It’s my birthday today, and it’s also National Poetry Day in New Zealand. There are so many great things happening, so if you’re in one of the many hotbeds of poetic activity, go enjoy. And this year National Poetry Day is part of the inaugural New Zealand Post Book Awards Festival (12 -18 August) celebrating the 2013 awards finalists during a special events organised in each of their home towns.
Since it’s a day to celebrate, I’m happy to share a few fine things (in no particular order), interspersed with some photos I love.
A poem posted by a friend who makes me smile when she touches me across miles and oceans.
A new issue of Blue Five Notebook out today (should have thought to call it Michelle’s Birthday Special, but oh well…), with poetry, flash and art. Always an amazing thing to be working alongside Sam Rasnake.
The August issue of Awkword Paper Cut, with cool poetry and flash videos, conversations, podcasts and more — from the creative brain of Michael Dickes.
An excellent review of Robert Vaughan’s collection Microtones, here.
Some excellent poems and stories at Fictionaut.
And my NZ poetry comrade Piet Nieuwland, whose work is featured at the Department of Conservation’s blog for National Poetry Day!
Plus the books which are coming my way soon: Marcus Speh’s Thank You For Your Sperm, James Claffey’s Blood A Cold Blue (you can read and hear the titular story here) and Curtis Smith’s Beasts and Men.
Finally, among things to look forward to… Sam Rasnake’s new poetry collection, Cinéma vérité, coming next month.
And now, a word everyone should know. The longest place name in the world, down the coast in Hawke’s Bay, New Zealand:
Go on, say it. And smile.
(Or you could just call it “The summit where Tamatea, the man with the big knees, the climber of mountains, the land-swallower who travelled about, played his nose flute to his loved one” — cred: Wikipedia — but that’s cheating.)
Now I am going to listen to The Beatles and The Shins. Happy day.