Sunday, November 24, 2013

Catalyst Road Show 7 - it's a party! (and a book launch!)

The Road Show is chugging into its final destination as our first ever suburban poetry crawl reaches its climax during Art Beat in Christchurch's world famous container mall Re:START.

Road Show 7 is a very special show marking the culmination of our year-long 10th birthday celebrations.  And we're doing it in style - not only will we have the seventh in our chapbook series  known as 'Catalyst Road Show' but we're actually launching a new volume of the big daddy journal Catalyst.  That's right - a brand spanking new volume of the literary arts journal under our brand spanking new imprint The Republic of Oma Rāpiti Press.  We'll post a separate article focusing on volume 10 soon.

The Catalyst Road Show is a performance poetry and musical experience where poets and songwriters collaborate on the stage. The focus of these events is to provide opportunities for emerging artists to present their work in a setting different from open mics or poetry readings.

Our main objective has always been to provide opportunities for new and emerging writers with a focus on performance. The Road Show is an extension of our mission to make poetry more accessible and available to our community.

Road Show 7 will feature a line up of poets from past and present issues of Catalyst accompanied by the songs and music of Catalyst co-founder Doc Drumheller.

Copies of Catalyst vol. 10 will be available for sale and a limited edition chapbook (Road Show vol. 7) of poetry selected from Volumes 1-10 of Catalyst will be available as a free gift for each copy sold of the journal.

It's a daytime show on Saturday 7th December from 1pm to 2.30pm in Re:START mall on the Art Beat stage - if you're in Christchurch (and even if you're not) come and help us celebrate ten years of literary lava!

Catalyst Road Show 7
& volume 10 book launch
Saturday 7th December, 1pm
Art Beat music stage
Re:START container mall

Saturday, November 09, 2013

Catalyst Road Show 6 - Jumping off the Jetty

The tenth anniversary tour of Catalyst continues with our sixth gig, this time in lovely Governors Bay, Banks Peninsula.

Featuring an impressive line up with Andy Coyle, Doc Drumheller, Fiona Farrell, Rosa Hughes-Currie, Lizzie Tollemache, Phoebe Wright.

Not only does this performance include both the current, two-time Christchurch Poetry Slam champion Pheobe Wright and 2012 Survivor Poetry winner Lizzie Tollemache it also features NZ literary luminary and Banks Peninsula resident Fiona Farrell.

Add to this the hypnotic style of Lyttelton poet and author Andy Coyle, the strident energy of Rosa Hughes-Currie and the music and words of Catalyst founder, wandering poet and teacher Doc Drumheller and it's one hell of a night at the historic Governors Bay Hotel.  If there's one night of poetry you want to get to this month, this year - this is it.

Gig starts at 8pm and is a tiny $10 on the door which also gets you a free, limited edition zine featuring the work of the poets.

Catalyst Road Show 6
Saturday 16th November, 8pm
Governors Bay Hotel, 52 Main Road, Governors Bay, Lyttelton Harbour
$10 entry includes free chapbook

Christchurch Poetry Slam - the results!

Well, we did it!  Pulled off a very fun night at very short notice and congratulations to all the poets who joined in the fun and the fun audience who joined in all the poetry.  The biggest thank you to Andy Coyle (previous ChCh Slam Team member) for getting us all together and making it happen

Eight courageous poets took to the microphone at Tommy Chang's bar in Lyttelton, attempting to impress the (rather hard to please) audience judges.  In the end it was a close affair between the final three (special mention to Stephen Estall who excluded himself in the final round in an amazing blaze of glory!)

The top three were:

Slam Champ: Phoebe Wright
Runner up: Kimberley Holmes
2nd Runner up: Andrew Clarke

So Phoebe Wright successfully defended her crown as Christchurch Slam Champion, the first time anyone has done this in our history of both Poetry Idol and NZ Poetry Slam.

Congratulations again to our top three.  The NZ Poetry Slam Final is tonight in Wellington, we wish Phoebe and Kimberley good words and good luck as they take on NZ's best.

Wednesday, October 30, 2013

NZ Poetry Slam - Christchurch Heat

Calling all poets, calling all Slam Poets, emergency Chch slam heats in one week, for national final in 10 days!!!!

This year’s regional heat will be held at Tommy Chang’s Lyttelton 7pm Wednesday 6th November, competing for a spot in the national final to be held at Meow in Wellington on  Sat the 9th Nov!!

NZ Poetry Slam Christchurch Heat
Wednesday 6th November
Tommy Chang's  48 London Street, Lyttelton
Koha $5 or more towards poets' travel
Poets must register by 7pm. Slam starts at 7.15 sharp.

This slam is for competitors R18+
No props, time limit of 3 minutes or penalties will apply. 

Check NZ Slam website for exact rules, and details of the final.
A maximum of 20 competitors on a first-in first-served basis.
Audience judges.

After a difficult and uncertain year the NZ Poetry Slam could not predict the ability to fully subsidize costs for competitors from Christchurch in the 2013 National Slam final, however, a last minute agreement has been reached by organisers to fully subsidize flights for 1st place, while holding a spot open for the 2nd place getter to be subsidized by proceeds from a $5 or more koha cover charge on the night.

NZ Poetry Slam regrets the inconvenience late programming will cause for some competitors, and asks for the understanding and support of those unable to compete. NZ Poetry Slam is committed to resuming subsidy for the top three Chch slam poets in 2014.

But the good news for those poets who can clear their schedule is … you have one week to prepare yourself for this last minute opportunity, the slam stakes have just been super-charged, you cannot afford to settle for third, only 1st  and 2nd place travel to the NZ Slam Final.  And hey, even if you can’t compete, come and enjoy, judge and help to get the winners up to Wellington so Christchurch has a voice in the national slam.

We tried to secure a venue in town but all of our venues are in use so Tommy Chang’s (home of the Lyttelton Poets) has kindly opened their doors to this event. It will start early and we will endeavour to finish in time for the last bus at 11pm.

Rules for NZ National Poetry Slam
  • 3 minutes or less with no minimum time (10 second grace period before point’s 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 after 10 seconds.
  • Original 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 for the Regionals and NZ Slam
    there will be three rounds…

Wednesday, October 23, 2013

Catalyst Road Show 5: Working Bees!

The world's slowest poetry tour trundles on!  This time we're taking a fine selection of poets out into the daylight to imbibe a little bit of community spirit.

Renew Brighton has instigated a working bee to build a community space with a pizza oven and some picnic tables at the site of the sadly missed Bridge St Bakehouse.  We thought, what about combining a community effort with some performance poetry and music?  Is this a new genre?  Who cares? 

Everyone's welcome! Feel free to come along and muck in or bring some deck chairs and refreshments to enjoy the words and music.

The working bee is kicking off at 10am and the poetry/music at 2pm.

Here's the deets:

Catalyst Road Show 5
Saturday 2nd November 2pm
91 Estuary Rd (cnr Bridge St, Estuary Rd)
working bee start at 10am.

Remember this is a empty site - bring your own chairs etc. wear sturdy footwear/weather-appropriate clothes and BYO refreshments.  The gig is free - especially for those building and making stuff - everyone else we'll ask for koha.

Poems in the Waiting Room 2014

Poems in the Waiting Room is launching its 2014 Poetry Competition next week.

Poems in the Waiting Room (NZ) is a charitable arts in health trust which has been operating in New Zealand since 2008. Every season 6000 free poetry cards are distributed to medical waiting rooms, rest homes, hospices and prisons throughout the South Island and lower North Island. The cards may be read on site or taken home for further reading or sharing. Each seasons poems are also transcribed into Braille booklets which are distributed by the RNZFB.

The competition has three aims; to provide a new selection of poems to use in the cards, to advertise the project, and to assist with the printing of future PitWR seasonal cards.

Full competition details may be found at

Fourth Caselberg International Poetry Prize, 2014

The Caselberg Charitable Trust
Fourth Caselberg International Poetry Prize, 2014

Judge: Sue Wootton 
Sue Wootton’s publications include three collections of poetry (Hourglass, Magnetic South and By Birdlight), a children’s book Cloudcatcher, and,most recently, the short story collection The Happiest Music on Earth (Rosa Mira Books 2013).

Entries for the Caselberg Prize (First Prize $500) will be welcomed between 1st October and 31st December 2013. 

For more information,please go to

Canterbury Poets Collective 2013 readings

Several pieces of news to hand - we've been a bit slack in promoting this one but there are plenty of cool readings left this year.  Get along and be part of the open mic and check out the featured poets.

Coming up today!
23 October:    Michele Amas, Ben Brown, Sarah Amazinnia
 CPSA building - 5 Madras St
$5 entry

 30 October:    Harry Ricketts, Helen Jacobs, James Norcliffe
  6  November: Riemke Ensing, Jeffrey Paparoa Holman, Rodney Foster
 13 November: Reihana Robinson, Poets from Hagley Writers Institute
 20 November: Best of the 2013 season's open mic readers.

Tuesday, October 22, 2013

Lyttelton Poets @ Tommy Changs

Those Lyttelton poets are at it again, Andy Coyle, Helen Back, Ciaran Fox, Rebecca Nash and Ben Brown combine with guitar soundscaper Paul Timings for a night of sound and imagery.

On a cold winters night at Tommy Chang's bar on London Street the Lyttelton Poets performed for the first time with Paul Timings, a singer guitarist with a wonderful sense of the atmospheric.
It was a perfect occasion for poetry, great lines flowed freely from spilled bottles, laughter fluttered towards the light and got stuck in crows feet cobwebs, new lovers locked eyes, old lovers dropped smiles, cat calls and heckles threatened to turn into rhyme and even an old sea dog was heard to mutter into a stormy tumbler of scotch, 'it's all bloody good, actually....'

join us again this Labour weekend, as we endeavour to entertain simply with words,
(and the amazing atmospheric guitar soundscapes of Paul Timings... )

Sunday 27th Oct, night before Labour Day,
show starts 8pm
only $5
 venue opens 4pm