Tuesday Poem: Video Poems from the Book Tour + Radio Interview

I was going to resume normal Tuesday Poem service this week, but instead, here is some YouTube video from the Men Briefly Explained / Tongues of Ash book tour, plus a radio interview I did for Radio New Zealand’s “Arts on Sunday” programme.

If you think “I would love to buy one of the shiny books featured in this video”, here is how to do so:

Video Poems from the Book Tour

These video highlights from our Wellington event at the Wellington Central Library and our Eastbourne event at the Rona Gallery and Bookshop include (a) Keith Westwater reading (actually, this is the whole vid) …

… and (b) Tim Jones reading:

Radio New Zealand interview

Sonia Sly of Radio New Zealand interviewed me for the “Arts on Sunday” programme on Radio New Zealand. Here is the interview in mp3 format:


Next week, I promise, I’ll have an actual Tuesday Poem up on my blog! In the meantime, you can check out this week’s Tuesday Poems here: http://tuesdaypoem.blogspot.com

Tuesday Poem: Rangipo Grounding, by Keith Westwater

I looked around
Ruapehu’s apron
after the subaltern

bellied the rover
in a minefield of boulders.
Waiting for the NCOs

who’d seen it all before –
a new lieutenant
green as the desert was grey

trying to impress us boys
though he’d been told
not to go that way.

Behind, Ruapehu simmering
Ngauruhoe smoking.
In front, desolation –

a few tussocks, wire weed
desecrated earth.
I didn’t know then

about rain shadow
desiccation by wind
the habitats of lahar fields

or the conditions necessary
for things to grow.
Muttering wry derision

the NCOs
with knowing grins
levered, heaved, hauled it free.

Those dry, wiry, salty men
who supplied us with
the necessary conditions.

Credit note: “Rangipo Grounding” is from Keith Westwater’s debut poetry collection Tongues of Ash.

Tim says: Since last Tuesday, Keith Westwater and I, together with publisher and poet Dr David Reiter, have been on a book tour to Dunedin, Christchurch, Wellington, Lower Hutt, Paraparaumu and Auckland to launch our respective collections, his Tongues of Ash and my Men Briefly Explained. Our final gig is tonight in Auckland: we are reading at PoetryLive at the Thirsty Dog, 469 Karangahape Road, which starts at 8pm.

“Rangipo Grounding” is one of my favourite poems from “Tongues of Ash”. I love the way it brings together a particular landscape and the people who inhabit it, how it reaches from the particular to to the general without strain, and the aptness of its title.

The Tuesday Poems: You can check out all the Tuesday Poems on the Tuesday Poem Blog – this week’s hub poem in the centre of the page, and all the other Tuesday Poems on the right.

IP Picks 2012

IP Picks is Interactive Publications’ annual writing competition for unpublished manuscripts. It is open to Australian and New Zealand citizens and residents.

Keith Westwater’s Tongues of Ash won the 2011 IP Picks Award for Best First Book, and my new collection Men Briefly Explained is also published by IP. Keith and I will soon be joined by IP Press Publisher Dr David Reiter for a post-World Cup book tour – check out the details, or sign up for the tour venue nearest you on Facebook.

Here is the information IP has sent me about IP Picks 2012.

About IP Picks

Now looking ahead to its eleventh year in 2012, the IP Picks Awards provide guaranteed royalty publication to the best book-length manuscript in five categories: Best Fiction, Best Creative Non-fiction, Best Poetry, Best Young Adult / Junior Prose, Best First Book.

First Place Winners of each category are awarded publication. Highly Commended entrants are given a short reader’s report valued at $299, offering editorial advice on how to improve the manuscript. Commended entrants will receive a summary of the judging panel’s report on their entries. There is no guarantee of publication for Highly Commended or Commended entrants.

The competition is open to citizens and residents of Australia and New Zealand.

The Fiction category is for manuscripts up to 80,000 words and can include short story collections, short novels and novels written for adults. Any form of fiction is eligible, including science fiction and fantasy.

The Creative Non-fiction category is also for manuscripts up to 80,000 words based on real-life experience and research, but written with literary flair. Biographies, memoirs, travel literature, histories and inspirational self-help books are examples.

The Young Adult / Junior Prose category seeks manuscripts up to 70,000 words. Novels or creative non-fiction works intended for young adult (18 and under) or junior audiences (12 and under) are welcome. Picture books are not eligible.

The Poetry category is for complete collections in any sub-genre, including verse novels, verse plays, special forms such as haiku, or a a mixture of forms, minimum 48 A4 pages.

The Best First Book category can be in any genre (excluding Young Adult / Junior Prose), but the author must not have previously had a book-length manuscript (48 A5 pages or longer) published by a recognised national publisher. Authors who have self-published with only local distribution are eligible to enter under this category. There is no age restriction, but if you are under eighteen years of age, you must have a parent or carer co-sign your entry form.

You may enter a single manuscript in two categories, but you have to pay two entry fees.

How Is It Judged?

IP Picks entries are adjudicated in-house by our Editorial Board.

Each entry is blind read by at least two judges. The judges first form a long-list of entries through a ranking system adjudicated by our genre editors. Next, the Board compares entries on their lists and compiles a short list from the rankings. The short-listed entries are read again by the Board, which, at that stage, includes the Director. Finally the Board meets to decide the winners and commended entries. At that meeting, the Board may also recommend that the Director offer publication to certain of the commended entries.

We then contact the winners and commended entrants and post the results on our website in IP eNews, our online newsletter, as well as circulating the results to all State writers centres.

Deadlines and Fees

IP Picks opens on 1 October and closes on 1 December each year. Entry packages must include:

  • two printed copies and one digital (on CD or floppy disk) copy of the entry (if you are entering in more than one category, you only need to submit two printed copies and one digital copy to cover both categories).
  • a completed entry form – type or print in block letters
  • the applicable fee

Download the required Conditions and Entry form in Word format or as a pdf file for further details on the submission procedure and to enter the competition. If you have trouble downloading the form [Adobe Acrobat Reader® required], email us for a copy, or send a self-addressed stamped envelope to IP, Treetop Studio, 9 Kuhler Court, Carindale 4152, Australia.

We charge a reading fee, currently set at AUS $66 per entry. This must be included as a cheque or money order, with your entry. Included in the reading fee is an IP title of your choice (must be a title from our Interactive Press, Glass House Books, IP Kidz or IP Digital imprints). If you enter more than one category, you must pay a fee for each entry, and for that you receive an extra title of your choice.

At the time of submission you may also ask to have a short report written on the publishability of your manuscript. The discounted fee for that report is AUS $249 GST-inclusive, or AUS $199 for students or concession card holders (must provide photocopy of student card or concession card).

Tuesday Poem: Evensong In A Graveyard Of Villas, by Keith Westwater


The pines on the ridge are about to cede
their colour to the night. Once more
light’s absence will shroud this place.

Not even car-lights on the highway below
(such is their need for road when it’s dark)
re-mark the trees – their placement

their particular explanation of green.
Soon the evening will lay claim too
to vestiges of villas which once stood

in the bush beneath the pines –
orphaned lawns, homeless paths
rhododendron that flower

among five-finger, tree fern, rata.
These last artefacts mark the bones
of grand abodes. These and a plaque

at the site of each home
listing its name, its history of dwellers
its date of sacrifice to the road.

Credit note: “Evensong In A Graveyard Of Villas” is from Keith Westwater’s debut poetry collection Tongues of Ash.

Tim says: In late October, Keith Westwater and I will be embarking on a book tour to Dunedin, Christchurch, Wellington, Lower Hutt and Auckland to launch our respective collections, his Tongues of Ash and my Men Briefly Explained.

I met Keith when we both did the IIML Writing The Landscape course, run by the wonderful Dinah Hawken, in 2003. “Evensong In A Graveyard Of Villas”, the penultimate poem in the penlutimate section of Tongues Of Ash, is a fine example of his landscape poetry, and anyone who knows me will know that I am in full agreement with the last line!

The Tuesday Poems: You can check out all the Tuesday Poems on the Tuesday Poem Blog – this week’s hub poem in the centre of the page, and all the other Tuesday Poems on the right.

Available On Amazon In Paperback And Kindle Ebook: Men Briefly Explained And Tongues Of Ash


STOP PRESS: Men Briefly Explained is now available on Amazon in print and Kindle ebook formats!

Print: http://www.amazon.com/Men-Briefly-Explained-Tim-Jones/dp/1921869321/

Kindle: http://www.amazon.com/Men-Briefly-Explained-ebook/dp/B005HRYM32/

Keith Westwater’s Tongues Of Ash is also available on Amazon in these two formats:

Print: http://www.amazon.com/Tongues-Ash-Keith-Westwater/dp/1921869267/

Kindle: http://www.amazon.com/Tongues-of-Ash-ebook/dp/B005HIV6J4/

Now, back to our regular programming:

In late October, Lower Hutt poet Keith Westwater and I are setting out on a book tour to promote our new poetry collections, my Men Briefly Explained and his Tongues Of Ash.

You can use this link to pre-order the paperback versions.

The Kindle versions are not yet available, and so the “Buy Kindle” links on these pages do not work yet. They will be updated once the Kindle versions are available.

Both books are being published by Interactive Press of Brisbane, who published Voyagers: Science Fiction Poetry from New Zealand in 2009.

Almost all the events on the book tour are now confirmed, and we’ll be releasing the tour details once all events are confirmed – but we start in Dunedin on Tuesday 25 October and end in Auckland a week later, winding through Christchurch, Wellington, and Eastbourne en route. Watch out for more details soon!