on the AUP website:

Kingdom Animalia is a collection of poems that explore the various interactions between human beings and other animals, but also deals with wider subjects: love and loss, evolution and conservation, sex and death. The poems, which involve animals, as main subject or as passing guests, are arranged according to the six classes devised by eighteenth-century naturalist Carl Linnaeus, whose life’s mission was to classify the natural world. Modern taxonomy has evolved considerably but this standardised naming system is still a common language for classifying the natural world. The sections are linked by a prose poem about Linnaeus’ life.
ISBN 978 1 86940 473 4, 210 x 148mm, paperback, 88p, $24.99| order this book

Isn’t the cover stunning?  I feel very lucky.  The painting is by Mary McIntyre (photograph by Jacqui Blanchard) and the design is by Jacinda Torrance.  Last year I saw a companion painting (same figure – the artist’s granddaughter – in the same garden, but in a different pose) called ‘Family Life, Puriri Drive’ by Mary McIntyre at the Portrait Gallery in Wellington and thought to myself, wouldn’t that make the perfect cover for Kingdom Animalia?  The following week, Anna Hodge from AUP emailed me the draft cover with ‘Bluebird’ on it.  Spookily serendipitous.

I have added a ‘Kingdom Animalia’ page to this blog, which includes a species list (using modern taxonomy rather than Linnaeus’ system) of all the animals in the book.  I’m struggling a bit with the formatting, so please bear with me while I get it sorted.  (I do realise most people don’t get as excited about species lists as I do.)

I will be posting more about Linnaeus and notes about the poems in the book as I go.  Hope to see you at the launch!



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May 2011

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