I’m off soon to a part of Aotearoa I’ve never visited before: Golden Bay. I’ve judged the poetry division of this year’s Golden Bay Literary Awards, and I’m attending the prizegiving ceremeony in Takaka on Thursday night.
The following day, Friday the 21st, after an event at the local school (I have no idea what this involves yet!), I’m reading at the Takaka Memorial Library at 1pm. Here are the event details:
Then, after a few days’ break during which I’m really looking forward to get some writing done, I am reading – in a yurt! – as the September guest for Nelson Live Poets. There is a Facebook event for this one: http://www.facebook.com/#!/events/380878888650908/ – if you have friends in Nelson, please invite them to this event.
The poster and the press release for the Nelson reading are below. I’m not sure whether I feel masculine enough to live up to the press release – it may be time for a quick course of testosterone supplements before I travel south!
The Vote Takahe campaign today denied that public money had been used to promote their Bird of the Year 2012 election campaign. Rival birds claimed yesterday that the following promotional video about Takahe had been made by a TV channel funded by public money:
Members of the Takahe campaign refused to come into the studio to answer this allegation, but the campaign did provide the following video response:
Experts in Takahe language have interpreted this statement to mean “Vote Takahe as Bird of the Year 2012!”, and you can do just that at the Bird of the Year site.
Some actual facts about takahe
(Taken from http://www.scoop.co.nz/stories/AK1208/S00260/tiritiri-matangi-island-loses-iconic-bird.htm and posted in memory of Greg the Takahe, who died in August.)
It’s on! Forest and Bird’s 2012 Bird of the Year competition is now open – and this means that you can Vote Takahe right now, and encourage all your friends (and enemies) to do likewise!
Here is where you can vote: http://www.birdoftheyear.org.nz/
While most of you will understand that the takahe is just naturally cooler, sexier, and more electable than any other bird, there might be a few people who are wondering what’s in it for them. Read Friday’s announcement of the takahe campaign below and you’ll have your answer – and if you’re still a swinging voter, check back later in the week for a Vote Takahe FAQ that will answer questions you didn’t even know you wanted asked.
What: Every year, the excellent conservation organisation Forest & Bird holds its Bird of the Year competition. The 2012 competition opens on Monday 10 September. And this year, I am the campaign manager for the rightful winner of that competition, the takahe.
Who: Yes, the takahe. There’s one, right there, comin’ at ya. It’s the pukeko’s bigger, cooler, rarer cousin. And the news that the pukeko won the 2011 competition? The takahe isn’t taking that well at all.
Why: There are a lot of reasons why you should vote for the takahe, and I’ll be telling you all about them over the next three weeks. Here are three to start with.
1) The takahe is a survivor. It was thought to be extinct for more than half a century – but it wasn’t, and one determined naturalist, Dr Geoffrey Orbell, kept looking for it until he found it in the Murchison Mountains of Fiordland. When he clambered up the mountains and found them, the takahe just kept on going about their business. They didn’t throw a big party or anything.
2) The takahe is beautiful. Just look at those gorgeous feathers!
3) If you don’t Vote Takahe, it might peck you on the knee. True story: A takahe once pecked a photographer friend of mine on the knee as he was photographing it – this was in the days before the general public had access to takahe, as they do today, e.g. at Zealandia and on Kapiti Island. He kept taking photos. The takahe kept pecking his knee. And I lived to tell you the tale.
When: The competition opens on Monday 10 September and runs for three weeks.
How: You’ll be able to vote for the takahe online from Monday onwards. Vote early. Vote often (am I allowed to say that?). Tell your friends to vote, and use social media to pimp out these important hashtags: #votetakahe and #birdoftheyear. I’ll be tweeting like a bird that tweets – takahe don’t tweet, because they’re far too cool.
There’ll be plenty more to come during the campaign, including a set of Frequently Asked Questions about the Takahe that I’m just about to make up. There will be more photos, some actual facts, and a comparison of the takahe with the honey badger. Keep checking this blog, keep voting, and keep watching the skies!*
*But not for takahe – they’re flightless.
And yet it moves Galileo Galilei (1564-1642)
you say of the earth
– not the sun around us.
You cannot close your eyes
to the view at the end
of the eyeglass. Faith
is not a veil. Eyes drawn
to the stars, the suns, again
and again for years until
they burn through your lenses
twin black holes, one for each eye.
The dark slowly spreads.
The inquisition judges heresy,
commands a recant, wants blind
allegiance from a man in the dark
so you recant, muttering
and yet it moves.
Credit note: “And yet it moves” was published in Helen Heath’s collection Graft (VUP, 2012) and is reproduced here by permission of the author.
Tim says: I’ve just finished reading Graft, and while I enjoyed the whole collection, the highlight for me was a number of wonderful poems about science, scientists and the history of science – other include the prizewinning Making tea in the universe and Night’s Magic. This poem about Galileo Galilei elegantly captures the great dilemma of his life.
The Tuesday Poem: You can read the hub Tuesday poem on the Tuesday Poem blog, and all the other Tuesday Poems are linked from the sidebar to the left.