Monday, March 05, 2018

Raven Chronicles - Balancing Acts - a Sister Cities Programme with Seattle and Christchurch

Catalyst Open Mic feat. Raven Chronicles vol. 25 poetry reading
Wednesday 7th March, 7pm
Space Academy, 371 St Asaph St

Raven Chronicles is a journal of art, literature and spoken word, published in Seattle, USA. With a very similar focus to Catalyst, it seemed a natural pair to collaborate under the Sister Cities programme between Christchurch and Seattle.

A launch event was held last month in Seattle for volume 25 of Raven Chronicles 'Balancing Acts' - this follows the launch of Catalyst volume 13 'Instant Chemistry' in November last year, the first leg of the collaboration.

The next Catalyst Open Mic Night will feature a reading from the selection of Christchurch poets published in the Raven Chronicles Volume 25, 'Balancing Acts' feature. Come celebrate this unique cultural exchange that included a selection of Seattle poets and writers published in Catalyst Volume 13 'Instant Chemistry'.  With readings from their selection of work:  Frankie McMillan, Erik Kennedy, Heather McQuillan, Doc Drumheller, and Fiona Farrell.

Raven Chronicles Journal Vol. 25: writers and artists examine the theme “Balancing Acts,” how we live our life, fully, and maintain our relationship with the earth/planet and the diversity of life on it. Biodiversity is balance in the dance of nature. Edited by: Anna Bálint, Phoebe Bosché, Matt Briggs, Paul Hunter, Doug Johnson. The U.S. contributors in this Balancing Acts-themed Journal live in seventeen states—Washington, Nebraska, Pennsylvania, California, Oregon, Illinois, New Jersey, , Virginia, Idaho, New York, New Mexico, Colorado, Texas, Alabama, Wisconsin, Florida, Washington, D.C.; and 52% are from Washington State. Contributors, particularly visual artists, also hail from ten countries—U.S., Germany, Colombia, Russia, Australia, New Zealand, Spain, Canada, Chile, Singapore. There are 58 illustrations/artworks in Vol. 25.

We are pleased to present the work of a selection of established and emerging writers from New Zealand as part of the Sister Cities Program, a collaboration between Seattle and Christchurch, New Zealand.

The editors of Raven Chronicles, A Journal of Art, Literature & The Spoken Word, are pleased to announce their nominations for the 2018 Pushcart Prize: Best of the Small Presses series, the prize chosen by Pushcart Press that anthologizes the best of the small presses publishing this year. The editors of Raven Chronicles nominate the following writers for their work published in Vol. 24 and Vol. 25, in 2017.

1. Fiona Farrell, “Decline and Fall on Savage Street”— Novel Excerpt, pgs. 57-68. Novel excerpt from Decline and Fall on Savage Street, Penguin Random House, New Zealand, 2017.

2. Edward Harkness “Neighborhood Crows”— poem, pgs. 22-23.

3. Nic Low, “Ear to the Ground”— essay, pgs 77-90. “Ear to the Ground,” first published in longer form in Griffith Review 35: Surviving, January, 2012 (

For more information: Raven Chronicles

Wednesday, February 07, 2018

Catalyst 2018 - the open mic returns plus special guest

Happy New Year and all that. We really mean it, though.

(Isn't it funny how a lack of exclamation marks these days seems to seriously denote a cynical/sarcastic tone. So now I feel I have to use 'em just to be normal...)

Happy New Year! We really mean it!

OK, enough of the formalities - the Catalyst Open Mic is kicking off for the year tonight with a special guest from the UK, by way of Wellington and currently hoboing around the country sharing his spoken word. Let us introduce RikTheMost. He's doing shows and workshops in Christchurch before heading off around the motu (island) this February. Check out the flyer below and his website for more stories...

Catalyst Poetry Open Mic
Wednesday 7th Feb, 7pm
Space Academy, 371 St Asaph St
koha for our guest please

Saturday, October 28, 2017

Catalyst Crazy Pre-Christmas, Pre-Launch Book Sale!

Note: actual event may differ (wildly) from image.

Catalyst Open Mic + Pre-Launch Book Sale
Wednesday 1st November, 8pm (note later start time)
Space Academy, 371 St Asaph St

We're getting pretty close to launching volume 14 of Catalyst. Which means we're scrimping and saving every penny to get it over the line (and avoid the eye-rolling of our ever-patient and supportive printers). So to that end, we're bringing our annual December book sale forward a month to November.
Next open mic is coming up on Wednesday 1st November and we'll be selling all available issues of Catalyst, and other Republic of Oma Rāpeti Press publications, at our infamous, never-to-be-repeated prices.

This year we're also inviting our wonderful community of poets, writers, scribblers and friends to come along and donate books for sale towards the cause of fundraising for the next volume. Thank you to everyone who has already offered up books, we salute you!

Speaking of the next volume, issue number 14 will be launched on Thursday 23rd November at Space Academy. Stay tuned for further posts about this as Catalyst navigates into its awkward teens heroically unearthing literary lava in the twenty-first century.

Friday, October 13, 2017

Christchurch Poetry Slam 2017 - a new champion!

It was a full house at Space Academy for the 2017 Christchurch Slam. Every seat in the house and a fair few empty kegs pressed into service along with cushions and blankets on the floor as the enthusiastic crowd cheered on a smaller than usual field of poets - not that you'd notice from the intensity.

The audience judges had to use fingers and toes due to a certain MC's forgetfulness but this just added to the hilarity as scores and half-points were demonstrated in a variety of dextrous gestures. Names were drawn out of the teapot of glory by various audience members including former slammers. 2016 ChCh Slam Champ Ray Shipley gave a guest appearance before the final announcments to cap off a pretty thrilling and intense night of poetry.

In the end it came down to three in the final round, all new to the pressure of the final but all saving their best till last. No slam-off required this year after two in the previous two years, the new champ picked up a near perfect score including four 10's to take out the 2017 title. Without further ado:

2017 Christchurch Poetry Slam Champ
Daisy Speaks

Second Place: Isla Martin

Third Place: Josh Watson

Wednesday, October 11, 2017

Christchurch Poetry Slam 2017

Just reposting this (many thanks to Melanie McKerchar for once again making a pretty fantastic poster!)

The year rolls around so quick! The New Zealand Poetry Slam is on again in November, in Hamilton. So it's time to find Christchurch's champion to take on the unruly northerners.

Once again we're pleased to be hosting the Christchurch Poetry Slam at Space Academy.

Christchurch Poetry Slam
Thursday 12th October, 7pm registration, doors open.
Space Academy 371 St Asaph St
$10 entry (all proceeds towards travel for the winner to the national final)

Remember: to compete you must be available to travel to Hamilton for the 4th November.

For the official rules see here.

NZSA Canterbury - Free Writing Workshops This Week!

Pulled together by the New Zealand Society of Authors - Canterbury Branch, this Creative New Zealand-funded series of workshops are FREE! Don't miss out on the chance to work with some very fine NZ authors.

Full details are here: October Writing Workshops

Facebook event page

Wednesday, September 27, 2017

The Writers' Tea Party - Hurunui

A notice in support of this event, happening in Amberley and chaired by Bernadette Hall.

The event features performance/readings by Tusiata Avia, John Newton and Holly Ford. Entry is just $2 per person or $5 for a family including afternoon tea! Splendid!

Sunday 1 October, 2pm
Hurunui Memorial Library, Amberley
$2 entry or $5 family entry