Literary memoirs – new stories through essays and poetry

Our latest picks bring together a huge range of authors; some who are new to the game as well as some award-winning writers. Their stories bind together to show what it means to face adversity with resilience. These books, all of which are accessible digitally, bring humour and honesty, as well as an appreciation of what it means to share our stories.

Overdrive cover Common People, Kit de Waal (ebook)
Common People is a collection of essays, poems and memoir written in celebration, not apology: these are narratives rich in barbed humour, reflecting the depth and texture of working-class life, the joy and sorrow, the solidarity and the differences.. Here, Kit de Waal brings together thirty-three established and emerging writers who invite you to experience the world through their eyes(Adapted from Overdrive description)

Overdrive cover A Burst of Light, Audre Lorde (ebook)
Winner of the 1988 Before Columbus Foundation National Book Award, this path-breaking collection of essays is a clarion call to build communities that nurture our spirit. “This was my first time reading Audre Lorde (finally!) and now I can’t wait to devour everything she ever wrote. This was the kind of book that you end up highlighting so many great quotes, words you want to memorize, apply, breathe. Empowering read.” — Litsy
(Overdrive description)

Overdrive cover Places I Stopped on the Way Home, Meg Fee (ebook)
In Places I Stopped on the Way Home, Meg Fee plots a decade of her life in New York City… Weaving together her joys and sorrows, expectations and uncertainties, aspirations and realities, the result is an exhilarating collection of essays about love and friendship, failure and suffering, and above all hope. Join Meg on her heart-wrenching journey, as she cuts the difficult path to finding herself and finding home. (Overdrive description)

Overdrive cover A Certain Loneliness, Sandra Gail Lambert (ebook)
After contracting polio as a child, Sandra Gail Lambert progressed from braces and crutches to a manual wheelchair to a power wheelchair—but loneliness has remained a constant, from the wild claustrophobia of a child in body casts to just yesterday, trapped at home, gasping from pain. A Certain Loneliness is a meditative and engaging memoir-in-essays that explores the intersection of disability, queerness, and female desire with frankness and humor.  (Overdrive description)

Overdrive cover Show Them a Good Time, Nicole Flattery (ebook)
An urgent and unforgettable collection of stories, Show Them a Good Time explores types – men and women, their assigned roles and meanings – in modern society. The characters in these magnificently accomplished stories are haunted as much by the future as they are by their pasts. Exuberant, irreverent and loaded with dark humour, Show Them a Good Time marks the arrival of a strikingly original new Irish voice in fiction. (Overdrive description)

Overdrive cover The Science of Storytelling, Will Storr (ebook)
Stories mould who we are, from our character to our cultural identity. In this scalpel-sharp, thought-provoking book, Will Storr demonstrates how master storytellers manipulate and compel us… Applying dazzling psychological research and cutting-edge neuroscience to the foundations of our myths and archetypes, he shows how we can use these tools to tell better stories – and make sense of our chaotic modern world. (Adapted from Overdrive description)

Overdrive cover What My Mother and I Don’t Talk About, Michele Filgate (ebook)
Fifteen brilliant writers explore what we don’t talk to our mothers about, and how it affects us, for better or for worse. While some of the writers in this book are estranged from their mothers, others are extremely close. André Aciman writes about what it was like to have a deaf mother. Melissa Febos uses mythology as a lens to look at her close-knit relationship with her psychotherapist mother. And Julianna Baggott talks about having a mom who tells her everything. (Overdrive description)

Overdrive cover White, Bret Easton Ellis (ebook)
Bret Easton Ellis has wrestled with the double-edged sword of fame and notoriety for more than thirty years now, since Less Than Zero catapulted him into the limelight in 1985, earning him devoted fans and, perhaps, even fiercer enemies. He encounters various positions and voices controversial opinions, more often than not fighting the status quo. (Overdrive description)

Overdrive cover Fifty Things That Aren’t My Fault, Cathy Guisewite (ebook)
From the creator of the iconic “Cathy” comic strip comes her first collection of funny, wise, poignant, and incredibly honest essays about being a woman in what she lovingly calls “the panini generation.” Now Guisewite returns with her signature wit and warmth with this debut essay collection about another time of big transition, when everything starts changing and disappearing without permission: aging parents, aging children, aging self stuck in the middle. (Overdrive description)

Read before you crawl… a Poetry Showcase

If poetry is your thing then get ready to be excited for this year’s line up because poets are out in numbers! Mark your calendars for November 10th and start planning your crawl! For lovers of prose make sure you check out the LitCrawl Extended Programme as well, the Poetry Showcase is a must see! With so many poets, musicians and wordsmiths to chose from, here are our selections for must reads before the crawl!

Poūkahangatus / Tibble, Tayi
“This collection speaks about beauty, activism, power and popular culture with compelling guile, a darkness, a deep understanding and sensuality. It dives through noir, whakamā and kitsch and emerges dripping with colour and liquor. These poems time-travel through the powdery mint-green 1960s and the polaroid sunshine 1970’s to the present day. Their language and forms are liquid-sometimes as lush as what they describe, other times deliberately biblical or oblique.” (Adapted Syndetics Summary)

There’s no place like the internet in springtime / Kennedy, Erik
“Layering comedy over insight and pathos over comedy, mixing its flexible couplets with beautifully spiky free verse, Erik Kennedy’s first collection should climb up all the right charts: his phrases can go anywhere, then come back, and he has figured out how to sound both trustworthy and nonplussed, giddy and humble, in the same breath. Sometimes he impersonates spiny lobsters; sometimes he’s a socialist chambered nautilus. Sometimes he’s our best guide to the globe-trotting ridiculous.” (Adapted Syndetics Summary)

Are friends electric? / Heath, Helen
“Offering a vivid and moving vision of a past, present and future mediated by technology, the first part of thisbold new collection is comprised largely of found poems which emerge from conversations about sex bots, people who feel an intimate love for bridges, fences and buildings, a meditation on Theo Jansens beautifully strange animal sculptures, and the lives of birds in cities. A series of speculative poems further explores questions of how we incorporate technology into our lives and bodies.” (Adapted Syndetics Summary)

The farewell tourist / Glenny, Alison
“Pushing the boundaries of what poetry might be The Farewell Tourist is haunting, many-layered and slightly surreal. In The Magnetic Process sequence a man and a woman inhabit a polar world, adrift in zones of divergence, where dreams are filled with snow, icebergs, and sinking ships. Their scientific instruments and observations measure a fragmented and uncertain space where conventional perspectives are violated. By turns mysterious, ominous and evocative, they represent connections to an obscured narrative of disintegration and icy melancholy.” (Adapted Syndetics Summary)

The ski flier / McMillan, Maria
“As it traverses various landscapes, The Ski Flier also moves through a world where strength and self doubt exist in the same moment. Maria McMillan’s vivid second full poetry collection takes in mountains and cities, dragons and daughters, hope and wish fulfilment, demolition and renewal. With shining intelligence these poems demand that we pay attention to where we have been and where we are now.” (Victoria University Press Summary)

he’s so MASC / Tse, Chris
He’s So MASC confronts a contemporary world of self-loathing poets and compulsive liars, of youth and sexual identity, and of the author as character–pop star, actor, hitman, and much more. These are poems that delve into worlds of hyper-masculine romanticism and dancing alone in night clubs. With it’s many modes and influences, an acerbic, acid-bright, yet unapologetically sentimental and personal reflection on what it means to perform and dissect identity, as a poet and a person.” (Adapted Sydnetics Summary)

Alzheimer’s and a spoon / Breslin, Liz
This collection takes its readers on a tangled trip. Public stories – a conversation at the Castle of the Insane, on-line quizzes to determine if you are mostly meercat or Hufflepuff. #stainlessteelkudos. Personal tales, of Liz’s babcia, a devout Catholic and a soldier in the Warsaw Uprising, who spent her last years with Alzheimer’s disease. There is much to remember that she so badly wanted to forget. What do you do when life gives you spoons? (Amazon Summary)

The facts / Lloyd, Therese
“Guided by the work of Anna Carson, these poems trace the end of a marriage, a toxic love affair, age and aging, and the deeper question of spiritual meaning. Running throughout is Therese Lloyd’s quest to prove that art is essential to life.” (Adapted Syndetics Summary)

XYZ of happiness / McCallum, Mary
“Poems of happiness… as it comes, when it’s missing and when it is hoped for.” –Back cover.” (Syndetics Summary)

It’s National Poetry Day!

It’s National Poetry Day and our exciting poetry event is happening today at 1pm! See below for the event details, and you can find more information on our blog.
Today’s fantastic featured poet is Janis Freegard. Enjoy, and we hope to see you in the library this afternoon!

Honey

It was manuka honey, the best kind
in a big, white plastic bucket, given to you
by someone with bees, because you’d been helpful,
so much honey, it might last a lifetime
and you being you, and maybe why I love you,
you spooned it out into carefully washed jars
for your uncle, your mother, your brothers,
our friend with the little boy, your mother’s neighbour
who had the birthday, all that honey, and after all
that you gave away, there was still so much left for us.

Janis Freegard

 

Details:

Friday 24 August, 1–3.30pm
Central Library, 65 Victoria Street

You can RSVP to this event on Facebook

Come along to hear poets from Mākaro Press, Fitzbeck Books and The Cuba Press bewitch, berate, busk and bewilder!

Featuring:
Mary Cresswell, Nicola Easthope, Jamie Trower, Janis Freegard, Tim Jones, John Boyd, Rob King, Richard Langston, Mary Mccallum, Anne Powell, John Howell, Peter Rawnsley, and Stefanie Lash.

Janis Freegard poem

1 day until National Poetry Day: Keith Westwater

National Poetry Day and our exciting poetry event are happening tomorrow! See below for the event details, and you can find more information on our blog.
Today’s fantastic featured poet is Keith Westwater.

Details:

Friday 24 August, 1–3.30pm
Central Library, 65 Victoria Street

You can RSVP to this event on Facebook

Come along to hear poets from Mākaro Press, Fitzbeck Books and The Cuba Press bewitch, berate, busk and bewilder!

Featuring:
Mary Cresswell, Nicola Easthope, Jamie Trower, Janis Freegard, Tim Jones, John Boyd, Rob King, Richard Langston, Mary Mccallum, Anne Powell, John Howell, Peter Rawnsley, and Stefanie Lash.

Keith Westwater poem

2 days until National Poetry Day: Helen Rickerby

There are two days to go until National Poetry Day and our exciting poetry event – see below for the event details, and you can find more information on our blog.
Today’s featured poet is Helen Rickerby – enjoy!

Details:

Friday 24 August, 1–3.30pm
Central Library, 65 Victoria Street

You can RSVP to this event on Facebook

Come along to hear poets from Mākaro Press, Fitzbeck Books and The Cuba Press bewitch, berate, busk and bewilder!

Featuring:
Mary Cresswell, Nicola Easthope, Jamie Trower, Janis Freegard, Tim Jones, John Boyd, Rob King, Richard Langston, Mary Mccallum, Anne Powell, John Howell, Peter Rawnsley, and Stefanie Lash.

Helen Rickerby poem

3 days until National Poetry Day: Peter Rawnsley

There are three days to go until National Poetry Day and our exciting poetry event – see below for the event details, and you can find more information on our blog.
Today’s wonderful featured poet is Peter Rawnsley.

Details:

Friday 24 August, 1–3.30pm
Central Library, 65 Victoria Street

You can RSVP to this event on Facebook

Come along to hear poets from Mākaro Press, Fitzbeck Books and The Cuba Press bewitch, berate, busk and bewilder!

Featuring:
Mary Cresswell, Nicola Easthope, Jamie Trower, Janis Freegard, Tim Jones, John Boyd, Rob King, Richard Langston, Mary Mccallum, Anne Powell, John Howell, Peter Rawnsley, and Stefanie Lash.

Peter Rawnsley poem

4 days until National Poetry Day: Mary McCallum

There are four days to go until National Poetry Day and our exciting poetry event – see below for the event details, and you can find more information on our blog.
Today’s featured poet is Mary McCallum – enjoy!

Details:

Friday 24 August, 1–3.30pm
Central Library, 65 Victoria Street

You can RSVP to this event on Facebook

Come along to hear poets from Mākaro Press, Fitzbeck Books and The Cuba Press bewitch, berate, busk and bewilder!

Featuring:
Mary Cresswell, Nicola Easthope, Jamie Trower, Janis Freegard, Tim Jones, John Boyd, Rob King, Richard Langston, Mary Mccallum, Anne Powell, John Howell, Peter Rawnsley, and Stefanie Lash.

5 days until National Poetry Day: Stefanie Lash

There are five days to go until National Poetry Day and our exciting poetry event – see below for the event details, and you can find more information on our blog.
Today’s featured poet is Stefanie Lash- enjoy!

Details:

Friday 24 August, 1–3.30pm
Central Library, 65 Victoria Street

You can RSVP to this event on Facebook

Come along to hear poets from Mākaro Press, Fitzbeck Books and The Cuba Press bewitch, berate, busk and bewilder!

Featuring:
Mary Cresswell, Nicola Easthope, Jamie Trower, Janis Freegard, Tim Jones, John Boyd, Rob King, Richard Langston, Mary Mccallum, Anne Powell, John Howell, Peter Rawnsley, and Stefanie Lash.

6 days until National Poetry Day: Tim Jones

There are six days to go until National Poetry Day and our exciting poetry event – see below for the event details, and you can find more information on our blog.
Today’s fantastic featured poet is Tim Jones.

Details:

Friday 24 August, 1–3.30pm
Central Library, 65 Victoria Street

You can RSVP to this event on Facebook

Come along to hear poets from Mākaro Press, Fitzbeck Books and The Cuba Press bewitch, berate, busk and bewilder!

Featuring:
Mary Cresswell, Nicola Easthope, Jamie Trower, Janis Freegard, Tim Jones, John Boyd, Rob King, Richard Langston, Mary Mccallum, Anne Powell, John Howell, Peter Rawnsley, and Stefanie Lash.

Counting down to National Poetry Day…

It’s National Poetry Day on the 24th of August, and we’ll be staging a very special celebration featuring some of our finest poets reading from their works.

Come along to hear poets from Mākaro Press, Fitzbeck Books and The Cuba Press bewitch, berate, busk and bewilder!

Details:

National Poetry Day

Friday 24 August, 1–3.30pm

Central Library, 65 Victoria Street

Featuring:

Mary Cresswell, Nicola Easthope, Jamie Trower, Janis Freegard, Tim Jones, John Boyd, Rob King, Richard Langston, Mary Mccallum, Anne Powell, John Howell, Peter Rawnsley, and Stefanie Lash.

To build up to this wonderful celebration of poetry we are going to feature a short poem from a few of the poets reading. Today’s wonderful poet is Mary Cresswell — enjoy!