VERSE night – Thursday 19 May, 7pm
Come along for a great evening featuring:
Poetry readings from Fiona Farrell and James Norcliffe
Original music from Motte
$7 waged, $5 unwaged.
Fiona Farrell is one of New Zealand’s leading writers, publishing work in a variety of genres. Her first novel, The Skinny Louie Book won the 1993 New Zealand Book Award for fiction. Other novels, poetry and non-fiction books have been shortlisted for the Montana and New Zealand Post Book Awards with four novels also nominated for the International Dublin IMPAC Award. Farrell’s short fiction has appeared in the company of Alice Munro and Hanif Kureishi in two volumes of Heinemann’s Best Short Stories (ed. Gordon and Hughes), while her poems feature in major anthologies including The Oxford Book of New Zealand Poetry and Bloodaxe’s best-selling Being Alive. Her play Chook Chook is one of Playmarket New Zealand’s most frequently requested scripts.
Since 2011, she has published three non-fiction titles relating to the Christchurch earthquakes: The Broken Book, The Quake Year and in 2015, The Villa at the Edge of the Empire, the factual half of a two-volume work examining the rebuilding of a city through the twinned lenses of non-fiction and fiction.
Farrell is a frequent guest at festivals in New Zealand, and has also appeared at the Edinburgh International Book Festival and the Vancouver International Writers’ Festival. She has held residencies in France (1995 Katherine Mansfield Fellowship to Menton) and Ireland (2006 Rathcoola Residency). In 2007 Farrell received the New Zealand Prime Minister’s Award for Fiction. She was the 2011 Robert Burns Fellow at the University of Otago. In 2012 Farrell was appointed an Officer of the New Zealand Order of Merit for ‘services to literature’ in the Queen’s Birthday and Diamond Jubilee Honours List. In 2013 she was awarded the Michael King Writers Fellowship.
James Norcliffe, a poet and fiction writer, has taught English in Christchurch, China and Brunei. He followed his debut collection of poetry, The Sportsman and Other Poems (1986), with the successful Letters to Dr Dee and Other Poems (1993), which was shortlisted for the New Zealand Book Awards 1994. Since then numerous award winning ficton and poetry books have been published including The Loblolly Boy & the Sorcerer (2009). In 2015, Norcliffe’s children’s novel The Pirates and the Nightmaker was released. Set in 1740, the story follows the adventures of a pirate ship as it drifts across the Caribbean, recounting the fantasy, intrigue, and adventure that accompanies the crew’s journey across the sea. The novel made the Storylines Notable Book list for 2016. The most recent work Norcliffe has produced as an editor (alongside Joanna Preston) is Leaving the Redzone: Poems from the Canterbury Earthquakes. Published in February 2016 to mark the fifth anniversary of the deadly Christchurch earthquake, the text comprises a variety of poems that artistically address the natural disaster.
Norcliffe has won awards including the Lilian Ida Smith Award 1990 and the NZ Poetry Society’s international competition 1992. In 2000, Norcliffe was the Robert Burns Fellow at Otago University. In 2003, Norcliffe, with Bernadette Hall, received the inaugural Christchurch Press Literary Liaisons Honour Award for ‘lasting contribution to literature in the South Island.’ Norcliffe won the 2006 Fellowship at the University of Iowa as a participant in the University of Iowa’s International Writing Programme, and Residency in Nebraska at the Kimmel Harding Nelson Centre, Nebraska City.
Motte (aka Anita Clark) describes her sound as being Neo Classical tape delay violin. “Its sounds like what you would imagine it would feel like to be stuck inside a hothouse in the dead of night…full of tropical plants, flying insects and a suffocating humid atmosphere.” Her musical guilty pleasures are, 60’s Lounge and Exotica…Herb Albert, Martin Denny, Les Baxter and his Orchestra…Hawaiian Music..those 10 hour long youtube ambient tracks of running bath water, or a hairdryer. White noise.
Over the years Anita has played in Irish pub bands, The Ragamuffin Children, 6 months of Jazz School, The Eastern, and most recently Devilish Mary and the Holy Rollers. Her hometown is Lyttelton.