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Lots of poetry coming up next week! First up there’s this on Monday (that I will be reading at if my cold has disappeared by then)

Image may contain: one or more people and textNZSA Poetry Reading + Open Mic (warm-up event)
Join the New Zealand Society of Authors, Wellington branch, as we celebrate Phantom Billstickers National Poetry Day 2019. We’re inviting poets from our branch to read their poetry, and will also feature an open mic on the night.
Entry details: Koha. Everyone welcome!
Date/times: Monday, 19 August, 6pm – 8pm (Socialising from 5.30pm)
Location: Vic Books, Pipitea campus, Rutherford House (27 Lambton Quay, Wellington, near the railway station)
Contact: wellington@nzauthors.org.nz
Further info: Facebook/wellington.writers.9 | authors.org.nz/about/branches/wellington-branch

National Poetry DayThen there are lots of fabulous events all around the country on National Poetry Day which you can find out about here: http://www.nzbookawards.nz/national-poetry-day/calendar-of-events/#wellingtonregion

And next Sunday, I will be reading at the Open Book on Ponsonby Road in Auckland. This is from the Open Book website:

Readings from the Geometry | Open Book National Poetry Contest

Celebrate National Poetry Day with Geometry and The Open Book.

Come along to hear the winner and the judges’ selection from submissions to our poetry competition. Plus snacks and maybe a glass of wine if you are lucky.

With readings of work by:

Janis Freegard (the winner!)

and (the Judges’ list):

* Dadon Rowell
* Hannah Lees
* Jordan Hamel
* Paula Harris
* Rebecca Hawkes

Sunday August 25, 3pm

Winner published in Geometry Issue Six. Judges’ selection published here.

Very excited to see that the AUP New Poets series is cranking up again. This is such a great poetry series and I’m delighted to be a part of it (I was in AUP New Poets 3, back in 2008). It’s a great way to get to know new voices and I’m so pleased Auckland University Press is relaunching it. There’s a New Poets 5 coming out later this year (with a fresh, new look) and a New Poets 6 in the making too! The wonderful Anna Jackson (who featured in AUP New Poets 1) is editing.

Carolyn de Carlo, one of the AUP New Poets 5 authors, has arranged a reading of past and present “New Poets” at Millers O’Brien gallery in Victoria St. in Wellington (1/85 Victoria St, upstairs, near the Lido) this Tuesday 18th June 2019 at 6:00pm. I’d love to see you there. Here are the deets from Food Court:

“Food Court is proud to present their latest event, an evening of readings by Auckland University Press writers who have been featured in the New Poets series, relaunching with Vol. 5 in August 2019. Consider this a sneak preview of what will be on offer in Vol. 5 and beyond, and a look back at some absolute bangers from over the years.

Current Lineup:
Carolyn DeCarlo
Sophie van Waardenberg
Rebecca Hawkes
Chris Tse
Janis Freegard
Anna Jackson
+ a few surprises!

There is a working lift at the gallery, but there will be limited seating available (8-10 chairs). Please arrive early if this applies to you, or let us know ahead of time, and we will do our best to accommodate all needs and circumstances!”

Here’s the list of AUP New Poets to date:

AUP New Poets 1: Raewyn Alexander, Anna Jackson, Sarah Quigley

(currently listed on Amazon for $149.50 for a used copy (!!!), so clearly a collector’s item)

AUP New Poets 2: Stu Bagby, Jane Gardner, Sonja Yelich

cp-aup-new-poets-2

AUP New Poets 3: Janis Freegard, Katherine Liddy, Reihana Robinson

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AUP New Poets 4: Harry Jones, Erin Scudder, Chris Tse

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AUP New Poets 5: Carolyn de Carlo, Sophie van Waardenberg and Rebecca Hawkes

AUPNewPoets5_Web

2017-05-18 14.25.41Poets for Peace and Planet, Saturday 3 November

Poets for Peace and Planet, Saturday 3 November

Peace Movement Aotearoa

Join us on Saturday afternoon at Poets for Peace and Planet, featuring · Maata Wharehoka (Parihaka) · Janis Freegard ·Harvey Molloy · Carina Gallegos · John Howell · Maria McMillan · George Watterson · Helen Rickerby · Tim Jones ·Reading of ‘Remember the Brave’ (the new children’s book about World War One conscientious objectors), and more …

Poets for Peace and Planet will be happening at St Andrew’s Conference Centre, 30 The Terrace, Wellington on Saturday, 3 November, from 3.30pm to 5.30pm.

All welcome, entry by donation, please RSVP at https://www.facebook.com/events/286740918636253

Poets for Peace and Planet is part of the ‘Peace, Peoples and Planet’ weekend, which begins on Friday night with a screening of ‘Tātarakihi:The Children of Parihaka’, with Maata Wharehoka, https://www.facebook.com/events/2224626401195701 and includes sessions throughout the weekend – full details of the ‘Peace, Peoples and Planet’ weekend are available athttps://www.facebook.com/events/273862176558630

Who are the Meow Gurrrls, I hear you cry?

The Meow Gurrrls are a group of Wellington & Kapiti Coast poets who have been meeting for some time now to share poetry, wine, food and fine company, sometimes at Meow cafe in Wellington.

So, what’s new?

The Meow Gurrrls are launching a YouTube channel, whereby you can access quality short poems delivered by a Meow poet on the device of your choice any time you goddamn please. New poems will be added over the weeks and months to come. You’ll love it.

This is cool. what can I do?

We would love you to subscribe to our channel, like and share our posts, and tell your friends.

Do the Meow Gurrrls really need all those rrr’s?

Why, yes we do.

Are there any actual cats?

Sure. Meet Polly. Don’t be fooled by those fluffy good looks. Hobbies include destroying door frames and random savage attacks on her staff.

Polly Oct18

But she looks so sweet. Anyhoo, where is this alleged YouTube channel involving the Meow Gurrrls of which you speak?

Here you go. Meow Gurrrls Youtube channel

And here’s me, with a love poem. Because, you know, poetry. The poem also appeared on the Wellington City Library blog on National Poetry Day 2018. http://www.wcl.govt.nz/blog/index.php…

 

How come your lipstick looks crooked?

Because our bathroom mirror looks like this:

IMG_3085

Thanks for stopping by.

 

 

Would love to see you at the Thistle next Monday (3rd September 2018 at 6pm), if you can make it, where there will be readings from this little beauty from Canterbury University Press – an anthology of flash fiction (very short stories), prose poems and things in between. I have two pieces in there and am delighted to find myself in such fine company. I’ve been dipping in and out of my copy since it arrived and it’s full of gems. There are some interesting essays in there too – from Tim Jones and others, some of whom will be discussing the “small form” on the night. Congratulations to editors Michelle Elvy, Frankie McMillan and James Norcliffe, and all the contributors.

9B8D122F-3404-4E39-A2FC-EB791D50BB43

Hope to see you there!wild words

Fancy some Brooklyn-inspired writing? Next Friday 25th November 2016, I will be reading from ‘The Year of Falling’ along with the excellent Maggie Rainey-Smith and the fantastic Jenny Bornholdt at the Brooklyn Deli (199-201 Ohiro Rd, Brooklyn, Wellington, NZ). There will be music from Wellington band The Brooklyns and wine & food from the Deli. Hope to see you there!

 

Year of falling small

Well, I’m very happy to say that The Year of Falling is being made into an e-book, thanks to Rosa Mira Books, fine e-publishers of such titles as Slightly Peculiar Love Stories, which includes my short story, ‘Mill’.

To celebrate this, I shall be partaking in a quiet glass of bubbly at the Library Bar on Courtenay Place next Monday and it would be lovely if you could join me (clink clink!)

Monday 21st September 6pm – 8pm
Library Bar
Upstairs, 53 Courtenay Place, Wellington

 

 

Also, I was delighted to have two very nice reviews of TYOF last weekend. Siobhan Harvey, writing in the Dominion Post, said:

“Richly peopled and companioned by an absorbing plot, Janis Freegard’s The Year of Falling is a superb first foray into novel writing.” (full review on Stuff here)

and David Hill, in the NZ Herald said:

“Freegard controls a substantial cast adroitly, and makes you care about each one of them, even loathsome Randall and bubble-brained Bailey.” (full review on NZ Herald site here).

 

Feeling all fluffed up after that.

2015-09-05 23.17.49

 

 

 

 

Recently some of my Alice Spider poems were chosen to be part of an excellent online anthology about Pukehau/Mt Cook. The poems were first published in the online journal Turbine in 2002 and reprinted in AUP New Poets 3 in 2008. This got me thinking about the various Mt Cook flats I lived in, back when I was in my twenties.

In 1985, I flatted in a two-storey house in Rugby Street by the Basin Reserve with three other people – different people at different times. There were parties. There were squabbles over who had burnt out the element in the jug. There was meatloaf, an alphabetised record collection and a weekly gathering around the television to watch Dallas. German journeymen would occasionally appear on the couch. A three-legged cat we called Tripod would wander in for a pat. One flatmate made great homemade Irish cream (similar to Bailey’s); another had a terrific recipe for marinated raw fish. A flatmate who cleaned for a law firm occasionally liberated a nice bottle of wine from the partners’ stash and brought it home to share.

Alice Spider swallows a goldfish 001

Swallowing a “live goldfish” (mandarin orange segment out of a tin).

Vigil 001

Vigil

Some years later, I was disappointed to learn our house had been bowled – along with three other perfectly good, sound houses – to make way for a Repco Autoparts store. Every time I walked past, I felt like pasting up a photo of the old place that said ‘LOST: Have you seen this house?’

One pill Mt Cook grafitto

Interestingly, this graffito appeared some years later at the spot where our flat used to be. Another Alice at the site, with lyrics from Grace Slick’s (Jefferson Airplane) ‘White Rabbit’.

My second time in Mt Cook came a few years later – a flat in Hankey Street with two other women. One stormy evening, a friend brought a kitten around, wrapped in her raincoat. She’d found him, apparently abandoned and half-starved, near the dairy. She already had cats of her own and couldn’t take in another. I hadn’t planned to get a cat, thinking I moved around too much, but I couldn’t resist this tiny, shivering, flea-infested bundle. My flatmate had spotted him previously but he was wary of people and she hadn’t been able to catch him. Now he was close to giving up.

I took him to the vet the next morning in a cardboard box that said Whole Baby Beans and Whole Baby Carrots. ‘Snatched from the jaws of death,’ the vet proclaimed, before pumping him full of antibiotics and offering a 50:50 chance of survival. He told me to keep the kitten warm and give him baby food. I took him to work in his little box (the kitten, not the vet), stopping at a pharmacy on the way for tinned baby food, Bone-Gro and a hot water bottle shaped like a cat. He spent the day under my desk at the Department of Conservation, good as gold, climbing out to eat his meals and back in again where his hot bottle water kept him warm. Workmates who might normally have taken a dim view of cats popped around during the day to see how he was getting along.

Over the next few weeks, he struggled back to health. I called him Spike. We lived together for nineteen years and I loved him.

The third time I lived in Mt Cook was in a flat in a block of four in Anderson Terrace. This time it was just me and Spike, my first time living (almost) alone. The only part I didn’t enjoy about being there was that my next-door neighbour worked shifts and I routinely woke up at 2 am when I heard his car.

Later, Spike and I moved to Mt Vic, then Berhampore and finally Vogeltown, where I promised him he’d never have to move again. He’s buried in the garden. I still miss him.

Janis & Spike in box 001

Whole baby beans, whole baby carrots, whole baby kitten.

 

So, yesterday I was interviewed (live – eek!) by the lovely Lynn Freeman on National Radio about The Year of Falling and The Glass Rooster and here is a podcast link in case you’d like to listen to it.

Standing Room only podcast

20150616 075 Janis Freegard Book Launch_L

Wordle

Wordle: janisfreegard.com

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