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.