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Big thanks to everyone who came along to the launch on Wednesday night.  Cool venue, huh?  And I hope you enjoyed the band – the fabulous Sans Souci, bringing the streets of Paris to a wintry Wellington.  I started the evening with a ‘thank you rap’ (anyone who knows me, knows I don’t rap) which I will reproduce here for those who missed their thankyou on the night:

first I’d like to thank the AUP

for being so good as to publish me

that’s the Auckland University Press

& Anna Hodge, editress


I’d like to acknowledge the other two

writers whose poems are in this book

respect to Katherine and Rei-

hana who can’t be here today


Thanks to Greg O’Brien who taught us so well

at the poetry workshop at the IIML

Big ups to the writing groups who keep me on track

With their elegant, eloquent, fine feedback


like the Millionaires poets* who meet at finc

for sticks of bread and the occasional drink

(that’s Mary and Mary and Mary-Jane

and Kerry and Kerry and Jo and James)

whose advice is never to be missed

they stop me writing doggerel like this


then there’s the Wellington writers and the Sittenfeld set

a finer bunch of novelists I’ve never met

thanks to Adi Brown –she knows her craft

she took the back  jacket photograph

thanks to Cathy Blakely for the things to eat

the yummy cheese straws and the party treats


thank you to everyone here tonight

friends and colleagues and passers-by

there are books for sale and spiders for free

and accordion music from Sans Souci


thanks to the folk from Mighty Mighty

for their wonderful hospitality

and finally thanks to our lovely MC

international man of history

that’s Peter, aka doctor D

all right, let’s have some poetry!

* not everyone listed here is a Millionnaires Shortbread poet, but I claim poetic license

and here’s a picture of me reading it:


(more pictures to come – thankyou Fleur for taking them)

In case you’re wondering, those are plastic spiders sewn around my neckline.  I also colour-co-ordinated my outfit to match the vivid green of the book cover!

OK, I have been out looking for spiders.  I have promised free spiders at the poetry book launch and I shall deliver.  Over the past couple of weeks, I have been to every $2 shop and craft shop in Wellington and today I have come home with several bags of plastic spiders, in varying lurid colours.  I thought it would be easier.  I thought there would sheet upon sheet of spider stickers and fake spider tattoos, that the craft shops would be full of little wooden spiders and fluffy spiders and spider stamps.  Alas, I was mistaken.  Some of the things I found didn’t even have the right number of legs (8 – they’re arachnids; if they have 6 legs they are either insects or differently abled).  And what is the deal with butterflies?  Butterflies galore; butterflies as far as the eye can see;butterly upon butterly upon sparkly, glittery butterfly, but a sad and inexplicable lack of spiders.

I like spiders.  I had a flatmate once (who shall remain nameless) who, despite spending his university holidays working at the freezing works, would call me if he came across a spider in the bath.  Personally, I was brought up to believe that spiders were worthy, fly-eating creatures and that, while it was permissable to vacuum up their uninhabited webs, the spiders themselves should be left to rebuild in the ceiling corners. 

If you want to read one of my spider poems, you can click here:



If you want a spider of your own, do come along to the Wellington version of the AUP New Poets 3 launch.  I’m hoping it will be at Mighty Mighty on Wednesday 13th August 2008, at 5:30pm, but right now I can’t get hold of Rich the Gig Booker to confirm.  Katherine Liddy is also planning a launch in Vancouver – so it’s a truly global publication.

Perhaps you’re wondering: why spiders?  My section of the book is called “The Continuing Adventures of Alice Spider and other Tales” – a reference to an interminable prose poem I started writing when I was 18 or 19. 
Be kind to spiders: eight legs good; two legs bad.







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November 2020

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