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Archive for July, 2012

James Brown at Te Papa

WRITERS ON MONDAYS

I Come from Palmerston North: James Brown

This month sees the release of James Brown’s fifth poetry collection, Warm Auditorium. We thought it was time to find out more about the man behind the poems, and tease out the shifts and changes in the work itself. Chair Fergus Barrowman drags the poet away from his desk at Te Papa to consider how work, world and words have cohabited and evolved between the covers of his books, and to give the new poems a hearing.

DATE: Monday 30 July

TIME: 12.15-1.15pm

VENUE: The Marae, Level 4, Te Papa
(please note that no food may be taken on to The Marae)

Writers on Mondays is presented with the Museum of New Zealand Te Papa Tongarewa, and additional support from Circa Theatre, City Gallery Wellington and the New Zealand Centre for Literary Translation at Victoria University.

This Boy Just Can’t Keep His Feet On The Ground

The Terrible Thing that Happened to Barnaby Brocket by John Boyne, illustrated by Oliver Jeffers (Doubleday 2012)
Reviewed by Ruth Brassington

Flying across a green sky above tall blue buildings, a boy wearing a red rucksack casts a flat shadow on the road below. Scribbled sun-tinged clouds share his sky, while a safely grounded dog gazes up at him, and not at the nearby street sign offering choices of ‘here’, there’ or ‘everywhere’.

The boy on the cover is Barnaby Brocket and the dog is Captain W. E. Johns, both members of “the most normal family in the southern hemisphere”. Barnaby is the third child of parents who work at the law firm of Bother & Blastit, but from the moment of his Sydney birth Barnaby is unique in his defiance of gravity. Read more »

Film and book celebrates Tonga’s mental athletes

A joint press release by Public Films and Atuanui Press

July the 23rd, 2012

Last year Tonga’s rugby players impressed World Cup audiences with their skills and flair. Tonga is famous for its athletes, but few New Zealanders know that their closest neighbour also produces many distinguished intellectuals. Saturday the 4th of August will see the launch of a film and a book honouring the late Futa Helu, Tonga’s most important modern thinker and a man with a message very relevant to twenty-first century New Zealand.

Paul Janman’s film Tongan Ark is a portrait of ‘Atenisi, the private university Helu created in a swamp on the edge of Tonga’s capital city Nuku’alofa in the 1960s. Helu believed that European and Polynesian cultures needed to learn and borrow from one another, and the staff of ‘Atenisi put his ideas into practice by offering courses in grand opera and English literature as well as traditional Tongan music and dance. ‘Atenisi is the Tongan word for Athens, and Helu wanted to emulate ancient Greek philosophers like Socrates by promoting reasoned and open debate, even when such debate touched on controversial political issues.

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Peerless in Wigan

By Scott Hamilton

In February and March of 1936, a young journalist and novelist named George Orwell left his adopted home of London and travelled through the northern counties of Lancashire and Yorkshire, staying in boarding houses in Wigan, Sheffield, and Barnsley, tramping through the poorest streets of those cities, and meeting and interviewing miners, small businessmen, and unemployed workers. After returning from the slums and slag heaps of the north, Orwell wrote The Road to Wigan Pier, a book which considers the impact of the Great Depression on England’s working class with a mixture of sympathy, disgust, and anger.

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New York writer at Te Papa

6 AUGUST Bohemian Girl: Terese Svoboda
New York writer Terese Svoboda has a body of work that includes poetry, novels, memoir, translation and over a hundred published short stories. Black Glasses Like Clark Kent is a memoir of her uncle’s chilling experience as a military policeman in occupied Japan, and Weapons Grade uses poetry to interrogate the power of occupation – both political and personal. Svoboda’s latest novel is Bohemian Girl, ‘a cross between True Grit and Huckleberry Finn’. She talks with Mary McCallum.

Date: Monday 6 August
Time: 12.15-1.15pm
Venue: The Marae, Level 4, Te Papa (please note that no food may be taken onto The Marae).

Writers on Mondays is presented with the Museum of New Zealand Te Papa Tongarewa, and additional support from Circa Theatre, City Gallery Wellington and the New Zealand Centre for Literary Translation at Victoria University.
These events are open to the public and free of charge.

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