Category Archives: Poetry

Printing Namecall by Rachael Naomi

We completed the print of Rachael Naomi’s ‘Namecall’ today. It was printed with a mixture of wood type, metal type, and a photopolymer plate. It was printed on the Heidelberg Platen. The type was printed in a hand mixed green/teal ink last weekend and the photopolymer plate was printed today. The paper is a hefty 300gsm and so we’ve given it quite the debossing which is of course a little hard to see in photos.


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Sail | Walk | Drown

Last year Michele Leggott, Betty Davis, Ruby Porter and I wrote a radio play based on the Emily Harris archival material we’ve been working with. This year we recorded it, and today it’s available for you to listen to online!

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I am like your grammar

A couple of weeks ago we finished printing ‘I am like your grammar’ by Lisa Samuels and I was able to hand over copies. I really love this photo because usually there’s just a quick process of handing over the printing. But I was able to spend some time with Lisa as she saw the print for the first time.

I had a really great time printing this one. Lisa’s poetry opens up so many opportunities and my initial ideas for the design completely changed as the print developed. More pictures below of the print and the design and printing process.

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Filed under letterpress, Poetry, Printmaking, Typography

BNZP17 poetry reading @ Te Papa

This is happening next week: Monday 20th August. If you’re in Wellington, please stop by. I’m only in Welly for the day!

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Filed under Events, Poetry


Another wonderful LOUNGE poetry event.

We dedicated the reading to my late brother James, who died in June of this year.

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Questions for answers asked

for James

I haven’t really been here before
at your house. I just waited outside, usually in the car
for you to get in, or to drop something off for you.

But I’m here now and this is the detritus of your life
and I don’t know what’s important – so everything’s unimportant
until we give it meaning.

Carole comes for Delores the stuffed donkey,
and two childhood clocks
Hannah finds a linen napkin you kept from her wedding
Tarei has the longest drink in town and
Richard has your Tin Tin comics
Andy and Clinton have the heavy black vase
And Dad’s got your records.
When Mum came, her heart shook
but she counted the dinners in the freezer
and kept close the memory of cooking them for you.

I take particular care with the rocks I find in your room
smooth round overlarge pebbles, sharp angles or broken stone discs
and I build a pile, a cairn, in the garden
between the front steps
and the blue skip that we filled twice over.

You had been reading Real Fake White Dirt
by Jess Holly Bates
a bus ticket marks your spot, a cash ticket
from the 30th of May
page 23 is where you’re up to
and I can’t read any further

I take Real Fake White Dirt
and a book of recent paintings by Gretchen Albrecht
you were always well read – why didn’t we talk about poetry together?

Hannah and I sold your car to the scrappers
A teenage boy came with a tow truck
he looked at us like meat. Whose car is this? He says
Are you sad? He says chewing gum and staring at our tits
Please, just take the car
with its overstuffed bear filling the back seat
and a boot we can’t get open.
He took the car and left a sour taste in our mouths.

Later, when I imagine the end, which I don’t do voluntarily
I forget there was car here
and I imagine you on the concrete in front of the house
in your dressing gown.
Andy said your hair was soapy
when he left earlier that morning
and I imagine you here – I forget there was car
I hope you didn’t feel alone

I’m here now and this is the detritus of your life
and I don’t know what’s important – so everything’s unimportant
until we give it meaning.

And much later, when the skips have been emptied
and the cleaners come to remove the last trace of you
I start to think of all the things we threw away
and I give it all meaning
and my heart hurts that I didn’t keep the things that were yours

So I read Jess Holly Bates
and get stuck
“building questions for answers asked”
and I look at the Gretchen Albrecht paintings, which
are not my favourites
and I sit at the table that you had in your kitchen
that me and Hannah sanded down
and I instil these objects
with answers and with questions
though they never match up

and I think of you

sometimes, I can hear your voice
your laugh
your breath
and if I’m lucky, in the depths of the night
I find another memory I’d lost hold of
and I wrap it, thin and delicate as a hair
around these objects
so that I will not lose hold of you again.

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Filed under Events, Poetry

bnzp 2017


I am so pleased and so proud to be among these fabulous poets whose poems have been chosen as the best poems published in NZ in 2017!

Click on the picture to go to the bnzp 2017 contents page and enjoy the wonderful poetry!

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waterlines: a letterpress print

Early in April I printed one of my poems – waterlines – at MOTAT. I designed and handset it, and it was printed on a Heidelberg Platen by Ian Barnes. It is a limited edition of 37 copies which I am selling to fundraise for a number of photopolymer plates for some other letterpress poetry projects I have coming up.

I’m selling the prints for $10 (a total bargain for a letterpress art print!) plus postage. Get in touch if you’d like a copy.

Thank you to New Zealand Pacific Studios; this poem began while I was staying at Normandel House as the Ema Saikō fellow in Nov/Dec last year.

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Vĭsuălis – A visual poetry exhibition

Guided & Unguided 01 is a series of plot points:
coordinates from multiple maps. This is a cartography of
varying kinds: a mapping of various locations, experiences
and memories. Repetitions and orientations aid you in
finding your way, in charting your place in these geographies.

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10/11/2017 · 9:39 pm

He Whakaritenga Hōu / A New Setting

For the last 6 years I have been sneaking poetry pieces into the print queue in the MOTAT Print Shop. Well at first I was sneaking them in, but as time as gone on, the poetry we print has become a big part of what we do in the Print Shop. Last Friday saw the opening of an exhibition that celebrates those works we have printed. The exhibition is also about the Māori typecase I have been working on for the last 18 months, and showcases the ‘Kia ora Te Reo’ booklet we made this year for Māori language week.

The opening was a real treat, our guests were a mixture of Auckland based poets and poetry lovers alongside the MOTAT team who had a hand in putting the show together. It was a huge team effort and I was honoured to have my design and typesetting on show.

Here are a few photos from the opening event:

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Talking about te reo Māori & letterpress

Since finalising the new jobbing typecase for setting in te reo Māori late last year, I’ve been plodding along setting bits and pieces. Namely the MOTAT Māori language booklet for te wiki o te reo Māori (11th – 17th September ’17) and a poem by Vaughan Rapatahana.

But in the lead up to tēnei wiki, I’ve been chatting to people about the project and what printing in te reo means for me. Below are two recent videos about the case and letterpress printing in te reo Māori.

This is an animated interview with the excellent and talented Sam Orchard! He’s such a great interviewer, I was so at my ease! Thanks Sam!

And this next one is a video from MOTAT, where they filmed what I’ve been getting up to in the print room (I was way more nervous for this one!)

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