KIN Poetry Editor Emerges From Covid Hibernation

 Well now here I am having emerged from my lock down hibernation, writes Gill Ward.

As many of you know I am the Queen of ‘stuff’ and I decided to sort it.

All the boxes, cupboards and shed. Things I swear I have never seen before in my life. Oh dear. Obviously I gave up at some early point (shameful).

Of course the weeks were a time for reading. All those $2 books from the opshops.

I started on autobiographies and I must now share a judgemental comment with you all.

Talk about fancying oneself!

I read many famous people among them several writers. I was struck by a somewhat self- serving component.

A good proportion of these auto-biographers told  us  a great deal  about the people who fancied them, the ones they slept with or lived with for long periods.

Of course I read avidly and raised my eyebrows against the tame and conventional life I had. So don’t watch out for my memoirs; they might bore you. 

The loss of Poets to the People

It has been hard closing down Poets to the People after 15 years. I’m feeling something – not grief exactly, but a sense of loss. We have all had such fun. 

The guest poets loved us and not one poet has ever turned us down and they always sent an email afterwards saying what a warm and encompassing audience we are. And also that they enjoyed our open mic sessions. Me too. 

Thank you’s to you know who

Thank you to Michael Keith and Elizabeth Coleman who took over the reins for some time, and Elizabeth especially as she kept on supporting and helping after Michael was no longer able to continue (not much of an excuse, Michael –  got married and went to live in Wellington. You could have just said the dog ate your homework). 

Elizabeth Coleman

For almost all our Poets to the People years David Waldrom from Paekakariki has read us his poetry. He publishes books and calendars of local views, with  his paintings and photographs. 

He draws fantastic local post cards and has even had genuine postage stamps made of his art. I have some (too precious to use).There is a grand old tree on the beach front outside his house. 

A poem from David Waldrom 

He wrote it a poem in the form of a letter. So I’ll share it with his permission:

31st 0f December of the year 1212

Corner of ,

Beach Road and The Parade

Paekakariki 5032.

Dear Pohutukawha

Long has it been since we first met.

Postcards of us have travelled far, to pleasant receipt.

Are your children well, with light green leaves and stretching broken limbs.

How often I seek the future to see you again in summer’s calm blues.

In the Christmas spirit, to behold your holiday dress of crimson flowers and

golden seeds.

Farewell my dearest Pohutukawa.

Dave Waldrom

Yellow Moon

Another treasure landed in my post box from HeadworX Press,   Yellow Moon, Selected  poems of Mary Maringikura Campbell. Mary is the daughter of poets Meg Campbell and Alistair Te Ariki Campbell, so she certainly  grew up with poetry and this is reflected in her own writing.

Her first collection Maringi was published in2015.I read every one of the poems in this new book and I appreciated them all. 

Mary’s poems are thoughtful, sensitive and accessible. Even more so they are economical. She does not waste her words but leaves spaces for the reader to absorb her meaning. 

Mark Pirie with Headworkx publishing has completed a fine task editing this collection.

Here’s an appropriate quote for lockdown.

 I can survive well enough on my own—if given the proper reading material.– Sarah J. Maas

More next time


Thank you for your kind words regarding Yellow Moon I am deeply humbled.

Maringikura Mary Campbell

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