Tag Archives: Paula Green

The Treasury Interviews: Annie interviews Paula Green

Annie Robinson

My name is Annie Robinson, I am 11 years old and I live in Tauranga with my mum, dad, older brother and younger sister, our 2 guinea pigs and our cat Purdy. My hobbies include playing guitar, singing, video games, loom bands and writing!

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Paula with Nonu on a very windy day at Bethell’s.

Paula Green

Paula Green lives on Auckland’s West Coast with her partner, artist Michael Hight, their two daughters, three cats and two Springer Spaniels. She has published nine poetry collections including several for children. Her first children’s book, Flamingo Bendalingo: Poems from the Zoo, was published in 2006 and was listed as a 2007 Storylines Notable Non-Fiction Book. Paula was awarded the University of Auckland Literary Fellowship in 2005. She was the 2008 judge of the New Zealand Post Secondary School Poetry Competition. NZ Listener writer Gerry Webb has written about Paula and has described her style of writing as ‘musical, sensuous, tender, quick-witted’. Paula writes for both adults and children and her most recent book of poems is The Letterbox Cat (Scholastic). She edited A Treasury of NZ Poems for Children that came out in October (Random House). Paula also hosts a blog site call Poetry Box (this blog!) which has lots of competitions, examples of great children’s poetry as well as tips and tricks on how to become a better writer.

 

The Interview:

What inspired you to start the poetry box blog?


I love working with children and writing for children so it seemed like a fun and challenging thing to do. I get to visit schools a lot in Auckland and sometimes in other main centres but I hardly ever get to visit schools off the beaten track. The internet can easily travel off the beaten track. I called it Poetry Box because it is full of surprises for me. I never know what I am going to pull out next. What else can Poetry Box do? How can it connect with NZ children?

 

Do you play any musical instruments?

I learnt to play the recorder, piano, the guitar, the clarinet and the saxophone. I was never very good at any of them, but I loved playing them all. I think I wanted to be Joni Mitchell at one stage with my long hair and acoustic guitar. I grew up in a house with lots of music (especially classical and jazz) so music is important to me. As soon as I was old enough, I loved going to concerts and music festivals. Last year I went to WOMAD which was very cool. I am really drawn to poems that sound good and when write a poem I often think it is like making a little piece of music. I love listening to music when I cook dinner, but when I am writing I mostly like the sound of the wind in the trees.

 

What is you’re most memorable experience?

That is a good question and a hard question because I have had lots of memorable experiences.

Being a mother … having two wonderful daughters that are such good company.

Walking the Abel Tasman Track and riding the Central Otago Rail Trail with my family.

Spending ten days in New York with my family.

Meeting Margaret Mahy and discovering my secret mentor was also a remarkable woman in how she paid attention to others and was so humble and generous.

Going skiing at The Remarkables.

Boogie boarding at Sandy Bay on the Tutukaka Coast.

Reading Dante’s poem The Divine Comedy in Italian (it is unbelievably long!).

 

What are some of your main inspirations for writing poetry?

The way the world catches me by surprise. Like when a cat instead of the teacher walks into the classroom. Or you turn a corner and there is the sun glinting on the ocean and you can hardly see.

Things people say.

Things.

The way real things fly the blue kite of imagination and the yellow balloon of feeling.

Words.

The way words are like little musical notes.

 

What is your favourite piece of writing? ( by yourself and by others)

‘Hotel Emergencies’ by Bill Manhire  You can hear him read it here. Astonishing. No other word for it.

Wonder by AJ Palacio   A novel that brings you back to everything that matters about being human.

Hill & Hole by Kyle Mewburn  A picture-book that is so simple and so beautifully written it is poetry.

Poems by Shel Silverstein, Margaret Mahy and Elena de Roo.

The ACB with Honora Lee by Kate De Goldi  Wise, tender, funny, poetic, beautifully written story

My writing?  Aunt Concertina and Her Niece Evalina is very special to me because it is a small part of the bedtime story I told my girls when they were little. I was too tired to write it down so I didn’t do that until they were older. Michael did the illustrations (very beautiful oil paintings that took him ages!). So it is a family book. And the book doesn’t fit a book formula. The language is as rich as the paintings. I don’t think anyone would publish it nowadays. So I am so grateful to Jenny Hellen and Random House for that. I am rather poroiud of my teo new poetry books too. I love what Scholastic did with The Letterbox Cat and what Random House did with A Treasury of NZ Poems for Children. Thank you!!!!!!!!

 

What do you love most about writing?

It makes me feel good. As simple as that. I just love doing it. It is a way of making music. It is a way of doing anything. Taking risks. Being someone else. Being yourself. Exploring the world. Time travelling. Showing heart. Raising questions. Standing up for what you believe in. Questioning what you believe in. Listening to what others have written. Sharing.

A Hot Spot Poetry of New Zealand ….. all the details for you!

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Today I am setting off on a poetry tour to celebrate poetry for and by children, my two new books (The Letterbox Cat with Scholastic and A Treasury of NZ Poems for Children with Random House) and my blog NZ Poetry Box. I will be keeping a travel diary on my blog over the month.

Big thanks to Creative New Zealand, Random House and Scholastic. Without you this tour would not be possible. And to The New Zealand Book Council for hosting a Speed Date Event in Dunedin.

Where: Gisborne, New Plymouth, Wellington, Nelson, Christchurch, Dunedin, Queenstown, Arrowtown, Tauranga, Papamoa and Auckland

Who: Elizabeth Smither, Apirana Taylor, Anna Jackson, Maria McMillan, Richard Langston, Adrienne Jansen, Belinda Wong, Fifi Colston, Melanie Drewery, Rachel Bush, Fiona Farrell, Gavin Bishop, Bill Nagelkirke, Greg O’Connell, James Norcliffe, Helen Jacobs, Doc Drumheller, David Eggleton, Sue Wootton, Jenny Powell, Elizabeth Pulford, Kyle Mewburn, Brian Turner, Wendy Clarke, Pauline Cartwright, Peter Bland, Elena de Roo, Tessa Duder, Stephanie Mayne, Claire Gummer, John Parker, Siobhan Harvey, Tamsin Flynn

Te Papa Wellington, Puke Ariki New Plymouth

Wainui Beach School, Ormond School, Matawai School, Egmont Village School, Woodleigh School, Frankley School, Ngaio School, Adventure School, Te Aro School, Brooklyn School, Karori West School, St Brigid’s School, Lyall Bay School, Pakakariki School, Kapanui School, Newbury School, Khandallah School, Pauatahanui School, St Joseph’s School Nelson, Russley School, Fendalton School, Cobham Intermediate, Kirkwood Intermediate, Ilam School, Lyttelton School, Paparoa School, Medbury School, Freeville School, Redcliffs School, Selwyn House School, East-Taieri School, Columbia College, Remarkables School, Arrowtown School, Queenstown School, Golden Sands School, Maungatapere School, Kamai School, Gladstone School, Richmond Road School, Ellerslie School, Freemans Bay School, St Kentigern’s School, Cornall Park District School, Upper Harbour Primary School, Royal Oak Primary School, Westmere School

Taranaki Libraries, Eltham Library, Wellington Libraries, Porirua Library, Nelson Libraries, South Library, Dunedin Libraries, Queenstown Library, Tauranga City Library, Auckland Libraries, National Library

Muir’s Bookshop Gisborne, Poppies New Plymouth, New Plymouth Paper Plus, Children’s Bookshop Wellington, Page & Blackmoore Nelson, Canterbury University Bookshop, University Bookshop Dunedin, Paper Plus Queenstown Airport, Children’s Bookshop Auckland

Events open to the public involving local authors and children:

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The Treasury Interviews: Gemma interviews Patricia Grace

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Gemma Lovewell lives in Wellington with her parents and younger brother, in a house filled with books. She goes to Adventure School, and loves to try everything life has to offer. Gemma wrote her first poem when she was 3 years old, and has since then has had articles, stories and poems published in magazines, newspapers and on websites. She published The Big Box when she was five with the help of Joy Cowley.

Gemma has written the bios and the questions. Patricia has a beautiful lullaby in A Treasury of New Zealand Poetry for Children.

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Patricia Grace is a famous New Zealand writer, who is well known overseas as well as locally. Her first book was called Waiariki. It was published in 1975 and it was the first collection of short stories by a Māori woman writer. She got started in writing by entering her work in competitions. Since then she has won many awards and been recognised in the New Zealand order of merit.

 

The Interview

What is your favourite thing to do?

I really enjoy reading and writing and I love family picnics and barbecues.

 

Do you have a favourite poem, and what do you like about it?

My favourite poem is ‘Rain’ by Hone Tuwhare. It brings with it the sounds, smells and feelings of rain. [Note from Paula: This poem is in the Treasury!]

 

What kind of writing do you find the most enjoyable?

Fiction. I like reading novels best of all.

 

Of the many awards you have won, which award is the most important to you?

They are all important to me. I really appreciate the recognition of my work that each award brings.

 

Have you had any poems published before?

I had a poem published many years ago, but I don’t usually write poetry.

 

If you were not a writer, what would you be?

I used to be a teacher, and liked that very much. If I wasn’t a full time writer, and if I was younger, I would like to be a teacher again.

 

Do you think poetry is important for kids, and why or why not?

Yes, poetry is important for kids – reading it and writing it. Poetry makes you think and feel. It allows you to express your feelings about a wide range of topics and helps you to think about language and use words well.

 

Thanks for the great interview Gemma and Patricia!

 

A third way to celebrate A Treasury of NZ Poems for Children with me (you will need a camera and a poetry book!)

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A week today A Treasury of NZ Poems for Children will be in bookshops.

I have set you three challenges to celebrate this (plus one coming on Publication Day).

Challenge number one: Write a poem that is inspired by another poem. See here for details. I will post favourites and have copies of the Treasury for a few (or  another book if you have it already!).

Challenge number two: Write a poem and then write that poem with surprising things in surprising places (sand, mud, window). Take a photo and send it to me. I will post them as I get them and will  have two $50 book vouchers for my favourites. See here for details.

Challenge number three: Take a photo of yourself reading a poetry book in a great place to read a poetry book. Your parent will need to send me permission so I can post it. I will post while I am on tour and will have two $50 book vouchers for my favourites after November 8th.

Deadline: You have until November 8th to do this but if I can (while I am on tour) I will post them as I get them. I may not be able to because I don’t have a laptop. Preferably a .jpeg

Send to paulajoygreen@gmail.com. Include your name, year, age and name of school. You can include your teacher’s name and email. PLEASE say it’s for the Fascinating Place to Read a Poetry book challenge.

A sneak preview of A Treasury of NZ Poems for Children

I have just got my advance copy of A Treasury of NZ Poems for Children and I am so delighted with how it looks. The illustrations by Jenny Cooper are so very very good and Megan‘s design brings everything to life. I can’t wait to share the book with you in October and November. The book will be in shops in October. It even has three gorgeous ribbons and a dust jacket.

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Making animal pictures out of words — a little challenge

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© Paula Green The Letterbox Cat and Other Poems  Scholastic 2014

I have lots of picture poems in The Letterbox Cat. When I was showing them to some children on Saturday I got an idea for a challenge. Make an animal poem that is also an animal picture!

1. Pick an animal.

2. Collect lots of words that describe that animal.

3. Play with the words and make patterns.

4. Use your patterns to make animal pictures.

5. Send to paulajoygreen@gmail.com. Include your name, age, year and name of school. (jpegs are easier for me but if it is one page I might be able to take a screen shot of it)

 

DEADLINE: Monday September 22nd

 

 

 

 

 

My Christchurch travel diary

Yesterday I left home when it was dark which gave me an idea for a poem. Flying down I saw skinny strips of clouds like skinny strips of cloudy floss.

I drove straight to Rangiora High School from the airport. On the way I discovered Green’s Road. I made up poems with a Year 10 and a Year 9 class that I posted on my other blog, NZ Poetry Shelf. I really loved listening.

And then another idea for a poem arrived because my hotel has a cat. It came and miaowed at my door as though it knew I have a book called The Letterbox Cat. The cat needs a poem but now it has a photo.

Yeah NZ Book Council. Thanks for bringing me south!

Talk soon, Paula

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