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Tūhono: Get Yourself Some Inspiration!

It’s me again, with another of my periodic reminders that submissions for Tūhono 2021, our poetry journal for children and teens, are still open! You’ve got plenty of time to write something (in fact, we’ve just extended the deadline to the 14th of November!) and send it in to be published — and we will publish everything, as long as it meets our guidelines.

In case you’re searching for inspiration, we thought we would share with you some of our favourite poems written by teens for last year’s volume, Tūhono 2020. Read on to be wowed, inspired, jazzed, and just overall motivated to contribute your masterpiece to our new collection.

Note: Submissions to Tūhono 2021 have now closed. Thank you to everyone who submitted.

1. Passage of History — Deanna, age 15

The full text of this poem is written below.

Passage of History

Through a thread we all hold
Through this thread all is told
Down it’s passed young from old
This thread echoes war it carries the mourning of our ancestors
Here every language is told all our traditions we hold
In our hands
In our hands we hold precious memories other than ours
Although we encounter troubles we take it on as one
Because this thread connects us all
This thread is nothing more thing less
I feel blessed
To hold this thread for my passed grandparents
Thank you for this thread I will cherish
I swear an oath I won’t let it perish
Through this thread I’m proud to hold
Through this thread all our stories are told

— Deanna, age 15

2. [Untitled] — Nadezhda, age 17

The full text of the poem is written out below.

Pushing at risk teeth
Killing at risk teens

Your mother is wrong
Because all the time I knew you, you knew I would do it

I am only lying
But I am only lying to you
I am lying stretched out like a cat in the sun on the hood of your car
Black stockinged legs hanging over the edge

Kicking at the rain and chewing up the gravel
Right in front of you………………

There is blood in your teeth boy, and on my hands
What if I turn out to be something that makes your mother right?
You might just turn away
And walk into her outstretched arms

— Nadezhda, age 17

3. Included Components: Notes to My Past Self in the Form of a Contents List — Thyme, age 16

The full text of this poem is written out below.

Included Components: Notes to My Past Self in the Form of a Contents List

CONTENTS:

ASSORTED COMPONENTS: BLOOD, CONNECTORS, BONES, ETC.
Factory Settings: Standard. Possibility of inherited deficiency.
(blood tests aren’t as bad as you’d expect them to be, and you won’t regret getting them)

BRAIN, 1 COMPONENT
Factory Settings: Open to programming. Runs best when fully charged.
(you’ll want to be proud of this, and that’s fine, but remember it’s okay not to be the best. it’s okay to get lower marks. let yourself fail sometimes)

CHEST, RIBS, TORSO
Factory Settings: Standard breathing. Growth in chest area expected and normal.
(you won’t like how it changes. look after your ribs when you work this out)

ARMS, 1 PAIR
Factory Settings: Standard flexibility. Bones will remain malleable for approximately 12 years.
(you’ll break them three times, but don’t worry, it doesn’t hurt as much as you think. don’t worry about your first cast’s awful colour — you’ll have plenty more opportunities)

LEGS, 1 PAIR
Factory Settings: Average length, standard flexibility.
(you might not like these either, but understand there’s nothing wrong with them. standard sizing is frustrating but you will find yourself a pair of pants that fit properly)

EYES, 1 PAIR
Factory Settings: Slight nearsightedness, standard cone cells. Optic nerves also included.
(you’ll get them tested, and think that they’re okay, but don’t be afraid to test them again later. school is easier when you can read the board)

HANDS, 1 PAIR
Factory Settings: Standard flexibility, multiple fingers, opposable thumbs. Useful for grasping.
(they won’t always feel like they belong to you — they do. they’ll learn to create nice things, and sometimes not so nice things as well, but I promise to you the scratches will fade eventually)

— Thyme, age 16

4. Tap Tap Malu — Katie, age 15

The full text of this poem is written out below.

Tap Tap Malu

Tap, Tap
ink in blood out
absorbing, blending
weaving together
responsibilities of a Samoan woman
in Samoan society

Tap, Tap
ink in blood out
the bittersweet burn of the au
bleeding the ink to the surface
mapmaking the path to your ancestors

Tap, Tap
the sting on skin stretched tightly
a compact canvas freshly inked
a single colour pallette
sourced from the candlenut tree
a lama landscape
of oceans that will not wash away

Tap, Tap
O le Gafa o le Tatau,
chants of two sisters
Taema ma Tilafaiga
who swam the vasa wide
with a song and ‘ato au and echoed chant
‘only women get tattooed, not men’
‘only women get tattooed, not men’

Tap, Tap
O le Gafa o le Tatau
chants of two sisters
Taema ma Tilafaiga
who dove the vasa deep
for a faisua near the shores of Falealupo
breaking the ocean’s surface,
gasping for air
an old chant was forgotten
a new chant echoed
‘only men get tattooed, not women’
‘only men get tattooed, not women’

Tap, Tap
Malu
Tap, tap thigh
Tap, tap hand
Tap, tap arm
Tap, tap back
Tap, tap feet
Tap, tap ankles
Tap, tap face
Tap, tap neck
Tap, tap, tap…….
When is it still a Malu?

— Katie, age 15

Chicken Soup for the Adventurous Soul

Exams are on the horizon, and some of you may be fighting the urge to run into the woods and never return. But fear not – Spring is in the air, and the world is full of wonderful things to distract you from study! Now is the perfect time to be daydreaming about those Summer roadies and camping trips, and what better way to prepare for the great outdoors than by popping down to your local library for a quick peruse of Bear Grylls’ collected works?

Whether you’re planning a quick day-trip through the bush, a few days camping with friends, or are fully committed to vanishing amongst the undergrowth and resurfacing only often enough that you become a haunting fixture of local folklore, our collection has something for you.

You can find more information about local hiking trails on the Wellington City Council website.

The young adventurer’s guide to (almost) everything : build a fort, camp like a champ, poop in the woods–45 action-packed outdoor activities / Hewitt, Ben
“[…] The Young Adventurer’s Guide will teach kids everything from how to walk like a fox and see like an owl to use the stars as their own personal GPS and even how to build the world’s coolest fort out of foraged sticks. This handbook for curious kids will empower them to explore the natural world and even the comfort of their own backyard through a whole new set of skills. Featuring 65 different skills in sections that include: Secrets of the Woods, The Best Camping Trip, Make Cool Stuff That’s Actually Useful and Turn the Ordinary into the Extraordinary”– Provided by publisher.” (Adapted from Catalogue)

Hiking & tramping in New Zealand / Bennett, Sarah
“Lonely Planet Hiking and Tramping in New Zealand is your passport to all the most relevant and up-to-date advice on what to see, what to skip, and what hidden discoveries await you. Admire the dramatic peaks and valleys of Fiordland National Park, stroll past bays and beaches of the Abel Tasman Coast, or scale an active volcano on the North Island.” (Catalogue)

Survival handbook : an essential companion to the great outdoors / Sumerak, Marc
“This book includes crucial tips on exactly what you need to know to survive even the most unexpected circumstances. This illustrated guide shows you how to make a shelter, build a fire, locate clean water, forage for food, avoid deadly animals, protect yourself from bad weather, and find your way back home safely afterward. Whether you’re lost, hungry, burned, or buried, knowing essential emergency survival skills could literally mean the difference between life and death.” (Catalogue)

Day walks of Greater Wellington / Gavalas, Marios
“[…] With overviews of popular walking areas, each walk is given a track grade, approximate travel time, easy access details, notes on the track itself and points of interest to highlight the most memorable features. Illustrated with maps and plenty of photographs, this handy guide is the essential companion for anyone venturing into the region’s outdoors.” (Adapted from Catalogue)

Camping / Grylls, Bear
“Ever wanted to be an adventurer like Bear Grylls? If you do, you will need to know all the skills required to survive camping in the wilderness! In this practical field guide readers will learn how to choose the best site, how to build shelters and how to make a solar shower – and much more. With full-colour illustrations throughout, this book will appeal to scout groups, as the topic coincides with scout badges.” (Catalogue)

A forager’s treasury / Knox, Johanna
“Features profiles of many edible plants commonly found in New Zealand, including advice on where to find them, how to harvest them and how best to use them”–Back cover.” (Catalogue)


The beginner’s guide to hunting + fishing in New Zealand / Adamson, Paul
“Includes information on the right equipment for the right species, hunting with dogs, and mountain safety and bushcraft essentials. With diagrams, fun facts, a glossary of hunting terms, helpful tips and even some recipes to try out at home … has an emphasis on safety and provides all budding hunters with the basic skills and knowledge for a lifetime of adventure in the great outdoors”–Back cover.” (Catalogue)

Survival for beginners : a step-by-step guide to camping and outdoor skills / Towell, Colin
“This essential survival guide for intrepid young explorers shows the skills and techniques you need for outdoor adventure, from maps and navigation to camping. Learn the basics – from picking the best campground to knowing how to build a shelter – with clear step-by-step illustrations […] So start packing your rucksack for an outdoor adventure and don’t forget to read Survival for Beginners.” (Adapted from Catalogue)

Bushcraft : outdoor skills for the New Zealand bush
“Bushcraft is an excellent resource for outdoor activities. It helps both novices and those with some experience to enjoy the NZ bush in greater safety. Provides up-to-date information on new techniques, new equipment, and new ideas. Chapters include trip planning, managing risk, food, equipment, shelter, tramping skills, weather, navigation, river safety, hazards, emergency procedures, and much more!” (Catalogue)

Curiosities and splendour
“Journey back in time with this collection of classic travel writing from great authors and adventurers. These extraordinary odysseys over land and sea captivated audiences and gave them a glimpse into countries, cities and cultures like never before. Tales include Robert Byron’s ten-month journey through Persia to Afghanistan in the early 30s; Jack London’s 1907 sailing adventure across the south Pacific; and Teddy Roosevelt’s scientific exploration of the Brazilian jungles exotic flora and fauna […] (Adapted from Catalogue)

Lost lore : a celebration of traditional wisdom, from foraging and festivals to seafaring and smoke signals / McGovern, Una
“An engaging introduction to traditional knowledge and forgotten wisdom” (Catalogue)

Tūhono Submissions Are Now Open!

Well, the 1st of October has finally arrived, and so we have officially opened submissions for Tūhono 2021, our annual poetry journal for children and teens! Visit wcl.govt.nz/tuhono to read the guidelines and submit your poem on this year’s theme of “Whakaata | Reflection.” Submissions will close at 11.59pm on Sunday 14 November.

Note: Submissions to Tūhono 2021 have now closed. Thank you to everyone who submitted.

Yes, you are!

In the meantime, you should definitely check out some of these rad collections of poetry by and for teens (and some by awesome local poets as well). You might just find your inspiration!

Tūhono. a journal of poetry by children and teens / 2020 :
“Tūhono : connection. This is the theme that binds together all 197 poems you are about to read, which were contributed by young Wellington writers aged 5-18 and collected by Wellington City Libraries throughout the month of November 2020. The year 2020 was challenging for many people. Some had to spend time apart from their friends and the people they love. Some had to find ways to live with uncertainty and the sense that everything might not be okay in the world. But taken together, these poems represent a constellation of thoughts, ideas, worries, anxieties, hopes, loves, and dreams about how we find ways to connect, even in the face of adversity.” — SP, SC, and LH, Tūhono editors

Ink knows no borders : poems of the immigrant and refugee experience
“An important collection of sixty-four poems sharing the experiences of young adult immigrants and refugees from all over the world.” — SP, Tūhono editor

I am a human being / Nieuwland, Jackson
“A truly awesome collection of poetry by local poet (and beloved librarian!) Jackson Nieuwland, this book is by turns funny, poignant, profound, and irreverent, but always, always, transformational. Read this to feel bewildered, but complete.” — SC, Tūhono editor

Voices in the air : poems for listeners / Nye, Naomi Shihab
“Young People’s Poet Laureate and author Naomi Shihab Nye has written nearly 100 poems in honour of the artists, writers, poets, historical figures, ordinary people, and diverse luminaries from past and present who have inspired her.” — SP, Tūhono editor

Poems to live your life by / Riddell, Chris
“In this gorgeous anthology, award winning illustrator (and friend to libraries) Chris Riddell has selected 46 poems to live your life by. Poems by both classic and modern poets sit alongside each other, and include Shakespeare, Carol Anne Duffy, Neil Gaiman, Nick Cave and W.B. Yeats. The poems are divided into sections covering, musings, youth, family, love, imaginings, nature, war and endings.” — SP, Tūhono editor

he’s so MASC / Tse, Chris
“Look, all I’m saying is if you’re a queer young person, a queer old person, or just a person of any type, you’ve gotta read this collection. You won’t be the same afterwards. Or, you’ll be the same, but more of yourself. Self-loathing, self-expression, self-identification — Tse holds himself up to the light and you see yourself reflected in the prismatic splitting that follows. If you don’t quite understand that sentence, read the book and you will.” — SC, Tūhono editor

You don’t have to be everything : poems for girls becoming themselves
“Sixty-eight diverse poets, including Amanda Gorman, Mary Oliver, Maya Angelou, Elizabeth Acevedo and Kate Baer address the complex feelings of growing up in this poetry collection. Poems are arranged around the themes of ‘seeking’, ‘loneliness’, ‘attitude’, ‘rage’, ‘longing’, ‘shame’, ‘sadness’ and ‘belonging’, ultimately offering a message of self-acceptance and giving permission to let go of shame and perfectionism.” — SP, Tūhono editor

Young Kiwi voices. a collection of poems from young New Zealanders / Vol. 2
“This locally published collection brings together poems written by New Zealand teens aged between 12 and 18. Well worth a look to get ideas and inspiration for your own work.” — SP, Tūhono editor

Take Time to Kōrero: Mental Health Awareness Week

Official Mental Health Awareness Week image, downloaded from their website.

Provided by the Mental Health Foundation

This September 27th – October 3rd is Mental Health Awareness Week, an annual campaign run by the Mental Health Foundation. Here’s a little more about this year’s theme, taken from the official MHAW website:

This year’s theme is take time to kōrero/mā te kōrero, ka ora – a little chat can go a long way.

This MHAW is all about connecting with the people in our lives and creating space for conversations about mental health and wellbeing. Whether it’s checking in with a mate, having a kōrero over some kai or saying hello to a stranger, a little chat can go a long way. 

 The Mental Health Foundation has dedicated each day of this week to a different activity , with the aim of fostering wellbeing.  Why not give them a go, see if you notice any changes in your own life? 🙂

RĀHINA | MONDAY : Reconnect with someone you care about.

RĀTU | TUESDAY : Get outside in nature with someone.

RĀAPA | WEDNESDAY : Have a kōrero about Te Whare Tapa Whā 

RĀPARE | THURSDAY : Connect through kindness.

RĀMERE | FRIDAY : Come together and reflect.

image from Commonspace website. Depects a sun and a minimal landscape in crayon scribbles.

Commonspace, 113 Taranaki St., Te Whanganio-ā-Tara

On a related note, there’s a brand new hang-out space in the CBD of Te Whanganui-a-Tara called Commonspace! Designed as “a living room for the city”, Commonspace has been created as a “central place of being and belonging, learning and connecting, through de-siloing knowledge and cross-pollinating disciplines, holding whanaungatanga for a younger inner city community to connect more consciously.” From movie nights, craft clubs, live album listening parties, a radio station and more; Commonspace is a lovely new place for youth to hang out, learn and create art!

I am definitely a person who has struggled with their mental health, and I am so stoked to see that this kind of discussion is becoming more common in our Aotearoa! To celebrate this fantastic week, here are some books that might be helpful for your own mental health journey 🙂

The mental health and wellbeing workout for teens : skills and exercises from ACT and CBT for healthy thinking / Nagel, Paula
“This easy-to-understand, engaging guide arms teens with healthy thinking habits and coping strategies for staying on top of their mental health. Readers are given the tools to build their own personalised mental health ‘workout’ to boost their emotional resilience and well-being. (Adapted from Catalogue)

Your brain needs a hug : life, love, mental health, and sandwiches / Earl, Rae
“Imbued with a sense of humor, understanding, and hope, Your Brain Needs a Hug is a judgment-free guide for living well with your mind.  Witty, honest, and enlightening, this is the perfect read for feeling happier and healthier and learning to navigate life without feeling overwhelmed or isolated” (Adapted from Catalogue)

Obsessed : a memoir of my life with OCD / Britz, Allison
“Fifteen-year-old Allison lived a comfortable life in an idyllic town. She was a dedicated student with tons of extracurricular activities, friends, and loving parents at home. But after awakening from a vivid nightmare in which she was diagnosed with brain cancer, she was convinced the dream had been a warning.  This memoir tracks Allison’s descent and ultimately hopeful climb out of the depths” (Adapted from Catalogue)

You’re crushing it / Croucher, Lex
“Sometimes life can be pretty amazing. But other times it feels like: A. Your heart and stomach have been steamrolled into a grisly organ pancake B. You are being put through an emotional spiralizer that creates human courgetti C. Both of the above. You’re a courgetti pancake No, Instagram filters won’t make it look any better.  An honest, thoughtful and hilarious survival guide for young people by social media sensation, Lex Croucher. (Adapted from Catalogue)

Mindfulness for students : embracing now, looking to the future / Kaufman, Natasha
“Life can be tough. With decisions to make at such a critical time, from subject choices to new colleges and universities, careers and relationships, it’s easy to feel weighed down. What’s more, there is the pressure to gain good grades, to find a good job, to be a good person. From a young age we are taught the significance of a solid education and a fruitful career, yet with such an emphasis on academic and monetary success we often fail to prioritise a healthy mind. Leaving the security of home and adjusting to new-found independence can be an exciting transition. It can also be unsettling. It is vital to know how to deal with life’s many challenges and triumphs emotionally. Practising mindfulness can equip you with the skills to do this.” (Catalogue)


If you need to talk to someone else:

Free call or text 1737 for support from a trained counsellor, or feel free to reach out to the below organisations.

Lifeline
0800 543 354
Free text 4357 (HELP)

Youthline
0800 376 633
Free text 234

Tūhono 2021: We Want Your Poems

Tūhono, Wellington City Libraries’ poetry journal for kids and teens, is now open for submissions until 14 November 2021! All throughout the month of October, we are accepting submissions of poetry from young writers aged 5 – 18 in Wellington City. Last time we had so many poems that it was hard to fit them all into a single book — so this time, we’ll be publishing two volumes — one for kids, and one for teens.

Unlike some other poetry journals, having your work accepted in Tūhono is not a competition — as long as you follow the rules of submission, every piece of work that gets submitted will be published. Tūhono itself — the collection of poetry from young people all over Wellington — will be published as an eBook on OverDrive, and in a limited print run for our libraries, so that everyone with a library card can borrow it and bask in your talent and glory! Check out Tūhono 2020 on OverDrive here.

Let your poetic thoughts take wing!

Here is all the information you need to submit a poem for inclusion in Tūhono 2021:

When?

  • Submissions will be open from 1 October – 14 November 2021.
  • The journal will be published and available to borrow from the library in December 2021.

Where?

  • Submissions for Tūhono 2021 have now closed. Thank you to everyone who submitted. The journal will be published in late December 2021.

Who?

  • Everyone between the ages of 5 and 18 who lives in the Wellington region may participate.

What?

  • Theme: We want you to write a poem on the theme of “Whakaata | Reflection.” Exactly what this means to you is up to you — you could write a poem reflecting on something that has happened to you, you could write about a literal reflection in a mirror, window, or lake. The world is your oyster. We recommend you check out the definitions of the words ‘whakaata‘ and ‘reflection‘ in a dictionary to find out all the hidden meanings before you start writing. They don’t mean exactly the same thing — and that is intentional, to give you a wider range of stuff to write about.
  • LengthYour poem should not be longer than one A4 page typed, with size 12 font and 1.5 line spacing. Only one poem per person will be accepted.
  • Language: Your poem may be written in English or te reo Māori.

Why?

  • We want to give all young people in Wellington the opportunity to have their work published on an accessible platform. We think everyone deserves a platform and the chance to see something they created be part of the library’s collection, alongside all the great authors and poets represented on our shelves. The last edition of Tūhono proved itself to be a uniquely Wellington collection of writing, capturing the thoughts and emotions of kids and teens from all over the city and region across time. We are so excited to see what you come up with this time!

Throughout the month of October, we will be posting regular updates providing inspiration for your writing — so keep your eyes peeled! If you would like more information about Tūhono, you are more than welcome to contact the editors here. Happy writing, everyone!

Cool New Meme Formats from Recollect

Do you know about Recollect? Recollect is a database of heritage photos, books, maps and other Te Whanganui-ā-tara related ephemera.

If I was a responsible librarian, I would tell you all about how it is an excellent resource for important things like school assignments. I would point out the photos of what Cuba Street looked like in 1894, or this photography exhibit that explored Wellington’s transgender community in the 70’s. I would tell you all about how these resources can provide us with a snapshot of our city’s history, how deep diving into these resources might help us see connections between our past and current city, and how by engaging with our history we can gain insight into how to create a better future.

But I am not a responsible librarian, I am a chaotic good librarian. I would like to suggest instead that you explore Recollect for some meme reasons. Because, truly, there are so many meme structures ripe for the picking. Below, I offer you my incredibly average attempts at content. Please take these/make your own historical Wellington memes, and share them below in the comments if you like!

If you do use images from Recollect, please remember to include a reference link back to the original page. Here is where I found the above images:

Bucket Fountain Shade

Toddler Clearly Up To Something

Why Is This Man Smiling?

Too Many Garfields

Tūhono 2: Electric Boogaloo

A cool breeze blows across our fair city, bringing with it the scent of rain. Branches stir, a cat’s tail twitches — something is in the air. Well folks, it’s Phantom National Poetry Day, and that mysterious something you feel in the air is the library preparing its most joyous poetical news item of the season — sharpen your pencils and dust off those metaphors, for Tūhono is returning in October and November 2021!

Tūhono is Wellington City Libraries’ very own poetry journal for young poets aged 5-18. Unlike some other poetry journals, having your work accepted in Tūhono is not a competition — as long as you follow the rules of submission, every piece of work that gets submitted will be published. Tūhono first came into being last year, and was a roaring success, with nearly 200 of you submitting poetry on the theme of ‘connection’ during the month of November and being published in the inaugural tome (find it on OverDrive here!).

Keep an eye out here and on our social media channels for the official announcement next week of the new theme, submission deadline, and other features that will make Tūhono 2021 unique and unmissable. In the meantime, why not get the creative juices flowing by checking out some of the awesome poetry collections on OverDrive:

Overdrive cover Tūhono 2020, Wellington City Libraries (ebook)

Tūhono : connection. This is the theme that binds together all 197 poems you are about to read, which were contributed by young Wellington writers aged 5-18 and collected by Wellington City Libraries throughout the month of November 2020. The year 2020 was challenging for many people. Some had to spend time apart from their friends and the people they love. Some had to find ways to live with uncertainty and the sense that everything might not be okay in the world. But taken together, these poems represent a constellation of thoughts, ideas, worries, anxieties, hopes, loves, and dreams about how we find ways to connect, even in the face of adversity. (Overdrive description)

Overdrive cover The Realm of Possibility, David Levithan (ebook)

Enter The Realm of Possibility and meet a boy whose girlfriend is in love with Holden Caulfield; a girl who loves the boy who wears all black; a boy with the perfect body; and a girl who writes love songs for a girl she can’t have.
These are just a few of the captivating characters readers will get to know in this intensely heartfelt new novel about those ever-changing moments of love and heartbreak that go hand-in-hand with high school. David Levithan plumbs the depths of teenage emotion to create an amazing array of voices that readers won’t forget. So, enter their lives and prepare to welcome the realm of possibility open to us all. Love, joy, and these stories will linger. (OverDrive description)

Overdrive cover Poems to Save the World With, Chris Riddell (ebook)

In Poems to Save the World With, Chris Riddell has selected and illustrated his very favourite classic and modern poems to galvanize, uplift and inspire you through these interesting times we live in.
This gorgeously illustrated collection, Chris’s follow-up to Poems to Live Your Life By and bestselling anthology Poems to Fall in Love With, will ignite your inner activist. Covering a wealth of subjects these insightful poems are brought to life with Chris’s exquisite, intricate artwork. (Overdrive description)

Overdrive cover Please Excuse This Poem, Brett F Lauer (ebook)

One hundred poems. One hundred voices. One hundred different points of view. Here is a cross-section of American poetry as it is right now—full of grit and love, sparkling with humor, searing the heart, smashing through boundaries on every page. Please Excuse This Poem features one hundred acclaimed younger poets from truly diverse backgrounds and points of view, whose work has appeared everywhere from The New Yorker to Twitter, tackling a startling range of subjects in a startling range of poetic forms. Dealing with the aftermath of war; unpacking the meaning of “the rape joke”; sharing the tender moments at the start of a love affair: these poems tell the world as they see it. (Overdrive description)

Overdrive cover SLAM! You’re Gonna Wanna Hear This, Nikita Gill (ebook)

It’s time to reclaim poetry. Collected by international poetry sensation Nikita Gill, SLAM! You’re Gonna Wanna Hear This is a joyful celebration of the ground-breaking poets making their voices heard in the spoken word scene. Empowering, inspiring and often hilarious, SLAMs are a platform for well-known and emerging talent from all walks of life where every style of poetry has a home. With poets such as Raymond Antrobus and Dean Atta guest starring alongside up-and-coming poets in the SLAM scene, this is the perfect introduction to world of modern poetry. Each poet will introduce their poem, tell you a little bit about themselves and give you a tip for preparing brilliant poetry for SLAMs. (Overdrive description)

Wellington On a Plate 2021

Calling all foodies, brace yourself for the most epic food event of the year where you can eat, drink and be Welly! Wellington on a Plate (WOAP) has arrived once again full of culinary goodness of all things food and beverage all throughout the month of August!

https://www.facebook.com/WellyOnaPlate/

What is Wellington on a Plate?

Wellington on a Plate is an event in August where you can Eat, Drink and Be Welly with hundreds of Festival Events, Festival Dishes that showcase the best of Wellington region’s ingredients, suppliers and producers, Creative Cocktails and all the Burgers you could munch your way through. 

How can you celebrate?

  • Eat your way around Wellington. Click here for more information about WOAP eateries.
  • Craft your visit by choosing from over 140 events, with everything from hands-on masterclasses to multi-course degustations and everything in between. Click here for more information about the events.

Create your own burgers, drinks and culinary goodness in the comfort of your own home, with the help of the following books:

Cook up a storm the Welly and Kiwi way with:

image courtesy of syndeticsThe great New Zealand cookbook.

“Featuring over 200 recipies, from tried and true classics to contemporary cuisine that reflects New Zealand’s ethnic diversity and fresh local produce, the Great Zealand Cookbook is a unique celebration of kiwi cuisine. Eighty of New Zealand’s finest cooks, chefs and bakers let us into their homes and their hearts as they share their favourite recipes they make for people they love. Each recipe is accompanied by stunning original photographs shot entirely on location that truly capture the essence and nature of this beautiful country of ours. Cover artwork by renowned New Zealand artist Dick Frizzell.” (Catalogue)

image courtesy of syndeticsCuba Street : a cookbook.

“Cuba Street – a cookbook celebrates the flair and flavours of Cuba Street, the colourful heart of Wellington’s café scene. Take a gastronomic journey up the street and enjoy and eclectic mix of recipes, provided by over twenty of your favourite bars and eateries. They’ve given up their secrets, published here along with interviews, profiles and more. This book is an absolute must for foodies, locals and visitors to Wellington. It offers a unique insight into Wellington’s best-loved district, its heritage, hospitality, and the people who make it so special.” (Catalogue)


image courtesy of syndeticsThe Cuba Street project.

“Cuba Street has many faces. Restaurants, cafés, record shops, fashion outlets — and the bucket fountain. Cuba Street has iconic status in Wellington – its colour and character over the last few decades have made it a favourite spot for locals and visitors alike. From the late lamented Matterhorn and Mighty Mighty, to Midnight Espresso, Logan Brown and Ombra, the street is filled with places and people worth remembering.” (Catalogue)

Get your burger on!

image courtesy of syndeticsBurger Wellington : the best burgers from New Zealand’s culinary capital.

“Burger Wellington has long been an integral part of the WOAP experience. Weve gathered together 47 of the regions best burger recipes from some of its most celebrated eateries. The recipes are edited by Lucy Corry, award-winning Wellington writer and columnist. Lucy regularly writes on food for Fairfax Media, Cuisine (incl restaurant reviews), NZ Life & Leisure, Frankie and Smith magazines and for her own blog The Kitchen Maid. Safe to say, she’s a passionate foodie!” (Catalogue)


image courtesy of sydneticsBurger lab.

“Burger Lab examines the precise elements that make up the ultimate burger: the perfect squishy bun; a pickle that has just the right level of crunch; the exact quantity of mayonnaise and ketchup to deliver maximum flavour; and the ultimate wagyu beef pattie that’s meaty, juicy and umami-intense. Featuring the sought-after recipes from the menu of a cult burger joint, as well as 18 additional mouthwatering constructions that include: soft-shell crab with green mango salad; tonkatsu pork with fennel & apple; Reuben with corned beef, sauerkraut, Swiss cheese & thousand island dressing, and more, plus recipes for condiments, chips and milkshakes to wash it all down – Burger Lab will change everything you thought you knew about burgers.” (Catalogue)

image courtesy of syndeticsXXL : epic food, street eats & cult dishes from around the world.

“Through 70 incredible dishes – covering snacks, burgers, mains, desserts and drinks – Billy taps into the contemporary street food scene. This is not food for the faint-hearted or those into ‘clean eating’ or ‘the paleo lifestyle.’ These are honest-to-goodness recipes that are bold on flavour, size and, yup, calories. Dig in if you love great comfort food and street eats from all corners of the globe as well as pimped-up classic dishes.” (Catalogue)

image courtesy of syndeticsHot dogs, hamburgers, tacos and margaritas.

“With more than 100 recipes, from quick and easy to classic to more gourmet fare, including some more unusual ingredients, this book brings all of your fast-food favourites together in one place (alongside some awesome accompaniments like fries, coleslaw, mash, and milk shakes) — making it the perfect companion for casual weekends and entertaining friends (or just yourself, if you’re feeling greedy).” (Adapted from Catalogue)

For all you veggies and vegans, check out:

image courtesy of syndeticsThe Naked Kitchen veggie burger book : delicious plant-based burgers, fries, sides, and more.

“The Naked Kitchen Veggie Burger Book celebrates the burger in all its versatile glory–served on freshly baked buns, crumbled atop salads, added to pasta sauces, baked into taquitos, and more! Spanning a number of different ethnic influences, from Mexican to Mediterranean to Asian, these burgers are as nutritious as they are fun, flavorful, and redolent of homey goodness. The Naked Kitchen duo also present their favorite burger buns, condiments and toppings, sides and salads, fresh beverages, and “beyond burgers” recipes — for a superlative burger experience.” (Catalogue)

image courtesy of syndeticsVegan junk food : a down and dirty cookbook.

“Not all vegans do yoga thrice daily or thrive on kale juice. This book is for anyone curious about cooking meat-free, who DGAF about carbs. This is the anti-vegan cookbook for vegans. Almost every vegetarian and vegan cookbook focuses on the whole wheat/kefir/green cleanse/salt lamp/lentil aspect of living a cruelty-free diet. But what about those of us who actually dream of a greasy burger all day and all night, but simply can’t justify eating animal products? Or those of us who just wanted to opt out of the environmentally unsustainable meat industry? Or anyone who is just keen to broaden their culinary horizons and dip a toe in the waters of veganism? If any of these ring bells, then this is the cookbook for you.” (Adapted from Catalogue)

image courtesy of syndeticsMostly plants : 101 delicious flexitarian recipes from the Pollan family.

“Following the advice of family member Michael Pollan –“Eat food, not too much, mostly plants”–this book offers an approach to eating which doesn’t give up meat entirely but builds a diet that shifts the ratio from animals to plants, creating delicious and nutritious meals sure to appeal to everyone.” (Catalogue)

image courtesy of syndeticsGreen burgers : creative vegetarian recipes for burgers and sides.

“Whether you’re vegetarian, vegan, or just trying to cut down on meat, veggie burgers make a tempting, filling meal. And as Martin Nordin explains, they’re far from boring – in fact, because there are no rules or blueprint, you’re free to push the burger boundaries. In Green Burgers, Martin shares recipes packed full of flavour and nutrition – from the classic BBQ Portobello Burger to the Courgette Burger with Wild Garlic. Experiment with unexpected flavours such as Courgette Kimchi and Deep-Fried Plantain. The delicious patties are just the beginning – try making your own Charcoal Burger Buns, top your burgers with Purple Cabbage and Apple Sauerkraut, and serve with Roasted Sweet-Potato Chips. With chapters on burgers, buns, sides, pickles and sauces, Green Burgers has all you need to make the perfect plant-based burgers and sides at home.” (Catalogue)

Lōemis Winter Solstice Festival 2021

Winter has arrived in Wellington, and the Lōemis Winter Solstice Festival is back again, in its fourth year,  during the week of the 11th to the 21st of June, and there’re heaps of exciting events happening in the Capital!

What is the Lōemis Winter Solstice Festival?

The Lōemis (pron. lew-mis) festival began in 2016 and is held annually in Wellington in the lead up to the winter solstice.

For eleven days, the Lōemis Winter Solstice Festival observes the longest nights of the year with a hearty mix of feasting, theatre, music, monstrous creatures and a fiery waterfront procession, based around the winter solstice, which falls on 22 June.

For more information on what events are on, check out the Lōemis website and Facebook page.

In the meantime, why not get into the “festival” season with:


image courtesy of syndeticsCelebrating the southern seasons : rituals for Aotearoa.

“Provides information and insight … of the customs, symbols, stories and meanings relating to the seasonal changes from both European and Maori perspectives … contents include the meeting point: the coming together of Aotearoa New Zealand’s two dominant cultures … an overview of seasonal celebrations, guidelines on how to structure seasonal rituals … a calendar for Aotearoa New Zealand, suggested rituals for Aotearoa New Zealand today, an overview of Celtic and Maori traditions” (Catalogue)

image courtesy of syndeticsA year of festivals : how to have the time of your life.

“Takes you around the world in pursuit of festivals in all their flamboyant color and variety. Discover music, camel races, feats of endurance, manic street parties and monumental food fights. From the sublime (Venice’s Carnevale or India’s Krishna Janmastami) to the absurd (Finland’s Wife-Carrying Championships or Australia’s Beer Can Regatta), the best of the famous and little-known alike are represented here. Organized by month and week to help you to plan a great festival experience at any time of year. Country and Festival indexes allow you to also search by the destination of your next vacation, or by the name or theme of the festival you want to experience.” (Catalogue)

image courtesy of syndetics50 festivals to blow your mind.

“Join the world’s biggest water fight in Thailand, become a reveller on Mexico’s Day of the Dead, and party at Rio’s world-famous carnival. Whatever you like to celebrate, you’ll find a gathering somewhere on the planet to suit. Lonely Planet collects the greatest, weirdest and most jaw-dropping festivals around the world to set your sights on” (Catalogue).


Also, why not join in on “the Lōemis workshop fun”,  in the comfort of your own home… or library by creating your masterpieces, (mask making, Mexican style treats, culinary goodness, puppetry and house building), with some help from the following books:

image courtesy of syndeticsPowermask : the power of masks.

“Since the 1990’s, Walter Van Beirendonck has been fascinated by masks. A mask changes your identity, raises a particular atmosphere and has instant impact. Artists like André Breton, Pablo Picasso or even Breughel were inspired. Power Mask – The Power of Masks goes deeper into the different facets of masks: the link between Western art and African masks, the supernatural and the rituals around masks, masks in fashion, masks like fetish, and more” (Catalogue)

image courtesy of syndeticsLa Boca Loca : Mexican cooking for New Zealanders.

“Lucas Putnam and Marianne Elliott opened their Mexican restaurant, La Boca Loca in April 2011, with a clear goal: to bring the freshest flavours of Mexico to Wellington using fresh and locally available ingredients. Their customers loved the taste of their freshly prepared Mexican food and many wanted to learn to make it themselves at home, so this book makes it possible to recreate and share the taste of Lucas’s childhood.” (Adapted from Catalogue)


image courtesy of syndeticsPuppetry : how to do it.

“A practical, accessible and inspiring guide to using puppetry in theatre — the perfect entry point for anyone looking to use puppets in their productions, to explore what puppets can do, or to develop their puppetry skills” (Catalogue)

image courtesy of syndeticsThe econest home : designing & building a light straw clay house.

“An EcoNest is not just a home–it is a uniquely beautiful structure that nurtures health and embraces ecology. This complete practical guide explains how EcoNests combine light straw clay natural building techniques with the principles of Building Biology, provides fully-illustrated, step-by-step instructions for designing and building your own, and is packed with inspiring photos of completed projects” (Catalogue)


Keep warm and stay safe this winter!

Tara Black x Dylan Horrocks: An Event You Don’t Want to Miss

So, you’re an artist. Or a writer. Or both. Or neither — maybe you just like looking at stuff and reading stuff and want to know more about how it works! Maybe you’re into comics, or manga, or general illustration, or live drawing, or all of the above. Maybe, just maybe, you’re wanting to find out how you can take your passion for drawing or writing and turn it into your life’s work, your livelihood, your source of creative (and financial) nourishment. Or maybe you just want to sit in on a conversation with two very cool and talented people and be swept away by their wit and craft.

Regardless of which category you fit into above, we have the event for you: Talk and Draw with Tara Black and Dylan Horrocks, Saturday 17 April, 1.00pm at Johnsonville Library at Waitohi Community Hub. Part workshop, part overview, part conversation — join us for what promises to be a fabulous, informative, and entertaining event, with two of the biggest names in New Zealand comics.


Photo: Ebony Lamb 2020

If you don’t know Tara Black, you should — she is one of the most distinctive and unique graphic artists working in Aotearoa. Alongside her excellent webcomics (I’m particularly partial to The Blue Fury, in which the ghosts of Janet Frame and Katherine Mansfield get their kicks out of haunting a first-year English teacher) and her extremely weird and cool new book This is not a pipe (VUP, 2020), Tara is known for doing live illustrations of events around Wellington City. I reckon that’s a pretty awesome way to make a living.


The Eisner Award-winning Dylan Horrocks, of course, is one of the most talented and versatile cartoonists working in the scene today. His works range from the meta-comic tour-de-force that is Sam Zabel and the Magic Pen (VUP, 2014) to the iconic Hicksville (Black Eye Comics, 1998), which I choose to believe draws some inspiration from my own home town of Hastings, which may have been briefly known as Hicksville in the early 1870s, with a healthy dose of work on the Batman and Batgirl comics in the early-mid 2000s.

Come along and join us for this Most Ambitious Crossover Event In Comic Book History (okay not really, but it will still be really cool!), and of course check out Tara and Dylan’s books below!


This is not a pipe / Black, Tara
“I’ve decided to document my life in pictures. It’s hard to draw the pole, because of the pole. Beth has a pole through her arms. This is not a metaphor. A metaphor would be a lot less inconvenient. On the other side of the room, Kenneth is creating a new religion. He thinks narrative is the operating principle of the universe. He also thinks he’s the hero of Beth’s story. Beth is worried he’s going to leave her. The creatures living in the pole may have stolen her cat. Tara Black’s comic is surreal, dark, sad, perversely joyful, and if you bet someone they couldn’t find another book remotely like it, you would win. It’s a little bit about being married to Kenneth. It’s a little bit about losing your cat. It’s definitely not about the pole.” (Catalogue)

Hicksville : a comic book / Horrocks, Dylan
“World-famous cartoonist Dick Burger has earned millions and become the most powerful man in the comics industry. However, behind his rapid rise to success, there lies a dark and terrible secret, as biographer Leonard Batts discovers when he visits Burger’s hometown in remote New Zealand. One of the best graphic novels of the past decade.” (Adapted from Catalogue)

Incomplete works / Horrocks, Dylan
“Daydreams, fantasy, true love, and procrastination feature strongly in this selection of Dylan Horrocks’s shorter comics running from 1986 to 2012. It is both the chronicle of an age and a portrait of one man’s heroic struggle to get some work done.” (Catalogue)

Sam Zabel and the magic pen / Horrocks, Dylan
“Cartoonist Sam Zabel hasn’t drawn a comic in years. Stuck in a nightmare of creative block and despair, Sam spends his days writing superhero stories for a large American comics publisher and staring at a blank piece of paper, unable to draw a single line. Then one day he finds a mysterious old comic book set on Mars and is suddenly thrown headlong into a wild, fantastic journey through centuries of comics, stories, and imaginary worlds. Accompanied by a young webcomic creator named Alice and an enigmatic schoolgirl with rocket boots and a bag full of comics, Sam goes in search of the Magic Pen, encountering sex-crazed aliens, medieval monks, pirates, pixies and–of course–cartoonists. Funny, erotic, and thoughtful, Sam Zabel and the Magic Pen explores the pleasures, dangers, and moral consequences of fantasy.” (Adapted from Catalogue)

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