More Favourable Waters: Aotearoa Poets Respond to Dante’s Purgatory

I’m very pleased to be one of the 33 poets included in More Favourable Waters, a new anthology published by the Cuba Press, which is being launched on Thursday 25 March at Unity Books from 6-7.30pm:

https://www.eventfinda.co.nz/2021/double-book-launch-more-favourable-waters-quantum-of-dante/wellington

Much to my frustration, I can’t attend the launch, but I’d love to be there.

Here’s more info about the book. Writing a poem for this anthology which incorporated a fragment of Dante’s poem, in Clive James’ translation, was a formidable challenge, but one I enjoyed! I’m very much looking forward to reading the anthology.

About the book

More Favourable Waters, edited by Marco Sonzogni and Timothy Smith, is an anthology of contemporary poets from Aotearoa New Zealand commemorating one of the world’s great poets, Dante Alighieri (1265–1321), 700 years after his death.

Each of the 33 poets has written a poem of 33 lines inspired by and including a short passage from one of the 33 cantos of Dante’s Purgatory, the second part of his epic The Divine Comedy.

Airini Beautrais • Marisa Cappetta • Kay McKenzie Cooke • Mary Cresswell • Majella Cullinane • Sam Duckor-Jones • Nicola Easthope • David Eggleton • Michael Fitzsimons • Janis Freegard • Anahera Gildea • Michael Harlow Jeffrey Paparoa Holman • Anna Jackson • Andrew Johnston • Tim Jones • Elizabeth Kirkby-McLeod • Hugh Lauder • Vana Manasiadis • Mary McCallum • Elizabeth Morton • Kōtuku Titihuia Nuttall • Vincent O’Sullivan • Robin Peace • Helen Rickerby • Reihana Robinson • Robert Sullivan • Steven Toussaint • Jamie Trower • Tim Upperton • Sophie van Waardenberg • Bryan Walpert • Sue Wootton

https://thecubapress.nz/shop/more-favourable-waters/

Fantastic Voyages, This Thursday Evening

Here is the press release for Fantastic Voyages: Writing Speculative Fiction, which is happening in Wellington this Thursday evening. If you’re interested in reading, writing or publishing science fiction or fantasy, this is the place to be!

Fantastic Voyages:
Two Breakthrough NZ Writers
Talk About Their Love of SciFi-Fantasy:

An Evening with Tim Jones & Helen Lowe, chaired by Lynn Freeman
7.30-9pm, Thursday 17 September

Double Sir Julius Vogel Award winning author, Helen Lowe, and author, anthologist and editor, Tim Jones, are getting together on Thursday 17 September in an evening event chaired by Radio New Zealand’s Lynn Freeman, to talk about their love of writing science fiction and fantasy, the challenges and rewards of being a speculative fiction writer, and how they’ve gone about getting published, both in NZ and overseas.

Tim Jones is a Wellington based writer, editor and literary blogger whose short story collection Transported (Vintage, 2008) ties together speculative fiction, which encompasses science fiction, fantasy and horror, and literary fiction in one collection. Transported was longlisted for the 2008 Frank O’Connor International Short Story Award and a science fiction story from the collection, “The New Neighbours”, is included in the recently released Penguin Book of Contemporary New Zealand Short Stories.

Helen Lowe’s first novel, Thornspell, is published by Knopf (Random House Children’s Books) in the United States and is a Storylines Notable Book 2008 as well as winning the Sir Julius Vogel Award 2009 for Best Novel: Young Adult. Lowe also won the Sir Julius Vogel award for Best New Talent and has the first book in an epic Fantasy quartet, The Wall of Night, coming out with Eos (HarperCollins USA) in September 2010.

In the past, speculative fiction has tended to fly beneath the radar on the NZ writing scene. “But that’s changing fast,” says Jones. “The barriers that have divided speculative fiction from literary fiction are coming down and there is now a thriving New Zealand speculative fiction scene, with many writers of SF, Fantasy and Horror for adults now coming through to join the growing numbers writing speculative fiction for children and young adults.”

Lowe agrees. “And I’m finding that there’s a hunger out there, especially amongst younger readers and writers who love the genre, to find out how to go about writing SciFi-Fantasy successfully and get it published. So Tim and I thought, why not get together and talk about why we love writing speculative fiction and how we’ve gone about things, as well as sharing some of our own work.”

The event, which is supported by Random House New Zealand & Unity Books, is being held on Thursday September 17 at 7.30 pm in the Upper Chamber, Wellington Arts Centre/Toi Poneke, 61 Abel Smith Street in central Wellington. Admission is free.

For further information, contact senjmito (at) gmail.com

All welcome!

The Cover of Transported: It’s Embossed, I Tell You! Embossed!

When I posted my list of ten reasons why Transported makes a great present (for another, or yourself), I forgot the best reason of all: the cover is embossed. Some of those funny little creatures on it are slightly raised above the surface. You can run your hands over it and feel the difference. Check out this post on Meliors Simms’ blog if you don’t believe me – see the third picture down. Is that little flying fish embossed, or what?.

The cover of Transported is based on the painting “Castaway Bardo” by Maryrose Crook, musician, songwriter and artist. I’m a lucky man to have such a great painting on the cover of my short story collection.

If you’d like a copy, the easiest way is to buy Transported online from New Zealand Books Abroad or Fishpond. It looks like Whitcoulls no longer stocks Transported, but independent bookshops such as Unity Books in Wellington still have it on their shelves. Thank you, Unity!