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7 Lydney Place – Porirua

Sunday 6th May 4 – 6pm


Sam Manzanza is a musician not to be missed.  He is the man who popularised traditional and modern African music in New Zealand.

A versatile instrumentalist, composer and singer, he plays blues harp, guitar and percussion, and sings in French, English and Lingala.

His fast paced blend of African rhythms, Ska, Hot, Spicy music and Afro Beat is always a hit with the audience.

OPEN MIC – come and perform your original material be it cover songs or home grown music, poetry, dance, magic, comedy.  All welcome.  First Sunday of every month.


Janis Freegard is the author of Kingdom Animalia: the Escapades of Linnaeus  and co-author of AUP New Poets. She also writes fiction and is a past winner of the BNZ Katherine Mansfield Award.  Janis was born in South Shields , England and lived in South Africa and Australia before her family settled in New Zealand when she was twelve.  She lives in Wellington with an historian, a cat and various spiders.

Contact Teu at or Cell 0210379513 and check out the Facebook page called “Music at the Metro”

Easter. And leaves falling.
Easter. And first autumn rains.
Easter. And dusk stealing
Our bright working daylight;
And cold night coming down
In which we may not work.

Easter. And morning bells
Chime in the late dark.
Soon those fluttering birds
Will seek a more genial clime.
Time has come to light fires
For lack of enlivening sun.

Summer’s arrow is spent,
Stored her last tribute.
So, now, we plant our bulbs
With assured vision,
And, now, we sow our seeds
Sagely for sure quickening.

So, purging our borders
We burn all rubbish up,
That all weak and waste growth,
That all unprofitable weeds,
All canker and corrosion,
May be consumed utterly.

These universal bonfires
Have a savour of sacrifice.
See how their clean smoke,
Ruddy and white whorls,
Rises to the still heavens
In plumy spirals.

You take me – yes, I know it –
Fresh from your vernal Lent.
These ashes I will now spread
For nutriment about the roses,
Dust unto fertile dust,
And say no word more.

From a Garden in the Antipodes (Sidgwick & Jackson, 1929)

More on Ursula Bethell at the nzepc

Don’t forget to check out the communal Tuesday Birthday Poem.

This is the third year I’ve looked at how many female New Zealand poets have had books published in New Zealand compared with the number of male poets.  And for three years in a row, men have outnumbered women.  Here’s a little table with the number of books.  The percentages at the bottom are the proportion of poetry books by women over the three year period compared with poetry books by men.

Year Number of books by female poets Number of books by male poets Number of joint books Total books for the year
2008 32 55 1 88
2009 32 42 74
2010 35 49 84
99 146 1 246
40.2% 59.3% 0.4%

So, of every ten books, about 4 are by women and 6 by men.  (The joint publication was Alistair and Meg Campbell’s excellent book of love poems).  Here’s the link to last year’s post.

I wondered if I’d see any difference if I looked at the number of pages of published poetry by gender.  (This excludes journals and magazines; it’s just books.)  There’s not much difference, at least not for 2010.  It works out at 42% of poetry pages written by women; 58% by men.

Thanks to the Journal of Commonwealth Literature for the lists of published poetry books.

Does it matter?  Well I rather think it does.  I expect a nation’s literature to reflect the diversity of its population and a forty/sixty split isn’t quite cutting it.  I suspect the ethnicity stats wouldn’t stack up either, but I don’t know enough about the published poets to know how they would identify themselves.  Another project, another time.

Possible reasons for the lack of gender balance:
Men are writing more poetry? (seems unlikely)
Men are more likely to submit their work for publication?
Editors are more inclined to publish male poets?
There’s a historical factor skewing the figures, with older established poets more likely to be male (I’m thinking folk like J K Baxter here, as well as living poets).

Who knows?  In the meantime, for more excellent poetry by people of a variety of genders and nationalities, have a look at the Tuesday Poem site where a jointly written global birthday poem is unfolding as we speak!



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April 2012

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