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Sweet As launch

Just a wee reminder that this is coming up next Tuesday. It’s for a good cause and everyone gets a 20% discount off the Recommended Retail Price on the night!

Date:              Tuesday, 4th November
Time:              5.30 p.m.
Place:             The Grand, 69 – 71 Courtenay Place (upstairs)

Here’s the list of contents and further information from the editors:

Sweet as contents

‘Sweet as’ is a typically New Zealand term meaning okay, cool, better than good, or even awesome. However, the stories in this collection are not all ‘sweet’ in the traditional sense. New Zealand is a country of light — both strong and bush-dappled — but it also has a dark side.

These short stories speak to us of the diverse world we live in. They take us on a journey, or offer a glimpse into another’s life. Some show the struggles, tough questions and challenging situations people face. Some stories are sweet or humorous, while others are quirky or just plain entertaining. They provide us with a snapshot of life in New Zealand and how New Zealanders experience life overseas.
For this collection, we sought contributions from New Zealand citizens or permanent residents. This gives a breadth of story lines — ‘sweet as’ in their variety and quality. Our aim was to continue one of New Zealand’s finest traditions: its strong culture of reading and writing, especially in the area of short fiction.
Links to more information:

eBook and book orders:

For more information email us at:

Janis Freegard and Matchbox Studios invite you to the launch of “The Continuing Adventures of Alice Spider”, a chapbook of prose poems published by Anomalous Press.






Alice Spider is a spinner of words, dancing them around until some spill on to the page. She’s both your one true friend and a trollopy little tart. Alice the Webster is weaving herself a wild, wild life. This prose poem sequence includes drinking champagne in a hot air balloon, an exploration of surrealism and an unusual encounter with a burglar. Welcome to Alice’s labyrinthine web.

“Age cannot wither her, nor custom stale her infinite variety” – these words weren’t first written for Alice Spider, but they should have been. She is a heroine for our times – a multitasker of the human spirit and a joy in all her manifestations. Cherish her, and take her to your hearths.
-Mary Cresswell, author of Trace Fossils

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


No-one can accuse me of not getting to my fair share of book launches, but the one Peter and I went to last weekend was really special.  The book was Jeffrey Paparoa Holman’s Best of Both Worlds – the story of Elsdon Best and Tutakangahau, and it was launched on the marae at Maungapōhatu in the Ureweras.

It was a stunning day for the pohiri and the mountain was in the mood for showing itself.  I think all of us manuhiri (visitors) knew how lucky we were.

‘Best of Both Worlds’ is published by Penguin and is the story of the interaction between Elsdon Best (a Pakeha scholar from the late 1800s who wanted to record Maori stories) and Tutakangahau, a Tuhoe chief.  We were lucky enough to meet some of the descendants of both men, as well as descendants of Rua Kenana, the Ringatu prophet.

It occurred to me that the wharenui is like a history book itself – with photos of ancestors around the walls and no doubt many stories written into the patterns painted on the walls and beams (for those with the ability to understand them). And of course histories are  kept and told by the people who live there, who keep the stories alive and pass them on.

The night before we went to Maungapōhatu, we stayed at Ōpūtao marae at Ruatāhuna, a family marae which offers noho marae (marae stay) accommodation.  If you’re looking for a friendly marae to stay at, with great home-cooked food and an opportunity to practise your reo, here’s where to book:

The day we left, we stopped in at Ruatahuna again where a local gala was under way, with horse riding competitions, food stalls and digger competitions.

We met some wonderful people during our vist and came away grateful to the tangata whenua who looked after us so well.

road through the Ureweras 

 Peter & Waikaremoana (on the way home)



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