This Evening With Canterbury Poets: Joanna Preston, Owen Marshall, & Tusiata Avia
I have been very much enjoying the Canterbury Poets’ Collective’s spring season of poetry readings over the past six weeks. The Open Mic readings have been of consistently high quality and we’ve had a programme of great guests as well—but with Joanna Preston, Owen Marshall, and Tusiata Avia as tonight’s featured poets, I feel that the quality is set to continue.
Just to give you a “thumbnail” introduction to each poet:
Joanna Preston won both the inaugural Kathleen Grattan Award (New Zealand) 2008 and the Mary Gilmore Prize (Australia) in 2010, both highly prestigious awards, for her debut poetry collection, The Summer King (Otago University Press, 2009.) I have featured Joanna here on the blog several times already so do check out the links to get a taste of just what has made The Summer King so successful:
To find out more about Joanna and her poetry, check out her blog, A Dark Feathered Art—I think you’ll find it repays a visit.
Owen Marshall is one of New Zealand’s pre-eminent writers—and although many may think of him first in the context of his short fiction, he has also published several collections of poetry, the most recent being sleepwalking in antartica (Canterbury University Press) in 2010.
Owen was also my creative writing mentor a few years back, through the NZ Society of Author’s/Creative New Zealand programme, and although we worked on short stories rather than either novels or poetry, I know his feedback assisted in the development of my writing. (I have said as much, too, in the Acknowledgments to The Heir of Night.) I am very much looking forward to hearing him read tonight.
Tusiata Avia is renowned both in New Zealand and overseas as a performance poet. Of Samoan descent, Tusiata was born and raised in Christchurch, but has travelled and performed throughout the world.
Tusiata’s poetry in performance is always fabulous—so I think you may be starting to see why I am looking forward to tonight’s event!
For those of you who will be in or near Christchurch tonight, the evening will run from 6.30 pm at the CPSA hall, Christchurch Polytechnic on Madras Street, commencing with a BYO Open Mic. Entry is just $5 so well worth a look in.