Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Short poems / Liars & Snowmen / Odes of March / Intentions Book

Short poems

Back in January I declared 2012 the year of the short poem (on this blog at least). Since them I’ve only posted three short poems. Not good enough.

Here’s a short poem I wrote in 2006 which I was reminded of with the recent death of the Tongan King.

For Prince Tu’ipelehake & Princess Kaimana

When the Tongan prince and bride
Were driven through the Tongan streets
I learnt the word cortege

Recent reading

The Man Who Loved ChildrenI’ve finally got my head above water with respect to my judging responsibilities for the Commonwealth Short Story Prize. That means I’m back to reading paper books again when I’m stationary. A couple shipwreck-type books to knock off this week before I read something from my bookshelf… Michael Faber perhaps? Or Halldor Laxness? Or maybe I should finally get around to reading Christina Stead’s The Man Who Loved Children?

In the realm of audiobooks, I finished Maile Meloy’s Liars and Saints some time ago. I remember hearing her talk at the Melbourne Writers Festival last year about how she came to write this book, her first novel, after having some success with short stories. She approached the novel as if it were another collection of short stories, although all focussed on the same set of characters… The result is certainly a novel rather than a story collection (or even a novel-in-stories, a term and a distinction I loathe), but some of the short story’s necessary reticence (necessary because due to space constraints, you can’t say everything that might be important) remains in each chapter. The result is a novel that covers a lot of territory without ever feeling capacious.

The Snowman
Now I’m listening to Jo Nesbo’s The Snowman for my annual toe-dip into Crime Fiction. I feel a “Things you must/must not include in a crime novel” post coming on…

Another wee one

On television the wannabe models receive advice:
Don’t let them think you’re thinking.

Out and about

I'm off to the Odes of March tonight at Meow. According to the poster it'll be "Bold poetry and brazen fiction from the Iowa Writers' Workshop and the International Institute of Modern Letters", featuring Eleanor Catton, Steven Toussaint, David Fleming, Lee Posnor and Therese Lloyd. Should be fun.

The other event on my all too empty dance card is the launch of Gigi Fenster's novel 'The Intentions Book' (great title - it's about tramping amongst other things) at Unity Books in Wellington 6pm next Thursday. I think it's an open invite, since it's all over Unity's website. Come along!

And one more poem
A joke about real estate
The tender process.

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