Notebook (page 1 of 5)

Summer, 2020

Look for me in: Rabbit issue 29 – lineages.

Rabbit, a journal of nonfiction poetry is gorgeous as always, and I’m really happy to have a poem in here. The issue theme is lineages (in every sense of the word) and the guest poetry editors are Chi Tran and Matthew Hall. I wanted to mention a few of the poets in it but would soon run out of space – I like every single thing in this issue a lot!

What I am reading: essa may ranapiri’s Ransack, John Geraets’ Everything’s Something in Place and Paula Green’s tour de force, Wild Honey.

Aren’t we all searching for a way to unravel ourselves?

– Anita Solak, in Rabbit 29 (2019: 157)

Given words, 2019

Give24 hour competition 2019n Words, which is an annual National Poetry Day competition in which poets are given several words to make a poem, has now put up this years selection, including winning poems by Lily Holloway and Thalia Peterson.

This is one of two fun given words events I took part in this year! My poem, ‘After the flight’, is included in the selection, which you can read here: Given Words, 2019.  There are some really cool poems here, all containing the same 5 words (be sure to check out the under 16s section). The poems were judged by Charles Olsen, Mikaela Nyman, and Clare Arnot, and the competition was supported by The Landing Press.

24 hour poetry

Much to my excitement, my poem ‘Redefinite’ has come first in Joanna Preston‘s amazing 24 Hour Poetry Competition.

It was24 hour competition 2019 a really fun event, in which contestants had just 24 hours to write a poem using 10 supplied words, on National Poetry Day. Participants then got to read a bunch of the submitted poems as we voted for Audience choice (Mark Edgecomb), and then we have the winner, runner up (Kirstie McHale), and Organizer’s Husband’s Choice (Briar Lawry) as well. Prizewinners received poetry books, courtesy of Victoria University Press.  It was a timely reminder, for me, of the productive, generative element of chance and constraint, & really made me look twice at each of the words we were given.  It is a revelation seeing the variety of poems that were produced – the ones we got to read were excellent. Moreover, we were well taken care of – there was even an Emergency Sloth Video on the day, for those of us who were flagging!


Fast Fibres Poetry 6: even more events!

This year there will be a Phantom Billstickers National Poetry Day reading at the Butter Factory, a Poetry Popup at the Whangarei library, and an open mic at King’s Theatre Creative up in Kawakawa,:

Poetry in the Cave. Friday 23 August from 6 – 8 pm, Butter Factory Cave, Butter Factory Lane, Whangarei. Free entry.

“Get together with your friends and family to join poets from the newly launched Fast Fibres Poetry Six. Some of Northland’s best, including Piet Nieuwland, Aaron Robertson, Briar Wood, Olivia Macassey, and others will read their unique, engaging and refreshing work. This will be followed by an open mic.”

Fast Fibres Poetry 6 image

POETRY POPUP with Fast Fibres Poetry Six. Saturday 24 August from 10am to 12 midday
Whangarei Library. Free entry.

“Still feeling the poetry vibe? Warm down from Phantom Billstickers National Poetry Day on Saturday with our POETRY POPUP at Whangarei Central Library. Please come along to read your own poetry and support Fast Fibres Poetry Six. This event is always great fun with a busy audience of library goers. See you there!”

Fast Fibres 6 at Kings Theatre Creative

Kings Theatre Creative Poetry Open Mic, Sunday 24 August 1 – 3pm, 80 Gillies Street Kawakawa. Entry by koha, all welcome.

“Get together with your family and friends at the fabulous Kings Theatre Creative in Kawakawa to be moved by an afternoon of diverse, compelling and engaging poetry. Join editors Piet Nieuwland and Olivia Macassey along with many poets featured in the freshly launched Fast Fibres Poetry Six. Unleash your creativity and perform your own poetry live at the open mic session.”

Once again, Fast Fibres is selling rather fast: contact Piet Nieuwland for your copy!

Fast Fibres Poetry 6

Fast Fibres 6New anthology out now!

Fast Fibres Poetry Six: from Northland ed. Piet Nieuwland and Olivia Macassey
(Fast Fibres Poetry Collective, 2019)

Featuring: Sarah Angus, Shelley Arlidge, Julia Barber, Michael Botur, Rob Burt, Lyndsay Campbell, Veronica Cleary, Geraldine Craw, Robert Davis, D’Bruce, Daphne de Jong, Murray Edmond, Lola Elvy, Arthur Fairley, Malcolm Ford, John Geraets, Michael Giacon, Mike Gillard, Narine Groome, Vaughan Gunson, Steve Herbert, Aidan-Barrett Howard, Lincoln Jaques, Christel Jeffs, Jac Jenkins, Lynda King, Audrey Lappin, Tracie Lark, Fran Lawrence, Wes Lee, Olivia Macassey, Grahame Maclean, Jack McKerchar, Philip Muir, Piet Nieuwland, Heidi North, Margaret Northey, Denise O’Hagan, June Pitman, Andi Podesta, Martin Porter, Vaughan Rapatahana, Aaron Robertson, Natascha Rodenburg, Ila Selwyn, Greg Shaw, Karen Sidney, Ashlee-Ann Sneller, Suzanne Takiwa, Joanne Tasker, Anne-Marie Te Whiu, Loren Thomas, Vivian Thonger, Mercedes Webb-Pullman, and Briar Wood.

Art: front cover Natascha Rodenburg; back cover Mandy Sunlight.

Launch: Thursday 22 August, 5.30pm to 7.30pm
Location: Poets At ONEONESIX, 116 Bank Street Whangarei

To purchase: contact Piet Nieuwland

Write On!Here’s a fun feature in the Northern Advocate by poet and writer John Geraets (whose wonderful selected writing Everything’s Something in Place came out this year), with additional pieces by poets Aaron Robertson, Piet Nieuwland, and me:

“Interesting things are happening in the Whangārei writing scene. Whether public readings, writing and discussion groups or magazines to contribute to, there is much to take part in and a chance to enjoy the company of others” – John Geraets.

“My own practice of writing poetry is one of strange, random compulsions. Although, in general, I don’t think in words (I have to ‘translate’ thoughts from spatial images), the words in my poetry often seem to form by themselves — it’s like being inhabited by poems” – me.

Read online here, or, if you can’t access premium content, here is a pdf from the print edition: Write On! Northern Advocate, Sat August 10


Great Plate, 2019, Quarry Arts Centre

Olivia Macassey great plate 2019

Glazed ceramic, 27 cm.

Much-loved creative arts community Quarry Arts Centre in Whangarei is running its annual Great Plate fundraiser.  It’s a really amazing, fun event in which artists are invited to create or decorate a plate. The results are well worth checking out!

Plates are exhibited in the Yvonne Rust Gallery from Friday 12 July until Saturday 27 July. They are also auctioned on Trademe.
This year I have a plate in Great Plates – ceramic with a poem in glaze applied by calligraphy brush and glaze pencil.


I was alive

when the world was full

of life: a dance of animals

and plants, insects and seasons. I

remember the delicate skin of frogs

& the humming geography of bees.

I was alive when the earth was

alive.   It was so beautiful

I wish you could have

seen it.

Call for Submissions: Fast Fibres 6, ed. Piet Nieuwland and Olivia Macassey

Managing editor Piet Nieuwland has once again invited me to co-edit Fast Fibres poetry from Northland. This is a great little anthology, and this year we are supported by Creative Communities, which is great! So please send poems to by June 14.

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