Poetry News

Gill Ward, our Poet Laureate

Time again for poetry talk., says Gill Ward, of Raumati South.

‘Our next guest poet at High Tide Café is on Sunday 30th September is Mark Raffills. Mark read for us many years ago at Lembas when we were just beginning our Poets to the People. He is a generous, experienced performance poet who encourages people to write and love poetry. Look for the posters in the libraries and Paper Plus and on community boards around the district.

‘Depth’ and ‘heart on sleeve’

Some years ago Nelson Mail reviewer Matt Bowler wrote of Raffills, ”The live poet is obvious; the words have both a lyrical and rhythmic quality. There is a depth to the poetry but at the same time, its heart is on its sleeve.”

“It’s what I do pretty much, nods Raffills in agreement; wear my heart on my sleeve, hang my poems and stories out for all to see; tell them raw, so to speak!”

A finalist in the NZ Poetry Slam 2011 and 2015, Mark Raffills has shared the stage with the likes of Hone Tu Whare, Rachel Bush and David Eggleton.

He has performed at venues throughout NZ, as well as a couple in Australia, either solo or with the bluegrass/folk/blues-based Dirt Floor Alliance. As well as regular solo gigs around the country, Raffills has performed a few gigs with American slam champions Carrie Rudzinski and Ken Arkind under the banner The Slam Poetry Show.

He recently performed Mark Twain’s War Prayer as part of this year’s Nelson Fringe Festival.

Mark Twain

“The live performance gets the adrenalin going,” says Raffills. “It is one thing to get the words out of the head and heart and on to the page; it is another to convey them across the space that exists between the page and the audience.”

In his words, “matters of the heart, our place on the planet and observations of family and friends” are muse and inspiration for the words which so far have found their way into three self-published collections: ‘The Cornfield and other Poems’, ‘Grace and Favour’ and ‘Loved, Misloved and Loved Again’.

Here is something locals might be able to enjoy (and support). Unfortunately I’ll be away.

The Winter Readings

This year’s Winter Readings will be held in the month of September in Paekakariki, The readings form a tribute to the Kinks.

Sunday, 23 September 2018
Poets: Iain Sharp and Joy MacKenzie (Nelson),Michael O’Leary and Damian Ruth (Paekakariki),Mark Pirie, Mary Campbell and Wyeth Chalmers (Wellington) and Bill Dacker (Otago).
MC: Rob Hack

Venue: St Peter’s Hall, Beach Rd, Paekakariki. Time: 12-2pm.Admission to the reading is by koha. Books for sale from 12.00pm.

  • A word about the Kapiti Independent News poetry competion. Fantastic prize $50 Paper Plus  vouchers and a copy of a recently published book. DeadlineSeptember 30th. It is now every second month to give time for publicity and for poets to get their poems in. Poems should be short (no more than 20 lines) and be previously unpublished.
  • Send your poems by email to: ‘The Kapiti Independent Editor at ‘kiwibooks17@gmail.com”.
  • Check online for terms and conditions in the Kapiti Independent news. The two most important conditions are the number of lines and do not put your name on the poem attach it to your email and put your name and address on the email.

So – of course – High Tide 2-6 pm 30th September. Cover charge $5.

Immediately prepare your poems for the competition. Please!

Alexander Pope said this in the18th century re poetry readings:

Fire in each eye, and papers in each hand, They rave, recite and madden round the land.

What a cheek!

Gill, and Elizabeth

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