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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.

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There’s a review of AUP New Poets 3 by Cy Mathews in the latest Takahe.  Having failed miserably to upload a copy, here are a couple of quotes:

 “Wellington’s Janis Freegard stands out with the easy musicality of her poems and prose poems, amongst which are moments of quirky brilliance…”

“At times these narratives risk becoming a little cutesy in their quirky, mannered eccentricity, but for the most part they are very enjoyable…”

“…”The Continuing Adventures of Alice Spider” is an especially interesting experiment in serial prose poetry, for the most part realistic, but veering now and then into more surrealistic flights of fancy…”

Tim Jones (author of Transported and various other books) has reviewed AUP New Poets 3 on his blog.  If you’re interested, you can read it here:


Finally the day comes when a poem matures, announces it’s leaving home and sets off into the world to seek its fortune.  Once I’ve waved goodbye, it’s hard to control what happens to them, but I like to check in now and then to see how they’re doing.


I was pleased to find one of my poems (“Three Hummingbirds”) on a photography and poetry website recently.  Great! I thought.  Until I realised someone had seen fit to change the title, remove the stanza numbers and delete the middle stanza altogether!  Oh and my name was spelt incorrectly (but I’m used to that).  I don’t believe it’s OK to change someone’s work in this way (and I expect it’s a breach of copyright).  I chose that title for a reason, the stanza numbers are an integral part of the poem and the middle stanza provides a clear link between the other two.  I’m following this up with the person whose site it is and hopefully can get it remedied.  (If it gets fixed, I’ll put up a link.)


If you want to read the poem in its true and proper form, you can see it here on the Poetry NZ website:


The other thing I found on the net recently was the first review I’ve seen of AUP New Poets 3.  It’s from Trevor Reeves in Southern Ocean Review and if you’re interested, you can read it here:  I must say I’m impressed with Southern Ocean Review’ broad coverage of poetry published in New Zealand with short reviews of pretty much every poetry book there is, as far as I can see.


I was a little surprised to be described as a “fresh new voice from the Auckland region” given that I’ve spent the last 25 years in Wellington and most of my poems in the collection are set in Wellington – but I expect that was because Auckland University Press is the publisher.  And I did live in Auckland for five years in my late teens, so I’m quite happy to be considered a JAFA. Trevor goes on to say my work “deals mainly with spiders” which is an interesting interpretation.  To me, the Alice Spider character I write about has always been human, but I know some people see her as an actual spider.


Anyway, there we have it.  Poems which now have a life of their own.  All I can do is hover in the background.  Like a spider.



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November 2020

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