Friday, September 23, 2016

Christchurch Poetry Slam 2016 - it's on!

Christchurch Poetry Slam
Wednesday 12th October, 7pm sign up, 7.30 lift off
Space Academy, 371 St Asaph St, Christchurch
Entry $10 (proceeds towards flights to the NZ Poetry Slam for the ChCh Champ)

And here are the rules of engagement:

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

Monday, August 22, 2016

It's haiku time in playland! Doc Drumheller's Haiku Hike

Haiku & Photo credit: Doc Drumheller

Margaret Mahy Family Playground Haiku Hike
When: Saturday, 27 August 1.30pm
Who: Doc Drumheller
What: A haiku workshop in the Margaret Mahy Playground!
Venue: Margaret Mahy Family Playground, cnr Armagh & Manchester Sts, Christchurch
Price: $10 - Limited to 20 places. Booking essential.

The Haiku Hike
Margaret Mahy Family Playground, Saturday August 27, 1.30pm

For hundreds of years Japanese haiku consisted of three lines of verse containing 17 syllables (5+7+5 syllables per line). Doc Drumheller invented the Haiku Hike, to show how traditional Japanese haiku walks or ginko can become more relevant in the 21st Century. Join Doc, an internationally award winning haiku poet, on a hike through the Margaret Mahy Family Playground! Learn to carefully observe your surroundings, open your imagination, and discover the magic of words. 

Book launch! Catalyst Volume 13, Instant Chemistry

Yes it's that best of all times for us - when we get to announce the launch of the latest volume of the flagship publication from our Republic of Oma Rāpeti Press.  That's right, it's the arrival of a brand new, bouncing baby Catalyst - lucky volume 13.  And this one carries those rarest of rare Catalyst things - a subtitle!

Catalyst 13: Instant Chemistry
launching Thursday 25th August
in two sessions: 6pm-6.30pm & 6.45-7.15pm
at The Last Word, New Regent St

Catalyst 13 features poetry from our sister city Seattle, China, Bulgaria, Slam Poetry, and some of the leading poets from New Zealand.

We're excited to be featured in this year's WORD Christchurch programme in the New Regent Street Pop-Up Festival. The event will feature: Lady Poets, Catalyst poets, sci-fi and fantasy, erotica, flash fiction, live storytelling and more, in a variety of bars, cafés and shops on the evening of Thursday 25 August.  The book launch of Catalyst 13 will run with two sessions at 6pm - 6.30pm & 6.45pm - 7.15pm, at The Last Word.

The MC for the launch will be Ciaran Fox, with readings by contributors, featuring: Doc Drumheller, Mohamed Hassan, Ken Arkind, and Carrie Rudzinski

For more awesome literary action check out the rest of the programme for: WORD Christchurch

Thursday, May 12, 2016

Call for Submissions: Aotearotica - a journal of NZ erotic writing

Yes, another new literary journal is launching, this time in Christchurch and joining the two established literary journals of Canterbury (the venerable Takahe and young upstart itself Catalyst) comes Aotearoa New Zealand's first journal of erotic writing and art Aotearotica. 

So good, we wish we'd thought of it ourselves.  Aotearotica is an independent publication and we're happy to support the hell out of it any way we can.  The journal is actively seeking writing and art that explores sex, sexuality and eroticism from a New Zealand perspective.  From their own description:

Aotearotica is a literary journal that aims to present erotic writing and art work exploring the depth and diversity of New Zealanders’ sexuality, with a focus on a high standard of work.

The journal was born out of recognition that there is nowhere for work that focuses on sex to exist right now, and yet it's a key part of the human experience, and we wanted to explore it!

The journal is actively seeking writing that explores sex and sexuality from a diverse range of authors and artists, who cater to heterosexual, lesbian, gay, bisexual, trans* and queer perspectives.

Here's the submission guidelines:

Please send fiction, poetry, essays, memoir and art that can be easily reproduced in black and white to:
Please include your name and ‘Submission’ in the subject line, and attach your work as a word document in Times New Roman 12pt font for writing and PDF for artwork. The deadline for Volume One is June 30th 2016
Aotearotica has a Facebook page - like it and follow the arousal of a new journal here.

They are also on Instagram - for those of you more into visual stimulation...

Friday, April 22, 2016

Call for submissions: MANIFESTO - a political anthology

A new anthology of New Zealand political poetry called Manifesto is to be published by Otago University Press.

Here's the low down from editors Emma Neale and Philip Temple:

MANIFESTO. A political anthology. Call for submissions.

Emma Neale and Philip Temple, as editors, are seeking submissions for Manifesto, an anthology of New Zealand political poetry to be published by Otago University Press early in 2017. Poems may explore anything from prime ministerial power to the price of milk. Subjects covered may be Parliament, the environment, gender issues, political parties, ethnic issues, elections, immigration, religion and power, class, ageism, economics, pressure groups, politicians, the media and much more.

Poems submitted should be no more than 60 lines long and be new or published within the past five years. If they have been published before, please include details with your submission. Poems must be entirely copyright to the submitter. We encourage poets of all ethnicities to send us work, including poems in Te Reo Maori, provided these are accompanied by an English translation. Poems may be in any form or style - satire, lament, eulogy, ballad or conceptual experiment, to give examples.  Poets may submit up to three poems of which one or two may be used. They should be typewritten if sent by mail or attached as a pdf document if emailed. Please include your name and contact details.

The editors will be assisted in their final choice by contributing editors Hinemoana Baker, Diane Brown, Michael Harlow, Vincent O’Sullivan and Brian Turner. The editors’ decision will be final and no correspondence will be entered into.
Payment will be in copies of the anthology. Post your submissions to Manifesto, P.O. Box 6292, Dunedin North 9010 OR email them to emma.neale(at) with ‘Manifesto’ in the subject line.

The deadline for acceptance of submissions is 29 April 2016.

Catalyst Open Mic + special guest Mohamed Hassan NZ National Poetry Slam Champion

Mohamed Hassan is an Egyptian journalist and poet hailing from Auckland. He is the current National Poetry Slam Champion (2015), and has performed his work across New Zealand and overseas including at TEDx, Splore and the Adelaide Fringe Festival.

The months sure roll around these days don't they?

We're back on the mic at the Twisted Hop Pub in Woolston for the first Tuesday in May and we're putting on a treat for all those not fortunate enough to have been at the National Poetry Slam finals in Hamiltron last year - Mohamed is coming down from the mountain.  Well, the many mounts of Auckland anyway.

Our special guest for May is none other than Mohamed Hassan (pictured above) who took out the finals last year in emphatic style.  Doc recently did a gig with Mohamed in Hamilton and we're pretty stoked to host him in our little loft at the Hop.

Mohamed Hassan is a spoken word poet and journalist from Cairo, Egypt. He has spent the majority of his life in Auckland, navigating the spaces between two cultures and languages. A storyteller at heart, his poetry uses characters, narratives and humour to explore identity and society. He strongly believes in the power of poetry to build foundations for young people to speak and be heard. He was the winner of the Rising Voices Youth Poetry Slam 2013, and has been performing across Auckland stages for three years. He is part of a young collective of poets called the Waxed Poetic Revival.  In 2015 he added the NZ National Poetry Slam title to his achievements.

Here's Mohamed at TEDxAuckland:

Friday, April 01, 2016

Catalyst Open Mic April - 'Heroes'

Catalyst Poetry Open Mic

Tuesday 5th April, 7pm

The Twisted Hop, Ferry Rd, Woolston

So it turns out this theme thing is really going off.  By popular demand the third open mic for 2016 is also our second theme-night of the year and that theme is 'HEROES'.

Interpret it any way you will, don't let Bowie distract you!  Although Doc is threatening to bring along his noise-maker for a sing-along. 

Monday, February 29, 2016

Anis Mojgani returns to Christchurch

Exciting news for us as WORD Christchurch once again hosts one of the world's very best performance poets, Anis Mojgani.  A conjurer of words and images, a mesmerising performer and master of the slam form without succumbing to the cliched tropes and styles of the form.

Last seen here as part of the WORD Christchurch 2014 Festival, Anis is giving two shows in quake city including our spiritual home, the Wunderbar!  That's sure to be as intimate as it gets.  Don't miss out on tickets through Dash Tickets.

To whet your appetite here's one of our favourites which really seemed to touch the quake-addled audiences in Christchurch 2014 - 'Shake the Dust'

And here is his talk at TEDxEmory, from February 2015:

Open Mics but not as you know it

Yep, we kicked off the year of open mic nights in February and the feedback was clear - theme nights are a go-go. 

It's been a long awaited pet idea of ours at Catalyst to have the occasional night take on a theme so we've dedicated March to the giddy, awkward and cringe-worthy highs (and lows) of 'Juvenilia'.  So it's time to pull out the best of your worst and bring it along to the next Catalyst Open Mic. Costume optional.

Catalyst Poetry Open Mic
Tuesday 1st March, 7pm
The Twisted Hop, Ferry Rd.
optional theme: Juvenilia