Monday, 4 March 2013

Tuesday Poem: Meeting the Tuesday Poets

Not a poem - just a journey and some good meetings at the end of it.  I've been a member of the Tuesday Poets for a few years now, but the only poets I knew face to face were Tim Jones and Mary McCallum - met on previous visits to New Zealand.  So this time I was determined to put faces to as many names as possible.  In Christchurch I met two poets I'd exchanged emails with and whose poems I'd featured on my blog, Catherine Fitchett and Helen Lowe.  Sadly, Andrew Bell was away and couldn't make the meeting. Catherine is a fine poet whose work you can read here.   Helen Lowe is also an internationally award winning fantasy novelist.  It was difficult to find a bar accessible to all of us, in quake-riven Christchurch, but eventually we all made it, through traffic diversions and rush-hour jams.  The earthquakes have changed CC dwellers social lives forever.
Helen Lowe and her partner Andrew, Catherine Fitchett and Kathleen

In Dunedin I met Orchid Tierney and Claire Beynon.   Orchid's studying Digital Poetics - a course that's taking her to America shortly and is currently putting together an anthology called 'Mapping Me: A Landscape of Women's Stories' in collaboration with a Russian Armenian writer.  Claire is also a visual artist (as you can see from her astonishing website) and I was very sad that my visit to Dunedin was so brief and there wouldn't be time to see any of her work.
Claire, Orchid and Kathleen
 In Wellington we had a very convivial evening in the library bar - a lovely combination of alcohol and books! -  meeting Tim and Mary again, but also Janis Freegard, Helen Rickerby, and Harvey Molloy.   Tim blogs at Books in the Trees and has a recent anthology Men Briefly Explained, which I like a lot. He also writes speculative fiction.  They're a multi-talented lot these Tuesday Poets!  Mary McCallum also writes fiction - her novel The Blue was published by Penguin and attracted some wonderful reviews.  Her current blog today features Janis Freegard, who I met for the first time and who has a new collection out called The Continuing Adventures of Alice Spider.    Helen Rickerby isn't just a poet, she's also the managing editor of Seraph Press and JAAM magazine - oh, and she has a day job as well.  She won my heart posting a poem called 'Partying with Katherine Mansfield' over the weekend of the Mansfield conference in Wellington - another KM fan.  Harvey Molloy is a teacher as well as a very good poet - you can find his Notebook here.  Again, not enough time to talk to anyone properly.
Tim, Janis, Harvey, Mary, Helen and Kathleen
But at least I know a little more about some of the people who post the poems on the blog every Tuesday.  A group I'm very happy to belong to.  And maybe one of these days I'll get to meet the others - in Australia, or America - there are even a couple in the UK I haven't met yet.


2 comments:

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  2. That's a lovely record of your trip, Kathleen - and now I can put a face to the name of one Tuesday Poet I haven't met yet!

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