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Four Decades At The Fringe of Heaven: Titirangi Poets

  • Waitakere Central, West Auckland’s Civic Building in Henderson. 6 Henderson Valley Road Auckland, Auckland, 0612 New Zealand (map)
Front Cover Forty Years Anthology.jpg

Book Launch

Going West is proud to host the launch of Forty Years of Titirangi Poets, an anthology, the roots of which lie at the Titirangi Library, where the Titirangi Poets have been meeting off and on for four decades. The group formed in 1977, met regularly until 1995, published 20 volumes of poems, and reawakened in 2013. The anthology includes works by Serie Barford, Kevin Ireland, Peter Bland, Jack Ross, Janet Charman, Murray Edmond and many others.

To celebrate the launch of this very local publication we'll here poems and discussion from nine of its featured poets – Piers Davies, John Adams, Kevin Ireland, Peter Bland, Iain Sharp, Amanda Eason, Denys Trussell, Riemke Ensing and Ila Selwyn.

Piers Davies is a maritime lawyer, long-time poet, writer of feature films including Skin Deep and The Cars that ate Paris, and sometime Poet Laureate of Haringey.

John Adams is an Auckland poet (Briefcase, AUP 2011) and short story writer (The Elbow Stories, Steele Roberts 2013). A retired Family Court Judge, John is studying for a PhD in performative speech act theory. 

Kevin Ireland has published two memoirs, six novels, a book of short stories and others on fishing and growing old. His Selected Poems 1963-2013 was published in 2013, and his 23rd collection is Humphrey Bogart’s Great Sacrifice (Steele Roberts, Wellington, 2016]. 

Peter Bland was born in Scarborough in 1934. In 1954 he emigrated to N.Z, where he became a member of the “Wellington group,” which included among others, James K. Baxter, Alistair Te Ariki Campbell and Louis Johnson. He also co-founded Downstage.

Iain Sharp was born in Glasgow before the invention of rock ‘n’ roll and thus is older than anything featured in the Greatest Hits of All Time. He works as a manuscript librarian in Sir George Grey Special Collections in the central city.  His recent poetry book is a collaboration with Joy MacKenzie, Sharing Our Ghosts, was published by Cumberland Press in 2011.

Amanda Eason has an MA in English from Auckland University. She worked as a teacher in London for twenty-five years, returning recently to Auckland where she runs creative writing workshops for adults and children.  Her poems have been widely published in the U.K. and N.Z. She co-coordinates the Titirangi Poets monthly reading series.

Denys Trussell's poetry, essays and criticism have been published in NZ, Australia, Britain, France, and the US. He won the 1985 PEN Best First Book Award for non-fiction with Fairburn (1984), a biography of poet A.R.D. Fairburn. His poetry collection, Walking into the Millennium (1998) was shortlisted in the 1999 Montana NZ Book Awards.

Riemke Ensing has published twelve books of poetry and received the Lauris Edmond Memorial Award for a distinguished contribution to NZ Poetry in 2012. Storm Warning – after McCahon was set to music by Alex van den Broek and premiered at the CHCH Word Festival 2014.  She was awarded second place in Caselberg International Poetry Competition in 2016.

Ila Selwyn was an MC at Poetry Live for four years and ran Rhythm & Verse at Lopdell House for five.  In 2014 she wrote a play incorporating poetry for her Masters of Creative Writing at Auckland University which was performed at Te Pou Theatre in March 2017. 

Earlier Event: 9 September
Allen Curnow: A Life in Poetry
Later Event: 10 September
Exploring the Underworld