“Nicola is an excellent facilitator. I was lucky enough to attend a workshop with her at the Tasmanian Poetry Festival in 2018. She provided awesome prompts and was a great space holder, inviting her participants to explore personal themes deeply. I even produced poems that have landed in my debut full length collection and one of these pieces was included in Hunter Writers Centre ‘Grieve’ anthology. Nicola is relatable, approachable, personable and generous.” – Ela Fornalska, teacher, poet and performer, Melbourne.
“I recently read Nicola’s book and it is just beautiful. Do seek it out. She brings so much of her complex experiences as an activist and a secondary school teacher into her work – it is rich in entangled, community-facing life” – Helen Lehndorf, a beautiful poet-artivist-gardener-Mama (and more!) from Palmerston North, Manawatū.
2022 NZPS International Poetry Competition results are in!
I felt so honoured to judge the Open Adult section of the NZPS International Poetry competition this year. Hours and hours of reading, reflecting and deliberating on 660 poems, then writing my report. Here are the results and reports from each of the judges of different sections. Ngā mihi mahana to the NZPS and *all* the fantastic poets!
Poetry Shelf review: Nicole Titihuia Hawkins – Whai
Ka rawe, Nicole Titihuia Hawkins. So proud of you and your pukapuka!
Whai, Nicole Titihuia Hawkins, We Are Babies, 2021
One of my hopes for Whai is that it shares a message that we aren’t ever just one thing. We are as expansive as Te Moana Nui a Kiwa and beyond.
Nicole Titihuia Hawkins, VERB Wellington Q & A
I never used to read endorsements on the back of books but now I do. Once I have finished reading my own paths, bridges and delights. I read them because in the past year or so, they have been astonishingly good. Little kegs of poetry community boost. If I put them together in a book it would underline why I read, write and comment upon poetry in Aoteraroa New Zealand. Eye-catching reminders on what poetry can do. Above all: short, tangy, sweet windows that send you back to read the collection again (in my case), with gusts of refreshing new air.
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The NZPS International Poetry Competition 2022 – OPEN
I am really excited to be judging the Adult Open section of the New Zealand Poetry Society’s International Poetry Competition! Enter now, and share this link with anyone who might be interested in entering any of the sections. Noho ora mai xo
Ditch the socials and sink into this hot spring of summer reading!
Writers’ top picks, on Paula Green’s ‘Poetry Shelf‘
Two more highly recommended from me:
Poetry Shelf Theme Season: Fourteen poems about walking
I’m very thankful to Paula Green for publishing my poem “Locus” among these other beauties. #Poetryshelfthemeseason #NZpoems
So many poets have written walking poems. So many poets have commented on the relationship between walking and a poem gathering momentum in the pedestrian’s head. Just for a start, I am thinking of Jenny Bornholdt’s magnificent poem ‘Confessional’, Michele Leggott’s walking blind, a vital thread, with different insight and senses on alert in her poems, and of course Blanche Baughan’s love of hill walking. A poem itself is a form of walking with its various rhythms and absorptions. The poet becomes walker, bricoleur, observer, mind-drifter.
My most recent collection The Track (Seraph Press) was written as I walked the third day of the Queen Charlotte Track with a broken foot in a wild storm. To keep walking I used the alphabet to compose poems and returned home with a book-length sequence. Whenever I have read from it, I am right back in the storm diverting pain with words. A…
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Earth Day 2020
I We walk the dark beach at Raumati. There’s Orion, belt-loose low-rider— hanging nonchalance in the western sky. Rather than raising a club (Betelgeuse in one bicep and a faint string of suns in the other that could be the skin of a lion or a shield) he’s a glistening child about to pop a manu off Tuteremoana into Te-Rau-o-te-Rangi channel. Imagine Gaia’s rage when Orion dared to say he would kill every animal on Earth. My child talks about the deep universe more than our planet— how his belt might’ve exploded already ‘cos light is so slow to arrive from the past and we’re always running late into the future, eh Mum. We were always going to be too late. II For some iwi, the three stars are Tautoro, bird perch with a berry star— bird snare for a chiefly kai— bright Rigel—Puanga leading in the new year with glimmering Matariki. In Samoa, the stars form Amonga: a balance-pole, a carrying-pole. III The Monday in May last year when the United Nations declared unprecedented—accelerating—one million plants and animals threatened with extinction, Morning Report played the imagined scream of Pouakai Haast’s Eagle—Aiiiii was here! Tuesday to Friday, they aired Moa Finsch’s duck, New Zealand Goose, Huia— growling, booming, karking, wailing I was here I was here I was here I was here Where are you where are you huia uia uia! IV Today, the independent economist before the canned bird call before the trill of the 7am news is wondering if the money graphs will form a V, U or L. I dream of O, our lifebelt, Kate’s Doughnut. The Earth is howling for safe, just circles, and how about Teina’s Ohanga Iho Nui? V We walk home, pushing the air aside like it’s the super organza of the galaxy shushing us. My glistening child. How shall we make the world whole in time when a vested few crave the whole Earth?
Kate Rowarth’s Doughnut Economics
Teina Boasa-Dean’s Ohanga Iho Nui
I wrote a review last winter
My review of Sue Wootton’s The Yield has just been published on the NZ Poetry Society’s website. It’s a luscious book!