Johanna Aitchison

The 2012 Writers Read Series kicked off on 27 April, with Massey’s Johanna Aitchison sharing a selection of her poetry. It was held at the Palmerston North City library on a fittingly dreary and stormy night.

Johanna Aitchison
Johanna Aitchison

Jo described the evening, which was attended by about 30 people, as “playful, fun and a bit wacky”.

“I tried not to make it too serious, as a lot of poetry readings can be quite emotional. I tried to add a bit of humor.”

This was the first of a series of seven readings, with a different writer featuring each month.

Jo, the 2012 Writer-in-Residence for Massey, is also one of the creative writing tutors. She previously trained as a lawyer, but quit in order to follow her passion of writing. She graduated with a Master of Arts in Creative Writing at Victoria University, and went on to have her poetry published in North & South, Poetry New Zealand, Sport and Landfall. Her second book, A Long Girl Ago, was a finalist in the Montana New Zealand Book Awards. She is currently working on her third book, Thank You For Not Touching.

The next Writers Read features playwright, screen writer, and fiction writer Duncan Sarkies, and will be on Friday 25 May at the city library, from 7pm-8pm. Entry is free, with drinks and nibbles at 6.30pm.


The Waves ate other Waves with their White Teeth

I hid in the forget-me-nots,
I folded up my face after work,
Prepared to get rid of the dirt.
Seagull was smashing his beak
Into the window, screaming
“This is not what I want!”
Half house, slim kitchen, sun on the carpet . . .


Begins with fiend and ends
With a deep shock
Walking into itself in the dark
You came like a flag,
Waving in your black dress,
Sat at the edge of my bed and said,
“Remind me of myself, will you?”
Your voice, rain breaking
Pipes on the roof, shaking
Dark trees at the side of your face.
You walk through Cuba Mall,
Watch the dog watch the fountain fall
With a yap!
While Mervyn conducts himself at the doorfront
His friend gently paints his face in a plastic bag.
And the voices that you pass bark or ask,
What is it, which way is it now.

Miss Dust Decides to Have a Baby

It was something to do with the fact that she was 35.
It was something to do with the fact that Turbo
took her to speedway on their second date,
& her Karen Walker top got splashed with mud.
They walked hand-in-hand to the hot dog stand
Then Turbo said, “It’s time to go to the pits.”
Down and down they took the stairs,
which were carpeted with bruised roses.
Miss Dust said, “I never expected
the pits to look like this.”

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