Monday, December 03, 2012

Catalyst Christmas Cracker Open mic

Catalyst: Cracking Good Poetry since 2003

Tuesday 4th December, 8pm
Vespa Room upstairs, Pegasus Arms 14 Oxford Tce
BYO poetry to read and sell!

Last open mic of the year!  Let's have a big, fat old open mic - buy, sell books and zines and generally carouse down at the Pegasus Arms on Oxford Tce upstairs in the Vespa Room.

Everyone's welcome and also welcome to bring your own books or zines or chapbooks to sell - we'll have an impromptu Christmas market!  There's limited copies of Catalyst volume 9 Export Quality for sale and even more limited back issues of Catalyst at giveaway prices!  See you tomorrow night!

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Book Launch: James Norcliffe - Packing a Bag for Mars

We're proud to announce and support the launch of a fantastic new book by one of our friends and heroes James Norcliffe, by some more of our friends Clerestory Press.  The launch is this week, come along and support and get your copy at the special launch price - now there's a Christmas pressie idea!
Packing a Bag for Mars  
a collection of poems by James Norcliffe, illustrated by Jenny Cooper
with notes and writing prompts to inspire teachers and students.
Venue: National Library
            Unit 7
            150 Cavendish Road
Date:   Thursday 29th November        
Time:   5.30 - 7.00 p.m.
Guest Speaker: Trevor Agnew

Jim's new book will be available at the special launch price of only $20.00 a copy (RRP $27.00).
Payment by cash, cheque (to The School for Young Writers) or direct credit (prior to the launch) to 03 1704 0036137 01 (put your name as a reference).
School and library orders accepted on the night.
Books can be posted within New Zealand: add $5 p&p.

Published by Clerestory Press for the School for Young Writers with the assistance of Creative Communities Christchurch.

Monday, October 29, 2012

Catalyst Open Mic presents: David Eggleton

Catalyst Poetry Open Mic

featuring David Eggleton
Tuesday 6th November, 8pm
Pegasus Arms upstairs (Vespa Room)
open mic to follow

The next Catalyst Poetry Open Mic has a special guest feature poet, none other than David Eggleton.

David has been making a habit of visiting the Garden City of late with appearances at The Press Christchurch Writers Festival in 'Poetry for Lunch' (he was also one of our guest judges for Survivor: Poetry) and a recent guest turn at the Canterbury Poets Collective Spring series of readings.

Next week he's our feature poet at the regular Catalyst open mic upstairs at the Pegasus Arms (Vespa Room).  Be there!

If you have yourself a copy of our latest issue - Catalyst volume 9 Export Quality - you will have heard David's distinctive delivery as he performs his poem 'Taranaki Bitter'.  Certainly one of NZ's foremost performance poets and writers - I've seen the word 'mesmeric' used in more than one online reference - here's a taste to get you going!

Here's a bit more about David:

David Eggleton is a poet and writer whose articles, reviews and essays and short stories have appeared in a wide variety of publications. He has had published six books of poems and a book of short fiction, and has written or contributed to many works of non-fiction. He has also released a number of poetry recordings featuring his collaborations with musicians. He has also released a number of poetry recordings featuring his collaborations with musicians, and been involved in poetry text collaborations with practitioners of a variety of other art forms, from sculpture to film to fashion design. His first collection of poems was co-winner of the PEN New Zealand Best First Book of Poems Award in 1987. He has performed his poetry widely, both in New Zealand and overseas. His most recent book of poems is Time of the Icebergs, published by Otago University Press in 2010. His most recent book of non-fiction, published in 2007 by Raupo Publishing, is Towards Aotearoa: A Short History of Twentieth Century New Zealand Art. He currently edits Landfall and Landfall Review Online, and is the Ursula Bethell Writer-in-Residence at the University of Canterbury for the second part of 2012.

Friday, September 14, 2012

It's Slammin' Time! NZ Poetry Slam - ChCh Final

It's that time again - the NZ Poetry Slam comes to town to sort out the poseurs from the poets.

The Christchurch Poetry Slam is once again being hosted by Catalyst at the Pegasus Arms Vespa Room upstairs on Tuesday 2nd October.

It was the Christchurch Slam last year that launched Catalyst's tenure at the Peg and we filled the room - the audience were not disappointed either as an incredible night's worth of poetry was thrown down before the top 3 were chosen to represent our rumpled city at the National Slam Final in Wellington.  On that occasion Andrew Coyle, Ben Brown and Danielle O'Halloran won the judges hearts and minds to become the first Canterbury Dream Team and the only South Island contingent at the national final.  This year the South Island will be beefed up by the presence of a Nelson team in Wellington.

So come on and give your poetry the ultimate test - Slam-styles. Or if the competition isn't your thing come along and support the brave few and help us whoop it up at the Pegasus Arms.

See here for the official NZ Poetry Slam rules - these will apply without exception - we suggest you read it thoroughly!

Christchurch Poetry Slam
Tuesday 2nd October, sign up from 7pm
Pegasus Arms upstairs - Vespa Room
be prepared to perform at least 3 poems of no more than 3 minutes each - SLAM RULES

Monday, September 03, 2012

Next Catalyst Open Mic - Tues 4th Sept, 8pm, Pegasus Arms upstairs

No sooner has the dust settled on Survivor Poetry 2012 and the Christchurch Writers Festival then we're straight into business as usual with a Catalyst Poetry Open Mic night.

Tuesday 4th September, 8pm
Vespa Room - Pegasus Arms upstairs
14 Oxford Tce

Bring your poetry, sense of humour, drinkin' glasses, whatever.

We'll be there, survivin' and strivin', writin' and readin' - every month it's a writers' festival for us.

P.S. stay tuned for an announcment on the Christchurch Heat of the NATIONAL POETRY SLAM...

Friday, August 24, 2012

Countdown to Survivor: Poetry!

blood on the microphone...

The countdown is on to the strangest performance poetry contest ever staged.  As part of The Press Christchurch Writers Festival 2012, Catalyst presents a unique blend of gladiatorial spoken word, quick wits and survival of the fittest - Survivor!

Friday 31st August, 8pm
Small Geo Dome
Hagley Park (Armagh St entrance)
$10 tickets, bar available

Ten poets find themselves stranded on stage in front of a live audience with just their guts, wits and the hope of surviving a series of spontaneous challenges to compete for the chance to be crowned Survivor Poet 2012. The castaway poets must also survive the sometimes unfair and unpredictable voting by their peers or achieve immunity through the power of their poetry.

Stay tuned for scenes from the poetic tribal council and find out who will be sent to Exile Island and who will find the hidden immunity idol. Joined by cameo performances from your host, Ciaran Fox, and the judges, Doc Drumheller, David Eggleton and Bernadette Hall.

Sunday, August 05, 2012

Survivor Poetry Auditions - this Tuesday 7 August!

Yup.  This is it.  If you want to be part of the lucky few (10 that is) to take part in Survivor Poetry as part of The Press Christchurch Writers Festival 2012 you need to be at this audition.

Tuesday 7th August, 8pm
Pegasus Arms upstairs (Vespa Room)
14 Oxford Tce.
Perform one original poem of your own.

Normal open mic functioning will happen in and around the auditions so come along!

Friday, July 13, 2012

Survivor Poetry 2012 - let's get it ON

It's true - Survivor Poetry returns as part of The Press Christchurch Writers Festival 2012.  It's great news all round as you might remember the last time Christchurch tried to hold our biennial Writers Festival a little something got in the way.

We managed to reschedule Survivor and run it anyway at AL's Bar in November 2010 - here's the post match round up.  On that occasion the inaugural Survivor Poet was the deceptively soft-spoken Sean Joyce with Micah Timona Ferris runner up in what proved to be a nail-biting finish decided by one vote!  We turned it into a fundraising event for the Red Cross EQ relief fund and raised $250.  Sadly, we only got to have a couple more poetry nights at AL's Bar before the major quake on 22nd February.  We miss you AL's Bar.

But poetry survived of course and the ultimate test of ruthless poetic survival of the fittest is back!

Thanks to The Press Christchurch Writers Festival we're proudly bringing this unique performance poetry event back for the entertainment of many and the terror of a few poets.

Here's the link to the listing in the official festival programme.  Bring it!

Participation in this event is strictly limited (and not for the faint-hearted!) You must audition to be part of the event.  Audtions will be held at the next Catalyst Poetry open mic on Tuesday 7th August at the Pegasus Arms upstairs (Vespa Room).  Further details will be posted soon.

Tuesday, July 10, 2012

Catalyst 24hr Flash - A Walk in the Rain by Kay Luff - overall winner!

A Walk in the Rain

By Kay Luff

Early on a Saturday morning I sit on the edge of our bed flicking sleep out of the corner of my eyes. You continue to sleep. A photo frame you gave me for my birthday blocks the clock radio on my bedside cabinet. The words ‘I love you’ are inscribed along its bottom edge. You placed that image of us at your thirtieth birthday dressed as the Village People. We sang ‘YMCA’ at the top of our voices until someone mentioned the words “sexual orientation”. You lost your temper.

                Outside our window is the place we met. Standing on the street corner you offered me the shelter of your umbrella. Now it leans on the inside of our front door. My copy of “Jonathan Livingstone Seagull” rests on your side of the bed. You use it as a coaster. Turning over you breathe heavily the way you say girls often do.

On our trip to Bali I bought a bunch of wooden frangipani flowers. In the middle of our dining table they don’t look over-priced. More importantly I couldn’t resist the charms of those market women. Ignoring the leather boat shoes you discovered in an exquisite boutique store I pull on my well worn basketball boots. And I take a walk in the rain. 

Catalyst 24hr Flash - untitled by Lucette Hindin

by Lucette Hindin

A photo of you. I know it is morning because the dairy owner is doing chi kung again. It is winter: my bad framing has caught half a seagull waiting on a fence for you to drop your chips. You're only seventeen and wear blue patterned leggings and a black dress with bare arms. Will I ever see you again? Something happened and you left. Again. I must be old to say “again” so many times. History is repeating for us now. The voices of the past become the voices of the present. They say “this place is no good.”

It is generally accepted that this place is no good: heavy, sad, full of negative ions and spiritual darkness. We walked the city streets at night. One week we were re-invented hippies with flowers in our hair, the next goths with black nail polish. Fashion isn't political for fourteen year old girls. Now my shoes have holes in them. Now you live up north. More rain, no more earthquakes. You have two children. You sell almond croissants at the village market.

The truth is that I would love to leave here too. I miss who we once were.

Catalyst 24hr Flash - The Cat & the Seagull by Jeni Curtis

The cat and the seagull 

by Jeni Curtis

There once lived, at the foot of a tree-lined mountain near the sea, a youngish woman.
“What I really need are flowers,” she said to her cat, one morning.
“What she really needs are flowers,” the cat said to the seagull on the roof.
But there were no flowers to be seen around the place.
“The best I can do are starfish,” said the seagull.
“What I really need is love,” said the woman. She had watched the girls in the nearby village. They were slim and pretty, while she was plump and plain. She listened to their laughing voices as they walked on high-heeled shoes. Those were days that were full of rain.
Jacob, who owned the motel at the edge of the village, walked along the beach. He was shy of the laughing girls, and yet he longed for love. He saw a cat and a seagull standing over a clump of starfish and seaweed. Jacob gathered them into a bucket and covered it with gladwrap.
He went quietly to the door of the youngish woman.
“I have brought these for you,” he said and uncovered the bucket.
Inside there were a dozen bright sunflowers.

Catalyst 24hr Flash - Falling by Nod Ghosh



Kicking her shoes off with a howl, DeAnne voices her concerns to anyone who'll listen.
"Why isn't anyone helping me?"
She sits on the edge of the bed swinging her legs. Most of the people in the place are beyond caring about petulant suicidal young girls. It's been more than ten minutes since she saw a staff member. Perhaps she could...there's a sharp piece She looks at people on the other side of the ward.
Peggy sits stock-still, her little seagull eyes staring straight ahead. There's a brown rubber ring under her bottom, for piles.
Reg makes a "zzzzzzzzz" noise, mowing the imaginary lawn near his bed.  He plants flowers made of tissue paper in Heather's underwear drawer. Everyone knows Reg is in love with Heather.
DeAnne thinks of love, and is desperate to know where Shane is.
He promised to visit this morning.
Just after eleven he walks in looking sheepish.
Violent curses rain down on his head.  Curling his bottom lip he looks towards the floor like a village idiot.
"You don't really love me, do you?" she balls up her emotion and throws it at him to catch. He is silent.
It never occurs to DeAnne to be civil to her ex-boyfriend. It never occurs to her that Shane is only here out of a sense of duty. It never occurs to her that Shane could disappear from her life like a puff of wind.
And all the time, she feels like she is falling.

Catalyst 24hr Flash - Richard by Steve Carter


by Steve Carter

All the girls in the village think I'm weird but I love that three-legged seagull.  Today I made him some tiny leather shoes: one red, one white, one blue.  He'd be like a flying Union Jack if he could only get off the ground. 

I know they'll most likely get ruined.  I made him a waistcoat once, stitched all over with seven hundred miniature crocheted flowers.  I found it the next day, torn to shreds and lonely-looking, sodden in a muddy puddle.

As for the purple and yellow paisley scarf I made for him from twine spun from my own hair ... that came back stinking of shellfish and stained in a slightly disconcerting way.  I wasn't angry.  I simply washed it the next day in the light morning rain shower and then draped it over a lavender bush to dry in midday sunbeams.

People tell me he doesn't care for all my efforts and attention but it's not really my place to question his gratitude or lack of it.
I just do what the voices tell me.