August 16: my birthday, and more

It’s my birthday today, and it’s also National Poetry Day in New Zealand. There are so many great things happening, so if you’re in one of the many hotbeds of poetic activity, go enjoy.  And this year National Poetry Day is part of the inaugural New Zealand Post Book Awards Festival (12 -18 August) celebrating the 2013 awards finalists during a special events organised in each of their home towns.

Since it’s a day to celebrate, I’m happy to share a few fine things (in no particular order), interspersed with some photos I love.

DSC_8338A poem posted by a friend who makes me smile when she touches me across miles and oceans. 

A new issue of Blue Five Notebook out today (should have thought to call it Michelle’s Birthday Special, but oh well…),  with poetry, flash and art. Always an amazing thing to be working alongside Sam Rasnake.

DSC_8083The August issue of Awkword Paper Cut, with cool poetry and flash videos, conversations, podcasts and more — from the creative brain of Michael Dickes.

WB Yeats and Gertrude Stein in their own words and voices (thanks for Fulcrum: an annual of poetry and aesthetics for sharing these).

DSC_8289An excellent review of Robert Vaughan’s collection Microtones, here.

Some excellent poems and stories at Fictionaut.

And my NZ poetry comrade Piet Nieuwland, whose work is featured at the Department of Conservation’s blog for National Poetry Day!

Then there are the books I’m reading this month, which make me think in new ways: Alex Pruteanu’s Gears, Robert Vaughan’s Microtones, plus Emily Perkins’s The Forrests and Tim Winton’s Cloudstreet

DSC_8217Plus the books which are coming my way soon: Marcus Speh’s Thank You For Your Sperm, James Claffey’s Blood A Cold Blue  (you can read and hear the titular story here) and Curtis Smith’s Beasts and Men.

And Susan Tepper’s The Merrill Diaries, shipped from my mother, who read it first and has already given it a big thumbs-up (find A Taste of Merrill here).

Finally, among things to look forward to… Sam Rasnake’s new poetry collection, Cinéma vérité, coming  next month.


And now, a word everyone should know. The longest place name in the world, down the coast in Hawke’s Bay, New Zealand:


Go on, say it. And smile.

(Or you could just call it  “The summit where Tamatea, the man with the big knees, the climber of mountains, the land-swallower who travelled about, played his nose flute to his loved one” — cred: Wikipedia —  but that’s cheating.)

Now I am going to listen to The Beatles and The Shins. Happy day.

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12 Responses to August 16: my birthday, and more

  1. johncoyote says:

    Happy birthday and thank you for your thoughts.

  2. kassiedoggie says:

    Happy Birthday, Michelle! Love from Krista, Paul, Kody and Karly!

  3. Happy birthday, Michelle — I hope you have a great one surrounded by loved ones, books to read, books to arrive, and, no doubt, a lot of sea water…thanks for the shout out!

  4. Chris says:

    Happy birthday, Michelle! And thanks for all the fantastic reading suggestions. Can you include a recording of you pronouncing that place name?

  5. Sam Rasnake says:

    Thanks for the shout, birthday lady.

  6. Happy Birthday, Michelle! Thanks for the mentions! xo

  7. Susan Tepper says:

    Dearest Michelle, my friend across the waters: August is a great month to incarnate this earth. Leo being one of the power signs of the zodiac. I hope we will meet again some day, sooner rather than later. Much Love, Susan

  8. t upchurch says:

    Oh, belated happy birthday! Hope you had a wonderful day!

  9. Oh happy, happy day! throw your head back and drink it it!

  10. ajponder says:

    Belated Happy Birthday, or a very happy unbirthday – whichever you prefer. Hope you had a great day. Cheers 🙂

  11. janaheise says:

    Love the photos! 🙂

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