Poets to the People

By Michael Keith

Valhalla on Sunday 25 May

Hello poetry lovers


For our late autumn outing this year ­ 25 May at Valhalla, Raumati South,4­-6 pm ­ Janis Freegard is our guest poet. We’ve had a full house for every session this year, so come early to get a good seat. Food and drinks are available and you may like to stay for a meal afterwards. If so, Karen would be grateful if you could phone ahead to book: 04-9052010.

The quirky poetry of Janis Freegard

Janis Freegard¹s poetry has been described as quirky, surreal and often funny. She is the author of

  • The Continuing Adventures of Alice Spider (Anomalous Press, US, 2013)
  • Kingdom Animalia: the Escapades of Linnaeus (Auckland University Press, 2011)
  • and co-author of  AUP New Poets 3 (2008).

Janis freegard

Her poetry has also appeared in a wide range of journals and anthologies in New Zealand and overseas. Recently Janis held the inaugural Ema Saiko Poetry Fellowship at New Pacific Studio in the Wairarapa. She also writes fiction and is a past winner of the BNZ Katherine Mansfield Award.

Janis was born in South Shields, England and spent part of her childhood in South Africa and Australia before her family settled in New Zealand when she was twelve.

She lives in Wellington, with an historian, a cat and various spiders. She blogs at http://janisfreegard.com.

Here are a couple of lovely excerpts.

The poem as a building

A poem must be painstakingly constructed, each word lined up alongside the

next and tapped into place; line upon line stacked up. A poem must have

robust foundations, something sturdy behind its façade. A poem may be a

house to dwell in comfortably, a grand exhibition hall in which to marvel, a

memorial chamber, a ballroom.

The poem as a pebble

Just as a male Adelie penguin must select exactly the right pebble for his

beloved ­ the size, shape, colour and weight that will convince her of his

worthiness, so must you select the poem that is exactly right for you. It

may take a lifetime of effort, but oh! think of the joy it will bring!

The June session

Our June guests are Jenny Bornholdt and Greg O’Brien. Note that date ­29 June  in your diary. A great occasion to celebrate Matariki/midwinter.

And to cap it, stay for dinner afterwards ­ Karen is offering us a midwinter special that evening. Details next month.  Phone her on 04-9052010 to book.

Hone your poem for the open mic. See you at Valhalla!