Thursday, April 30, 2015

The Republic of Road Shows - featuring The Eastern

Not content with revolutionary poetry/music shows in the form of the Catalyst Road Show, we're combining it with the Republic of Poets featuring musical accompaniment from The Stray Empire and taking the whole thing on the road with local legends The Eastern.  This will be the most epic Catalyst Road Show ever - and there's two of 'em...

Yep, this time we're sharing the love with North Canterbury - a show in Oxford and a show in Rangiora.  Two classic old-time venues recently restored and perfectly suited to a night of mesmerising spoken word combined with music and a good old fashioned knees-up and throw down courtesy of the band described as 'one of the best modern roots bands' and 'toughest-minded songwriters'.

Catalyst Road Show
- tickets available on undertheradar and on the door.

Oxford Town Hall, Sat 9th May, 8pm

Rangiora Town Hall, Thurs 14th May, 8pm

These shows have been made possible by support from Waimakariri District Creative Communities

A plug for our friends: The Stray Empire - Fri 8th May, 7pm, The Twisted Hop

Next Catalyst Poetry Open Mic - 5th May

Catalyst Poetry Open Mic

Tuesday 5th May, 7pm

Twisted Hop, Ferry Rd, Woolston

Yep, it's that time of the month again - first Tuesdays are Catalyst nights, live and loud.  Well, sometimes the ties are loud...

Friday, April 10, 2015

Republic of Oma Rāpeti Press presents: Republic of Poets - a live show

Republic of Oma Rāpeti Press


Republic of Poets
with live music by The Stray Empire
Wunderbar, Lyttelton

Thursday, April 16th, 8pm
Entry $10

Oma Rāpeti, Oma Rāpeti, Oma, Oma, Oma!

In 2014 Catalyst and The Republic of Oma Rāpeti Press launched a new republic, complete with a flag, constitution, and national anthem. To celebrate this event, we have devised a new initiative to publish an annual poetry collection by three poets, inspired by the Penguin Modern Poets series of the past. The aim of this project is to produce a high quality literary anthology focused on just three poets, allowing a broader body of work to be showcased than a regular journal appearance allows.

Volume One is subtitled 'Pioneers', reflecting both the emergence of the anthology and the vanguard poets featured, all with a history of pushing new frontiers in performance poetry in Aotearoa New Zealand.  From collaborations with musicians both recorded and live, improvised storytelling, poetry slams, cabaret, multimedia poetry theatre, poetry road shows, touring with bands, and even live vinyl recordings, these three poets have pioneered a renaissance in performance poetry in Canterbury and across Aotearoa.

Ben Brown has electrified audiences with his spoken word performances and smoky, malt whisky drawl. The excerpt from 'The Coffee Shop Philosopher', transfers his mana from the stage onto the page. Doc Drumheller’s excerpts from 'Hotel Theresa', and 'Lullabies for Insomniacs' reflect his travels as a troubadour presenting poems and songs composed in NZ, USA, and Eastern Europe. Andy Coyle’s deep velvet voice has been described as captivating and mesmerising, and his excerpt from 'Ode to the Cyclist' and other poems was recently published as a full manuscript by The Republic of Oma Rāpeti Press.

Republic of Poets Vol. One was launched at live music and poetry shows throughout Aotearoa New Zealand, as the poets took this roving republic on the road. With performances at The Wunderbar, Lyttelton, The Dharma Bums Club, Wairau Valley, The Mussel Inn , Golden Bay, and The Free House, Nelson. The success of the tour led to performances in the Word Christchurch Writers and Readers Festival August 2014, and performances at LitCrawl in Wellington, November 2014.

Their next show will feature performance poetry and live music with the Stray Empire at the Wunderbar, Lyttelton, Thursday, April 16th, 8pm.  $10 on the door.

Tickets, books, and other merchandise will be available for sale at the venue.

“Ben Brown is a distinctive original voice”
– Apirana Taylor.

“Doc Drumheller… a marvelous poet and an extraordinary creative artist”
-- Dr. Santosh Kumar, editor of Taj Mahal Review.

"Andy Coyle: We fell in love with him at the poetry reading."
-- Laura Williamson

Performer Bios

Ben Brown (Ngati Paoa, Ngati Mahuta) was born in Motueka in 1962. He is a writer, poet and performer. Since 1992 he has published numerous children's books, short stories for children and adults, poetry and non-fiction, and is an occasional contributor to Mana Magazine who have also featured him. He tours and performs regularly around the country. In 2006 he won best picture book with the artist/illustrator Helen Taylor in the New Zealand Post Book Awards for Children and Young Adults. In 2011 he was the Maori Writer in Residence at the Michael King Writer's Centre. He was also writer in residence at Hagley College, Christchurch, in 2009. He has read and performed at the Auckland Writers Festival (2010), the APRA Music Awards (2011) the Christchurch Writers Festival (2006, 2012), the Kaikoura Roots Festival (2012) the Christchurch Arts Festival (2009, 2013) and the Nelson Arts Festival (2011). He lives and works in Lyttelton.

Andy Coyle is a performance poet based in Canterbury, NZ. In 2011 he represented Christchurch in the NZ Poetry Slam finals. He is a regular contributor to the Catalyst Open Mic Night, The Catalyst Literary Journal, and the Catalyst Road Show. Career highlights include, a ten date tour of New Zealand in 2010; writing and performing an epic poem set in Chch accompanied by a 7 piece progressive jazz/rock ensemble for the Dunedin Fringe and the Wellington Jazz Festival in 2006; a short story filmed; a play performed; a poem painted as a mural in the seaside suburb of New Brighton and festival appearances in the Wanaka ‘Outspoken Festival’, the Lyttelton Summer Festival, and the Newtown Street Festival.   

Doc Drumheller: was born in Charleston, South Carolina and has lived in New Zealand for more than half his life. He has worked in award winning groups for theatre and music and has published ten collections of poetry. His poems have been translated into more than twenty languages and he has performed in Cuba, Lithuania, Italy, Hungary, Bulgaria, Romania, Japan, India, Nicaragua, USA, and widely throughout NZ. He lives in Oxford, where he edits and publishes the literary journal Catalyst and teaches creative writing at the School for Young Writers.

Aaron Boot: is a local musician who has toured extensively throughout New Zealand, Australia, Europe, The UK, and Ireland. He co-wrote songs with the artist Speech Debelle on the Mercury award winning album Speech Therapy. He has worked as technician on festivals like the Big Day Out, Future Music, and has worked as a stage tech for Alice Cooper, Faith No More, The Chemical Brothers, Kenny Rogers, Rage Against the Machine, and many more of the world’s leading musical acts.

The Stray Empire is a two piece country/folk/rock ensemble playing covers and original music. Their original songs are composed on the ukulele, banjo, mandolin and guitar, combining poetic lyrics with folk and pop sensibilities. They cover songs by Townes Van Zandt, Old Crow Medicine Show, Bob Dylan, Little Feat, and many more.

Sunday, March 29, 2015

Catalyst Open Mic April - featuring Sumit Khanna

Next Catalyst Poetry Open Mic is coming up and we have a special guest - touring poet Sumit Khanna.  Check out his bio below, and the details of the show are:

Catalyst Poetry Open Mic
Tuesday 7th April, 7pm
Twisted Hop, Ferry Rd, Woolston
Koha entry

Sumit Khanna is a storyteller who grew up in United States. In his day job, he was a mild mannered software engineer who spent the days trapped in a cubical. In order to prevent committing cubicide, he left the States in 2012.

He's been living in Wellington for the past two years, where he found himself returning to world of office jobs after running out of money. He was hired by a company with an "open plan" layout, which was like being introduced to a new layer of hell.

Currently Sumit is on the road again, travelling, telling his stories and working on open source software. He is working on things he loves and spreading his stories, as well as gathering new ones. That is until he runs out of money.

Wednesday, February 25, 2015

Ode to the Cyclist & Other Poems by Andy Coyle - a book launch

 “the cyclist is a free spirit, a moment of faith, an endangered species, a breath of fresh air…”

Sneak preview! - Check this cover out.   We at Republic of Oma Rapeti Press are so proud to announce the release of our latest publication: the first major collection by poet, author, story-teller and performer of poetry Andy Coyle.  Along with Ben Brown and Doc Drumheller, Andy was one our featured poets in the inaugural Republic of Poets anthology.  The above image is the original cover artwork by Anita Clark (none other than Devilish Mary herself!)

Andy has been a stalwart of performance poetry and spoken word in Christchurch for the better part of two decades now, honing his craft while also writing a series of novels, touring with bands, raising a family, surviving earthquakes and running restaurants.  You know, all the easy stuff.  He's featured on Catalyst CDs, the touring 'Road Show', is a member of the Lyttelton 'band' of poets and was runner-up in the Christchurch Poetry Slam 2014.

Ode to the Cyclist and other poems is Andy Coyle’s first published volume of poetry.   The title poem celebrates the cyclist as a boundary crosser, a trickster, and the collection is full of those colourful characters who occupy the margins, the wandering poet, the lizard skinned junky, the urban shaman, the Christmas loner, the idealistic artist, the madman on the bus, the forgotten seaside destination, the voices on the wind, the long gone goddess, and the ghostly memories of an invisible city.

We're going to be holding a launch event for Ode to the Cyclist and other poems at the next Catalyst Open Mic night so if you're in the shaky city, head on down to the Twisted Hop on Ferry Rd, Woolston to get your advance copy, hear the words from the poets mouth and generally celebrate in the good old fashioned way with us. 

To whet your appetite, here's what we've got to say, as printed on the back cover:

Every time I see an adult on a bicycle, I no longer despair for the future of the human race.  H. G. Wells (1866-1946)
‘The cyclist is a boundary crosser, a trickster…’ Andy Coyle - Ode to the Cyclist

Ode to the Cyclist and other poems is Andy Coyle’s first collection of poetry. It highlights the best of Andy’s poetry over the last ten years, much of which has featured in the Catalyst literary journal.

The collection includes regional poetry from Bank’s Peninsula and Christchurch. It includes poems which explore the role of the poet in modern society. And through the image of the cyclist, tempts the reader into considering the role of the boundary crossers, the ones who can interpret the simple information hidden within the daily cycles of life, -sun, earth, moon, personality, -and through those equally simple and complex information sources, and through the simple joys of cycling and observing, to take pleasure in our world.
Also included in this selection is the poem Invisible City, Andy’s response to the loss of his city through earthquake. Andy was included in a group of artists who were invited to access the central city red zone (which was guarded by the army and only open to demolition teams) after the earthquake, to document an artistic response. Those responses, along with Andy’s tendency to cycle around the perimeter of the red zone in the bizarre darkness that was created by this red zone, formed the starting point for the poem.

About the Author:

Andy Coyle is a writer of poetry, fiction, theatre, songs, and menus. In both 2011 and 2014 he represented Christchurch in the NZ Poetry Slam finals. He is a regular contributor to the Catalyst Open Mic Night, The Catalyst Literary Journal, and the Catalyst Road Show. He has toured poetry around New Zealand and has appeared in a number of literary festivals, street festivals, performance festivals and Jazz festivals. He has had a short story filmed, a play performed, and a poem painted as a mural in the seaside suburb of New Brighton.

Tuesday, October 14, 2014

It's in our DNA...10 x (10 + -10) = 0 ... a ten year, ten book project completed

10 x (10 + -10) = 0 Book Launch

Thursday October 30th, 6pm
Scorpio Books 113 Riccarton Rd (03) 379 2882
live readings from the author plus original and new books available.

"Mission accomplished" famously announced a banner behind George W. Bush in 2003 on the deck of a US aircraft carrier just off the California coast, safely thousands of miles away from the (puzzlingly ongoing) hostilities in Iraq.

The 'second gulf war' is just one of the historical events captured in a series of books known as 10 x (10 + -10) = 0 by Doc Drumheller.  Devised as a kind of twisting DNA double helix of line restrictions and rhyme schemes spread over 10 books, each with a palindrome at its heart (where the strands intersect) the series captures many events and significant developments like a time capsule in a mesmerising, almost psychedelic form.  The central books (The Grey Area and The Missing Links) are themselves entirely made up of palindromic verse.

Drumheller begun this self-set mission of (more than) a decade in 2002, the year the human genome was finally mapped, no small inspiration for the structure of 10 x (10 + -10) = 0.  The first book of the sequence is entitled Blueprint for Ressurection or Destruction and the concluding chapter written some 10 years later is The Architecture of Apocalypse.

The first two chapbooks were accompanied by acclaimed multimedia performances bearing their name (Blueprint... and Fears and Fetishes) which made appearances in the Dunedin and Wellington Fringe Festivals and the NZ International Poetry Festival (Wellington).  They featured a unique blend of live and video-captured poetry, puppetry, perversion, curated soundscapes, pre-recorded and live video, found footage and costume.

The original chapbooks of the sequence are now rare collectors items with few of the original, limited print runs left.  They came accompanied with instructions on how to cut up and paste them together into long double helixes of poetry so there is no way of knowing how many books still exist in their original form.

Now the sequence is complete it is finally available in one collection: 10 x (10 + -10) = 0.  An impressive tome collecting all 200 poems from the sequence presented in their original shape and colours (each chapbook was entirely monochromatic, coloured according to the CYMK process with the central books presented in grey) plus extensive notes and introduction from the author, an index of phonemes used in the composition of the poems plus a never before published early poem, 'Inside Out', a precursor to the curious obsession of the series.

10 x (10 + -10) = 0 is the most ambitious publication to date from Republic of Oma Rāpeti Press.  A piece of New Zealand literary history, an anomaly, a time machine, a mathematical function, a shamanistic science experiment from a 'neo-music/poetry visionary'.

Republic of Oma Rāpeti media release:

10 x (10 + ˉ10) = 0 is a ten year project by Doc Drumheller. There are ten books (1 per year) published in this series. There are twenty poems in each book, inspired by the most significant events of that particular year.

“In 1999, a group of my friends leased a 1920’s maternity hospital where we experimented with music, film, theatre, performance art, photography, painting, sculpture, poetry, prose, sound engineering, gardening, spirituality, and rock ‘n’ roll,” Doc says.

“Our intentions were to complete a recording with the band The Puffins. We invested all of our money into buying recording equipment, fancy microphones, mixing desks, speakers, and we set up our own recording studio. It was during this time that I devised a formula for a poetic structure, that would later become: 10 x (10 + ˉ10) = 0,” says Drumheller

The poems were written using restriction writing techniques e.g.: restricted by the amount of syllables or words per line, parts 10 & ˉ10 in each book are palindromes, which means they read the same backwards as forwards.

“I was inspired by the work of 20th century art movements like Futurism, Dada, Surrealism, the Beat Generation, Absurdist Theatre, and the Oulipo,” says Drumheller.

10 x (10 + ˉ10) = 0 began after the mapping of the human genome in 2002.  This year was also significant as 20/02/2002 was the first perfect palindrome date in one thousand years.

“My first vocational aspiration was to become a medical researcher and my nights reading Gray’s Anatomy are reflected in the early work. I performed surgery on my ventriloquist dummy and pulled strings of sausages and poems from his insides at festivals around New Zealand,” Doc says.

Each book is designed to be cut up and reassembled and the poetry creates shapes inspired by DNA strands and explores phonemes like a mathematic symphony. 

“My aim was to create a time capsule of a decade and if there is any conclusion I could draw from this experience is that humanity has become too passive, the opposite side of this equation, is to become more active and engaged in the world around us,” suggests Drumheller.

This project compiles all ten books, presenting all 200 poems into one collection for the first time. A project of experimental and innovative poetry on this scale has never been produced in New Zealand.

“By completing this project, which I set as an almost impossible task, I have proven to myself that everything is possible, and hope that it may inspire other artists to challenge themselves to go for the limit,” says Doc.

Doc will perform poems from the project at the launch, and individual chapbooks from the series will be available for sale, as well as the 232 page epic:10 x (10 + ˉ10) = 0, collecting all ten books.