The Men Briefly Explained Blog Tour: New Interview Up

 
I’ve embarked on a blog tour to promote my new poetry collection Men Briefly Explained.

What that means is that I am visiting a series of blogs during the next few weeks to talk about Men Briefly Explained. As the interviews go up, I will be posting links to them here.

My latest interview is with Dunedin poet Kay McKenzie Cooke – one of my favourite New Zealand poets – and you can check it out here: New Zealand Writer Tim Jones Explains.

My first interview was with Australian poet PS Cottier, whom I will in turn be interviewing on my blog in a few weeks’ time:

27 November 2011: Of Poems and Men: Interview with Tim Jones, by PS Cottier

Five Blogs I Like. Chapter 1: The First Five

A week or so ago, writer Debbie Cowens very kindly nominated me for a Prolific Blogger Award, as part of which, all the nominees are invited to nominate seven prolific bloggers of their own.

Although I decided not to go down the Prolific Blogger route (because I’m, like, a rebel), it did remind me that I’d fallen out of the habit of posting here about other blogs I enjoy reading, even if I don’t catch up with them as often as I’d like. So I’ve decided to institute a semi-regular series called “Five Blogs I Like”.

Some of my favourite bloggers are far more prolific than I, while others maintain a posting average of about once a month. You’ll find all sorts in here, and they won’t all be writing blogs, or New Zealand blogs – but in this first instalment, I’m going to feature five New Zealand writing blogs I have liked ever since I first set on eyes on them.

Helen Rickerby: Winged Ink. Helen is a fine poet, a publisher, and a person who always has interesting things to say. Her blog was one of those I modelled “Books In The Trees” on when I began it, and the other such blog was …

Harvey Molloy: Notebook. This blog features news of Harvey’s life, thoughts on poetry & existence, and now and then some of his wonderful poems, like this one: After New Year.

Kay McKenzie Cooke: made for weather. Kay is one of my favourite poets. Her work has an added appeal for me because it’s often about Southland, the province I grew up in and often write about in my own poetry. Not only that, but she illustrates it with great photos as well.

Meliors Simms: Bibliophilia. Meliors is very talented as both a poet and an artist, with her work recently having been a finalist for a national arts prize. Plus, Antarctic art, and discussions of Kim Stanley Robinson!

Graham Beattie: Beatties Book Blog. This blog, which Graham Beattie updates several times a day – he truly deserves the title of Prolific Blogger – is a trade journal for the New Zealand publishing industry, from beneath the surface of which literary disputes occasionally burst into the open. It’s an essential resource for working writers in New Zealand.

Blogs in Their Summer Clothes – 1

I link to a number of writers’ and artists’ blogs. You can find those links nestled down in the left-hand column of this page, under the Blog Archive, but I thought it was time I gave some of them a bit more prominence. So here’s five presented, as they say in Hollywood, “For Your Consideration”.

In a subsequent post, I’ll look at some more blogs, and at a discontinued New Zealand literary site that still speaks, from time to time, from a little to the east and somewhere beyond the veil.

When I started work on “Books in the Trees”, there were two existing blogs I turned to as role models: Harvey Molloy’s Notebook and Helen Rickerby’s Winged Ink.

Harvey and I have a number of things in common: we’re both poets, we both hail from the north of England, and we both write science fiction poetry. Not surprisingly, we’re friends! Harvey’s blog, with its mixture of news, writing and reviews, continues to be an inspiration.

Helen Rickerby, also a friend, is a poet, publisher, and encyclopedist. One of the things she publishes is JAAM, the Wellington literary magazine of which I’m editing Issue 26. Helen also runs Seraph Press, which publishes a (so far) small range of exceptionally handsome books.

Helen also plays a valuable role in encouraging her associate, the mysterious Giant Sparrow, to grace the blogosphere more frequently. Giant Sparrow is a deep thinker and fine writer with an enduring faith in the existence of places where anything is possible, such as the theatre.

Finally in this instalment, two bloggers whose blogging forte is a synthesis of words and images. I have known Meliors Simms for a long time, even though we go for many years without seeing each other. She combines visual art and poetry in her arresting and beautiful handmade books, and her Bibliophilia blog showcases the combination.

On the other hand, I don’t believe I’ve ever met Kay McKenzie Cooke, but we both have strong connections with Southland, Dunedin, and their wildlife and landscapes. She’s a fine poet, photographer and excellent blogger with an an output — and range of blogs – that puts mine to shame. Her as it happens blog is a good place to start.

So there’s a few blogs I like. But there’s more! Check them out at the left of this page, or look out for my next post about the blogs I link to. They may be wearing autumn clothes by then.