This wonderful poem is about Adrienne’s local diary owner and the way he was treated so badly. I love this poem so much. The poem is from All of us, a collection of poems around the themes of migration and refugees, by Adrienne Jansen and Carina Gallegos, to be published in October by Landing Press.
Adrienne Jansen has been listening to stories of newcomers to New Zealand, and writing those stories with them, most of her life. This poem, “Next year”, is one of those tiny stories. She lives in Titahi Bay, near Wellington, and writes fiction, non-fiction and poetry.
Note from Paula: I love this book so what a treat to hear Melinda read it.
You can hear other New Zealand children’s authors reading poems in my audio spots: look in the side bar under audio spot or for David Hill, Kyle Mewburn, Apirana Taylor, Fifi Colston, Elena de Roo, Janice Marriot, Bill Nagelkirke, Stephanie Mayne, Renee Liang and James Brown. You can also find Barbara Else reading her piece on Selina Tusitala Marsh, our Poet Laureate.
Born in Auckland, Melinda Szymanik still lives there with her family, writing picture books, short stories and novels for children and young adults. A science graduate, Melinda initially worked in hospital administration, then went back to university to study literature and began writing seriously when her children were small. Several of her books have been shortlisted or won awards in New Zealand and overseas, and her short stories have appeared in trade and educational publications in New Zealand and Australia.
She is a regular ‘writers in schools’ visitor, was the 2014 University of Otago College of Education Creative New Zealand Children’s Writer in Residence, and has appeared at writers festivals across New Zealand. She teaches creative writing workshops for adults and children, blogs on writing and is one of ten New Zealand writers who run an innovative online writing experiment for children called FABO Story.
A complete list is available on her blog
The Were-Nana, illus. Sarah Nelisiwe Anderson, Scholastic NZ, 2008, (Out of Print).
The House That Went to Sea, illus. Gabriella Klepatski, Duck Creek Press, 2011.
While You Are Sleeping, illus. Greg Straight, Duck Creek Press, 2013.
The Song of Kauri, illus. Dominique Ford, Scholastic NZ, 2014.
This is the perfect audio to go with our July butterfly challenge. Listen out for the butterfly song in te reo.
Note from Renee
Here’s a recording of me reading the poem to Ferndale Kindergarten followed by the kids singing ‘Purerehua‘, a song they love.
The ‘Caterpillar‘ poem is inspired by a Cantonese children’s rhyme we also practised (but I did not record):
點蟲蟲, 蟲蟲飛。飛去邊﹖飛去荔枝畿。荔枝熟, 摘滿一包袱。
dim chung chung, chung chung fei. fei hoey bin? fei hoey lai ji gei. lai ji suk, jaak muun yat bao fuk. (Not proper Cantonese romanisation)
Almost word for word translation:
point insect insect, insect insect fly. fly to where? fly to lichee area. lichee ripe, pick (and fill up) full a haversack (bag).
Here are some pictures of their hands being butterflies and also a shot of my son Luka G (4) who attends the kindy.
You can find Renee’s poem in A Treasury of NZ poems for Children.
Renee Liang has always loved telling stories and making worlds in her head. Like the caterpillar, when she spins a house around her stories and snuggles with them for a while they often turn into something unexpected. Sometimes they are poems, sometimes plays, once even an opera. She loves showing other people how to write down the worlds in their heads. Renee has two children aged 4 and 5 who are also world-makers.
Janice Marriott is a multi- award-winning writer of novels, memoir, short stories and children’s books, songs, radio stories, documentaries and plays, and TV scripts.She has won the NZ Post Junior Fiction Award, Aim Senior Fiction Award, Aim Book of the Year, the Esther Glen Medal for Fiction, and been awarded, in 2018, the Margaret Mahy medal for lifetime achievements in the field of children’s literature.
She has published poems in the NZ Treasury of Children’s Poems, School Journals, and the NZ Poetry Anthology. Her poetry blog, active for 7 years, is here.
Janice now helps other people write their stories and poetry here. Her assessment, tutoring and mentoring business shows how writing can soothe us, challenge us, and give us satisfaction and friendship.
Kyle Mewburn is one of New Zealand’s most eclectic writers. Her picture books are noted for being multi-layered, funny and linguistically creative. Her titles have been published in a dozen countries and won numerous awards including Children’s Book of the Year.
As well as picture books, Kyle has published several best-selling junior fiction series, notably Dinosaur Rescueand Dragon Knight.
Originally from Brisbane, Kyle lives with her wife, Marion, a well-known potter, two cats and 24 chickens, in a house with a grass roof in Millers Flat. When she’s not writing, Kyle spends her free time maintaining a semi-self-sufficient lifestyle, or exploring the strange world she’s discovered at the back of her wardrobe.
Apirana introduces and reads ‘South West Taranaki’ and two one-breath poems. He is so good in schools – now you can hear him wherever you live! I love this so much I chose to post it on my birthday. This first poem makes me think about where and how we belong somewhere, and how where we stand is full of the stories that make us. Some of the stories from our past make me weep, some fill me with joy. Apirana is a gift, his stories and his poems, taonga. The second poems, like little poem breaths, hā, show how a handful of words can breathe an exquisite image in our eyes and ears. Kia ora Apirana.
Apirana Taylor, of Ngati Porou, Te Whanau a Apanui, Ngati Ruanui, Te Ati Awa and Pakeha descent was born in 1955. He is a nationally and internationally published poet, playwright, short story writer, novelist, actor, painter and musician.
He has been Writer in Residence at Canterbury and Massey Universities.
He frequently tours nationally and internationally visiting schools, tertiary institutions and prisons reading his poetry, storytelling and taking creative writing workshops. He has read at poetry festivals in India, Europe and South America and in 2017 was invited to read his poetry at an International Literature conference at Udine University in Italy. He has had six collections of poetry, a book of plays, three collections of short stories, and two novels published. The latest novel ‘Five Strings’ was published in 2017.His work has also been included in many national and international anthologies.
Elk drawing by Zac. Zac is 8 years old. He loves reading, playing football and drawing dragons and minotaurs.
‘Elk’ by Emma Neale, published in A Treasury of Poems for Childrenedited by Paula Green, Random House, 2014, and new edition 2017.
Elena de Roo is a children’s writer and poet from Auckland. She lives next to Cornwall Park and often makes up stories and poems in her head while going for long walks there, hoping only the cows and sheep notice she is quietly talking to herself.
Emma Neale loves reading books aloud to her children, even her teenager, when she can find him away from the piano or the drums. Her youngest son is such a keen reader he knows more about history than she does. He loves to test her on all the facts she doesn’t know. She has written stories and poems for children, and a picture book that will probably be buried with her because nobody seems to think it’s as funny as she does.
Annual 1, edited by Kate De Goldi and Susan Paris, Gecko Press, 2016
You can find James Brown‘s found poem in the magnificent Annual 1. He talks a bit about it before he reads. Found poems are fun to do – so I will set a challenge for this later in the year.
James’s poetry has appeared in the School Journal and both editions of Annual. His three early reader books – My New Zealand Colours Book, My New Zealand 123 Book, and My New Zealand ABC Book – were among New Zealand’s gifts to the British royal baby Prince Louis.