Words Can Save The World

Press Release – The Pah

National Poetry Day (Friday July 22) kicks off in Auckland at The Pah homestead with a lunchtime of ideas on how to save the world, and what’s worth saving. Press release, Printable Reality, 15-7-2011

National Poetry Day (Friday July 22) kicks off in Auckland at The Pah homestead with a lunchtime of ideas on how to save the world, and what’s worth saving.

“Brave New World” is the theme for six poets Peter Bland, Michele Leggott, Stephanie Johnson, Michelle Bolton, Michael Onslow-Osborn and Alexandra Fraser.

Their brave new worlds may be personal, such as the loss of sight or a death, or political, such as the collision between Maori and Pakaha worlds. Or the poets may address themselves to the fate of the planet and climate change.

The reading is part of the new TSB Bank Wallace Trust Arts Centre’s on-going programme of monthly poetry and music events at The Pah homestead’s beautiful new art gallery in Hillsborough. This month it coincides with the celebration of National Poetry Day.

The monthly events are organised by Printable Reality, a group dedicated to raising the profile of spoken word and poetry in New Zealand.

Peter Bland lives in Mt Eden. Michele Leggott lives in Devonport. Stephanie Johnson and Alexandra Fraser live in Grey Lynn, Michelle Bolton lives in Epsom, Michael Onslow-Osborne lives in Auckland City.
When: 1-2.30 PM, Friday, July 22.
Where: The Pah, TSB Bank Wallace Arts Centre, 72 Hillsborough Road, Hillsborough.
Peter Bland, who lives in Mt Eden, will read from his 2010 collection “Loss” written after the death of his wife Beryl in 2009, and from current and early love poems. He is possibly best known for his memorable role as a small-town conman Wes Pennington in the film “Came A Hot Friday”, but is equally acclaimed as raconteur, broadcaster, writer and poet for children and adults.
Peter Bland immigrated to New Zealand in 1954. He was a co-founder and artistic director of Wellington’s Downstage Theatre, and since the 1970s he has divided his time between New Zealand and the UK and published widely in both countries.

Stephanie Johnson offers a preview from her up-coming novel, The Open World, set in 19th century Auckland and London, which has a link to the poetry of Byron.
Co-founder of the Auckland Writer’s and Readers Festival, Johnson has published collections of poetry and short stories, and her numerous novels have received many significant awards. Her dramatic work for stage and radio is similarly recognised. Johnson’s writing is not restricted to any particular genre, and her subject matter varies between books, her style ‘marked by a dry irony, a sharp-edged humour’. Her writing is recognized locally and internationally, and the awards she has been nominated for reflect her broad appeal. She lives in Grey Lynn.

New Zealand’s inaurgural Poet Laureate Michele Leggott is navigating a new world of loss of eyesight with the help of her beautiful Labrador guide dog Olive. An intrepid voyager with new technology and the word, she is trialling performing with the help of an MP3 player and performed a powerful and beautiful new poem concerning blindness and Olive’s arrival on the day of the Pike River tragedy.
A daily traveller, crafter of words and a maker of fire, award winning poet, academic, essayist, and editor, she was the 2008/2009 New Zealand Poet Laureate. She is co-ordinator of the New Zealand Electronic Poetry Centre (nzepc) at the University of Auckland, a leading online literary resource. She was created a Member of the New Zealand Order of Merit (M.N.Z.M) in 2009.

Although only “kiwi-bred”, this Canadian born Spanish-American poet Michelle Bolton considers New Zealand, and Epsom, home. A universal citizen by nurture, Michelle has spent her life all over the world and scribbling about it since she was able to hold a pen. After attending film school in New York she returned home, fell in love with a Kiwi and put pursuing her writing on hold to start her family.
Michelle has been published in Blackmail Press issue 14, the NZ Poetry Org. -Winter Edition and is a fledgling performance poet. In 2005, she published her first book of poetry entitled Wheel of the World. She is hosting the new monthly event at the Live at The Library Bar.

Alexandra Fraser, from Grey Lynn, used to be a science teacher, now she answers the phone in a doctor’s office, spends too much time on Facebook and when it rains she writes poetry. She has published in Landfall,Takahe, Poetry NZ and in the anthologies Our Own Kind and Just Another Fantastic Anthology, Auckland in Poetry and Moments in the Whirlwind.

Michael Onslow-Osborne, who lives in Newton, is a poet and a band vocalist. He is focused on developing the poetics of found language, such as spam. He has been trolling around the Auckland poetry scene for ages, and organises the occasional Soft Boiled series. His poetry has been published inABDotWW, Salt and Flint.

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