Tuesday, August 17, 2021

Chop the Mop! Thursday 26th August


Thursday 26th August, 6.30pm entry by koha

Rangiora Library

Doc's chopping the mop!

Our very own Doc Drumheller, aka Jason Clements is taking the big cut to his lustrous locks and beard for the Cancer Society as part of WORD Christchurch 2021.

Join us for some excellent poetry readings and of course the main event - chopping the iconic beard and hair! Even if you can't join us on the night, we encourage anyone keen to support the work of the Cancer Society to dig deep and contribute to the fundraising effort by visiting:


Thank you for donating - and good luck spotting Doc in a crowd after this!

Monday, July 12, 2021

Christchurch Poetry Slam 2021 - Get Ready!


Christchurch Poetry Slam 2021 - preliminary heat & grand final - THE RULES!


To compete in the Grand Final, poets must make the top 10 in the preliminary heat on Wednesday 4th August at Space Academy.


Here are the official rules of the Christchurch Poetry Slam as per the NZ Poetry Slam.
Sign-up is on the night only - places are limited so get there early.

Rules for NZ Poetry Slam

  • 3 minutes or less with no minimum time (10 second grace period before points deduction)
  • Time starts when poet speaks, however while poets can have time to settle and adjust microphone etc, this time is not limitless; ideally a poet should start before 10 seconds.
  • Original (i.e. your own) poems only
  • No props no music no costumes (i.e. clothing related to the content of your poem)
  • In the case of a tie a slam-off will be required
  • Random draw, for performance order.
Judging and scoring:

  • 5 Audience Judges (chosen by MC and/or organiser) display score cards 0-10 (Decimal points allowed)
  • Top and bottom scores drop off and total of remaining 3 scores is the total
  • If Poet goes over grace period MC or Timekeeper to ask scorer to mark down points after the judges score… (Half a point penalty for every 10 seconds over time)
  • After 4 minutes the MC can shut down the poet
  • 'Sacrificial Poet' (non-competing) to start the night, to help calibrate scores.
  • Slams are equally about writing, performance and audience response.
  • Slammers should have at least 3 poems, as there will be three rounds for the Regionals and NZ Slam
As always, remember: the point is the poetry not the points!

Wednesday, June 09, 2021

Cold Hub Press presents a double book launch - Peter Hooper & Owen Leeming


We're proud to support Cold Hub Press a fellow Canterbury-based small press publisher.

In conjunction with that fine emporium of printed wonder, Scorpio Books, Cold Hub Press presents a double book launch of poetry with special guests the editors of both collections.

Book Launch at Scorpio Books, BNZ Centre, Christchurch
Thursday 17th June
Refreshments from 5.30pm, event start 6.00pm

From the Cold Hub Press blurbs: 

West Coast poet, novelist, teacher, bookseller and conservationist, Peter Hooper (1919–1991) was described by Colin McCahon, who used his poems in a number of art works, as a ‘poet of grace and truth’. Rejoice Instead,edited and introduced by Pat White, includes most of the poems from the slim volumes of poetry that were published in Hooper’s lifetime and are no longer easily accessible, along with thirty-nine previously unpublished poems written in the last years of his life. It is the first comprehensive collection of the work of a poet whose voice on behalf of nature and the environment, and whose clear insight into where our treatment of the environment was heading, has only deepened in its relevance to the inhabitants of Aotearoa in the 21st century. Peter Hooper’s published poetry included A Map of Morning (1964), Journey Towards an Elegy & other poems (1969), and Earth Marriage (1972)––a selection of previously published and new work with photographs of the West Coast which sold two thousand copies within a year. A rather meagre Selected Poems was published by John McIndoe in 1977. Between then and his death in 1991 Hooper published a trilogy of novels: A Song in the Forest (1979); People of the Long Water (1985); and Time and the Forest (1986) which won the New Zealand Book Award for fiction. A collection of short stories, The Goat Paddock and other stories appeared in 1981. Hooper also wrote and published extensively on conservation and environmental subjects. Gregory O’Brien has called Rejoice Instead “a world-sized, world-shaped book, a ‘tremendous room’ in its generosity and breadth”.


Owen Leeming’s 1972 collection Venus is Setting, with its centrepiece ‘The Priests of Serrabonne’, was marked for praise by Kendrick Smithyman, Vincent O’Sullivan and James K. Baxter, but it would take the best part of five decades until his next collection was published. Latitudes: New & Selected Poems, edited with an introduction by Robert McLean, contains selections from Venus is Setting and 2018’s Through Your Eyes, which comprised poems from the 1960s and 70s along with others written in more recent years. It also includes a section of hitherto uncollected earlier poems and another of new work offered for the first time. Leeming’s early poems remain fresh and energetic, marked by their rare reconciliation of the playful and the serious. The recent poems sparkle with intensified brio and rumbustiousness, by which readers are offered the world freshly rendered in words with an utterly uncommon intelligence and sensuousness.Charting a course from youthful disillusionment to celebratory old-age (Leeming who lives in France is now in his nineties) Latitudes: New & Selected Poems will surprise, delight and challenge readers of poetry with its open-eyed love of life and language.


Tuesday, March 02, 2021

Catalyst Open Mic meets Seaweek 2021!


Catalyst is proud to help celebrate Seaweek 2021 by adopting the theme for the March open mic.

NZAEE (NZ Association for Environmental Education) Seaweek is New Zealand's annual, national week celebrating the sea.  Funded entirely through sponsorship and in-kind support, Seaweek is  co-ordinated by Sir Peter Blake MERC since 2020 in partnership with NZAEE.

The theme for 2021 is 'connecting with our seas - toi moana, toi tangata'.

Catalyst invites poets to bring and read a poem that marks this theme in any way. 

We're excited to present our special themed open mic in association with Christchurch Envirohub and NZAEE.

Catalyst Open Mic - Seaweek - Connecting with our Seas
Wednesday 3rd March, 7pm
Space Academy, 371 St Asaph St, Christchurch

Tuesday, January 26, 2021

Catalyst Poetry Open Mic returns! Plus special guest poet Jess Fiebig


Wednesday 3rd February is our first open mic session for 2021 and we're delighted to announce our special guest will be Jess Fiebig celebrating the release of her first collection of poetry by Auckland University Press. Picking up where we left off in December with a book celebration!

Jess Fiebig is a Christchurch-based poet whose work has featured in Best New Zealand Poems 2018, Poetry New Zealand Yearbook 2018 and 2019, Landfall, Turbine | Kapohau and takahē. She was runner-up in the 2019 Sarah Broom Poetry Prize.

About this collection My Honest Poem, Fiona Farrell has written:

‘These poems are undeniably personal and often deeply painful: childhood neglect, abuse, alcoholism, physical hurt, depression and self-harm are their subject matter. But – through linguistic skill and sheer intelligence – Fiebig crafts a lyrical beauty from unpromising material. You finish reading her work feeling uplifted by the writer’s courage and honesty.’

My Honest Poem is a moving and powerful poetry collection that follows recovery from a life fractured by family violence and addiction. It is a coming-of-age story of a young New Zealand woman rebuilding strength and hope in the spaces left by trauma.

Come join us to celebrate this excellent achievement by Jess and revel in the newly upgraded Space Academy complete with new stage, outdoor area and pizza oven!

Catalyst Poetry Open Mic + special guest Jess Fiebig
Wednesday 3rd February, 7pm
Space Academy 371 St Asaph St 

Wednesday, November 25, 2020

Book Launch: Election Day of the Dead by Doc Drumheller and A Poem Goes About on Foot by Joaquin Pasos


Election Day of the Dead by Doc Drumheller.

Published by Cold Hub Press.

Catalyst is proud to present a special launch event in association with Cold Hub Press. 

Wednesday 2nd December marks the final Catalyst open mic for 2020 and a double book launch.

Cold Hub Press presents Doc Drumheller's Election Day of the Dead, a bilingual English/Spanish collection of seventy haiku, with translations by Dylan Brennan and illustrations by Liliana Pérez-Brennan.

Written while travelling in the USA, Nicaragua, Mexico and El Salvador, Doc's travels coincided with several international poetry festivals, Day of the Dead celebrations in Mexico and the 2016 US Presidential Elections.


In a double celebration, Cold Hub Press also presents  A POEM GOES ABOUT ON FOOT - twenty-one poems by Joaquín Pasos with translations by Roger Hickin.


Join the Catalyst crowd to hear readings from both books as well as our regular open mic and end of year Christmas theme.

Wednesday 2nd December, 7pm

Space Academy, 371 St Asaph St, Christchurch.