10th October 2017 @ Poetrylive

8PM at the Thirsty Dog, 469 K’rd

Guest Poet: Michael Steven

Michael Steven was born in 1977. His poems, essays and short fiction have appeared in places such as Brief, IKA, Landfall, Phantom Billstickers Cafe Reader, and Poetry NZ Yearbook. A chapbook The Story of My Past Lives is forthcoming from Maungatua Press later this year, and Otago University Press will publish a collection Walking to Jutland Street.

He is in the final year of a BCA at Manukau Institute of Technology, and lives in West Auckland with his partner and newborn son.

Guest Musician: Sean McMahon

Exceptional song writing is what has always stood out first and foremost for Melbourne artist Sean McMahon.  His momentum and motivation as an artist is solely inspired by each and every song as it forms somewhere in a realm of make believe, between real life experience and desire.  While largely inspired by the American songbook, its traditions and its champions, he’s just as likely to find inspiration up and down the highways of his home Victoria as on Hwy 61.  His poetic and melodic style of song writing is loaded with confessional narratives and vivid story telling that explore and exploit themes we may all know well, however, it’s his ability to craft a song, and his warm and honest vocals that set him apart.

‘Shiner’ by Sean McMahon and the MoonMen
is out now and available on all formats via

Open Mic: all welcome to read/perform

Koha entry

MC Rachael


3rd October 2017 @ Poetrylive

8PM at the Thirsty Dog, 469 K’rd

Guest Poet: Vana Manasiadis

Vana Manasiadis is a poet, creative writing teacher and editor who was born in Wellington and has lived in Greece, Italy and France. She holds a Masters in Creative Writing from the IIML. Her work regularly features in New Zealand literary publications and her first collection; Ithaca Island Bay Leaves: A Mythistorima, was published by Seraph Press in 2009

Vana is editing and translating a series of bi-lingual collections with Seraph Press. In 2016, the first of the series; Shipwrecks/Shelters, a selection of contemporary Greek poetry was published.This year, Vana is co-editing a bilingual volume of poetry by Maori women writers with playwright Maraea Rakuraku.

Vana’s writing has the vibrancy and elasticity of a native multilinguist. Her work is both cultured and kiwi – a gorgeous collision.

Guest Musician: Lukas Wharekura

Lukas fronts the award-winning NZ band Strangely Arousing. He’s a singer-song writer and guitarist, who exudes raw creativity through a vibrant genre fusion of reggae, rock and roots with ska notes.

His powerful vocal and unabashed emotion will have you spellbound and sparkly-eyed.

MC – Simone Kaho

26th September 2017 @ Poetrylive

8PM at the Thirsty Dog, 469 K’rd

Guest Poet: Mark Rafills

“…wearing three hearts on his sleeve, handling his damning like Little John’s staff, a bent bough from the strongest tree, consumed by the fire of what it means to be free…”

So goes a couple of lines from former Golden Bay poet Mark Raffills’ poem Hallelujah.

Some years ago reviewer Matt Bowler wrote of Raffills, ”The live poet is obvious; the words have both a lyrical and rhythmic quality. There is a depth to the poetry but at the same time, its heart is on its sleeve.”

“It’s what I do pretty much,” nods Raffills in agreement, “wear my heart on my sleeve, hang my poems and stories out for all to see; tell them raw, so to speak!”

The poems will be out for all to hear at Poetry Live this Tuesday 26 September as Raffills fills the guest slot at the Thirsty Dog on K Road.

A finalist in the NZ Poetry Slam 2011 and 2015, Mark Raffills has shared the stage with the likes of Hone Tu Whare, Rachel Bush, David Eggleton, He has performed at venues throughout NZ, as well as a few in Australia. either solo or with the bluegrass/folk/blues-based Dirt Floor Alliance. And he has performed a few gigs over the years with American slam champions Carrie Rudzinski and Ken Arkind.

“The live performance gets the adrenalin going,” says Raffills. “It is one thing to get the words out of the head and heart and on to the page; it is another to convey them across the space that exists between the page and the audience.”

In his words, “matters of the heart, our place on the planet and observations of family and friends” are muse and inspiration for the words which so far have found their way into three self-published collections: ‘The Cornfield and other Poems’, ‘Grace and Favour’ and ‘Loved, Misloved and Loved Again’.

After thirty years in Nelson and Golden Bay, where he helped co-ordinate both Nelson and Golden Bay Live Poets groups, Raffills last year moved to Snells Beach north of Auckland to take up grandfather duties! 

Guest Musician: Rob Tuwhare

Rob Tuwhare is a Trustee and whanau representative for the Hone Tuwhare Charitable Trust, and his late father’s literary executor. He lives in Auckland and is a carpenter.
He will be playing original music and sharing a few stories.


MC – Ken Arkind
DJ Pegleg on the magic magic music music.

12th September 2017 @ Poetrylive

8PM at the Thirsty Dog, 469 K’rd

Guest Poet: David Merritt

David Merritt, one of the nicest poets you’ll ever meet, he’s old and crinkled and well worn by experience, both good and bad. His readings are special events that run for literary reprobates, out of a box that he can carry around everywhere.


Guest Musician: MW Sellwood

MW Sellwood is an Auckland blues musician. Equally at home performing songs on stage or a street corner, his groovy electric riffs and playful vocals combine for a fresh take on Blues music in the new millennium!

Open Mic: all welcome to read/perform

Koha entry

MC: Rachael

22nd August 2017 @ Poetrylive

7.30PM at the Thirsty Dog, 469 K’rd

Poetry Live! Celebrates National Poetry Day

Get warmed up for National Poetry Day 2017 with Poetry Live!

On our annual resurrection Night, all are invited to dress up as or pay homage to a favourite poet from the past on our Open Mic, with special guest C.K. Stead. Music by Cricket Farm. There will be prizes and giveaways and a shout of finger food from Poetry Live and Thirsty Dog, supported too by Phantom Billstickers National Poetry Day.

CK Stead poet, novelist, critic is The New Zealand Poet Laureate for 2015-2017. He was Professor of English at the University of Auckland from 1967 to 1986, and is still Professor Emeritus. His awards for poetry include: The Jessie Mackay award, the New Zealand Book Award for poetry, the King’s Lynn Poetry prize, the Hippocrates Prize for Poetry and Medicine, and the Sarah Broom prize. His Collected Poems 1951-2006 received a Montana Prize in 2009. Other literary awards and prizes include: The Katherine Mansfield Short Story award, the New Zealand Book Award for fiction (twice), the Sunday Times/E.F.G. Private Bank short story prize. Stead was awarded the C.B.E. in 1986 for services to New Zealand literature. In 2007 he was made a Member of the Order of New Zealand. In 2009 he received the Prime Minister’s Awards for Literary Achievement.

Cricket Farm are Joel, Hayley and Sims. they tell the hard truth in a soft voice; music for hopeless romantic conspiracy theorists.
Since forming in Auckland, New Zealand in 2016, Cricket Farm have performed shows at festivals, in bars, on the street and in folk clubs, including borderline music festival, Kingsland folk club, and Auckland Live. Multidisciplinary artist Hayley Robertson (vocal/ukulele/clarinet) brings her background in performing and screen arts to the stage, Simon Ross (vocal/acoustic guitar) draws on a wealth of experience playing in dub/reggae group yebiisu, and punk bands the Murderchord and We Dunno. Joel Vinsen (vocal/acoustic and electric guitars) draws influence from jazz and improvised music, and is involved in an eclectic range of projects, including afro/funk band Ijebu Pleasure Club, Spiral, and Panhandlers. together they are firm friends, whose dynamic and sound is both delightful and thought provoking.


Open Mic: either your poem/s or paying homage to a favourite poet from the past.


MCs Rachael, Sophie, Ken and Matt

8th August 2017 @ Poetrylive

7.30PM at the Thirsty Dog, 469 K’rd

NOTE: We will be starting at 7.30 instead of 8pm on this night of poetry and music

Guest Poet: Courtney Sina Meredith feat. Kingsley Melhuish


Courtney Sina Meredith is a poet, playwright, fiction writer and musician. Her play Rushing Dolls (2010) won a number of awards and was published by Playmarket in 2012. She launched her first book of poetry, Brown Girls in Bright Red Lipstick (Beatnik), at the 2012 Frankfurt Book Fair and her debut book of short stories Tail of the Taniwha (Beatnik) was launched in 2016 to critical acclaim. Meredith describes her writing as an ‘ongoing discussion of contemporary urban life with an underlying Pacific politique’. Meredith is part of a delegation of New Zealand writers traveling to the Edinburgh International Book Festival 2017, she will appear in 21st Century Women, curated by guest selectors Roxane Gay and Jackie Kay and also alongside Scottish poet MacGillivray. Meredith will share the 2017 Arts Queensland Poet in Residence with renowned poet, musician and author Joy Harjo. Her poetry and prose have been translated into Italian, German, Dutch, French, Spanish and Bahasa Indonesia. She has held a number of international writers’ residencies including the prestigious Fall Residency at the University of Iowa where she is now an Honorary Fellow in Writing.

Kingsley Melhuish was reared on a diet of mavericks that included Lester Bowie, Miles Davis and David Bowie. Such inspiration has produced evocative, haunting and dramatic music, mindful not to take itself quite so seriously. As a multi-instrumentalist, Melhuish has a broad sound palette shifting gears between the trumpet, flügel, trombone and tuba. With a commanding voice as a songwriter, and his evocative conch shells this is an artist who never fails to captivate his audience.

Guest Musician: Judith McNeil

Judith McNeil spent many years covering other, mainly women, artists before presenting her own songs drawn from her Westie roots and penned with love and affection for friends, acquaintances, family members and the country she travels. She has been described as a female Leonard Cohen. Her music has also been likened to drinking a cup of mint tea. She has performed at open mic sessions around Auckland, including Diablo, Grand Central and Snatch

Bar on Ponsonby Road and Roasted Addiqtion in Kingsland, also Titirangi, Rafters and East Coast Bays Folk Clubs. More recently

Open Mic: all welcome to read/perform

Koha entry

MC: Rachael

11th July 2017 @ Poetrylive

8PM at the Thirsty Dog, 469 K’rd

Poetry Live Presents

Elizabeth Morton

Callum Gentleman

and a farewell to Kiri Piahana Wong


Elizabeth Morton is a poet, fiction writer, and reviewer from Auckland. Her poetry and prose are published in New Zealand, UK, USA, Australia, Canada and online. She is the feature poet in the Poetry New Zealand Yearbook 2017. Her own poetry collection, Wolf, was published by Mākaro Press (2017). In 2013 she was winner of the New Voices Emerging Poets competition. She was shortlisted for the Kathleen Grattan Award (2015) and was, twice, 2nd place in the Sunday Star-Times Short Story Competition (2015, 2016).

Side-projects include: collecting obscure words, penning bad rap music, studying the brain, and exploring coastal rock pools. She likes to write about broken things, and things with teeth.


Callum Gentleman plays blues/folk noir with the odd dash of country. It’s Nick Cave meets The Smiths in a dark alley where they conspire to kidnap Bob Dylan and move to New Zealand. It’s Tom Waits sharing a bottle of moonshine with Leonard Cohen at 4am. He’s a raconteur, trouper, chancer, and murder ballad lover. But above all, Callum Gentleman is a storyteller. These stories come out as songs, poems, campfire yarns, whiskey-soaked bar banter. Stories about good people doing bad things, and bad people who try hard to be good…but often fail. Stories of fallen angels staring to heaven, contrite demons yearning for redemption, down and-out junkies scrounging for a dollar, the devil gets it on with the wrong hooker. Stories told in a child’s whisper, a father’s tears, and a drunken man’s roar.

Callum started playing in Paris and London before returning home to New Zealand, where he’s done numerous national tours. He’s also begun gigging around Australia. He often performs with allies Joel Vinsen (guitar) and Sam Loveridge (violin) beside him, but is just as happy going solo. Callum is also one half of poetry/experimental guitar duo Panhandlers. 

We are also saying farewell to our Kiri who is leaving our MC Team. Please join us in celebrating Kiri’s time with us. 


Open Mic: all welcome to read/perform

Koha entry

MCs: Kiri & Rachael

4th July 2017 @ Poetrylive

8PM at the Thirsty Dog, 469 K’rd

Guest Poet: Te Kahu Rolleston

Te Kahu Rolleston (Ngāti Ranginui and Ngāi Te Rangi) is a spoken word poet and performer known nationally and internationally and the winner of a number of awards. His compositions are in Te Reo Māori and English and he is inspired by generations of orators, haka, waiata and Ngā Manu Kōrero.


Guest Musician: Jacqueline Carter and James Webster

Jacqueline Carter (Ngāti Awa, Ngāti Maru, Ngāi Te Rangi and Pākehā) is a composer, poet, singer and teacher aide, as well as a member of Te Hā Contemporary Māori Writers and its Auckland regional group Te Hā ki Tāmaki. James Webster (Tainui, Te Arawa and Pākehā) is a maker and player of taonga pūoro (traditional Māori musical instruments) as well as a tā moko (traditional body art) practitioner, multi-media artist and kai whakairo (carver). He has performed and played both the taonga pūoro and the karetao (traditional “puppets”) nationally and internationally and in a variety of settings, as well as exhibiting his artwork and doing tā moko. James and Jacqs have come together again, after several years of doing their own thing, to perform a range of original compositions, and gratefully supported by whānau and friends. We hope you enjoy – Ngā mihi o te wā nei! Ko te hokinga mai o Matariki, ko te whetū o te tau, he tau pai te tau, hē tau ora te tau, tihei mauri ora!

Open Mic: all welcome to read/performKoha entry

MCs: Kiri & Rachael

27th June 2017 @ Poetrylive

8PM at the Thirsty Dog, 469 K’rd

Guest Poet: Tim Heath

Tim Heath is a contentedly retired teacher who, whenever possible, spends time writing poetry, which he endeavours to get published. He has been an MC at Poetry Live, where he relished the contact this gave him with a riotous collection of other poets. He enjoys performance poetry – this enthusiasm has seen him win a number of major Auckland Poetry Slams, including Poetry Idol and Going West. Recently, he was one of the poets featured in the flatteringly titled “The Best of the Best” at the Auckland Writers festival. His first collection of poetry, entitled “Not as the Crow Flies” is scheduled for publication later this year.
Time for these activities is happily compromised by involvement with family, especially his eight superb grandchildren, reading, cooking, gardening, ocean sailing, watching cricket and dreaming. 

Guest Musician: Sane-Va

Sane-Va is of Samoan decent, but was born and raised in Auckland. He started playing the piano when he was five years old, and has since acquired a taste for classical music, particularly Mozart, Beethoven and Bach. He completed his grade 8 practical exam with the Royal Schools of Music in 2014 and has occasionally performed in small recitals at school, in pubs and elsewhere. He also finds great interest in most genres in music, particularly jazz.
Outside of music, Sane-Va also enjoys sport. He rowed and played rugby for Mt Albert Grammar School until he left in 2013. He has played rugby for the Ponsonby Ponies until 2016. He also likes play basketball and golf.
Sane-Va is deeply fascinated with science, mathematics and technology. He is currently in his fourth and final year at the University of Auckland, studying for a bachelor of Mechanical Engineering, where he is currently conducting a yearlong project to design and build an acoustic levitator.
In the future, Sane-Va hopes to travel the world, especially Europe and the United States, before settling into a career in engineering. He also plans to further his education in skills in music.Open Mic: all welcome to read/perform

Koha entry

DJ Pegleg on the 7’s and 8’s

13th June 2017 @ Poetrylive

8PM at the Thirsty Dog, 469 K’rd

Poetrylive presents Double Feature

JaradUPS feat. Miriam Barr & Hannah Owen-Wright

As a boy, vocalist, beats producer and songwriter JaradUPS fell asleep each night listening to strange noises coming through the wall. Much later he realised this was the bass from the disco next door. A long time artist and drummer in many bands he ditched the live band format and started translating his lyrical melodies into eclectic digitally produced Electro-Emowave songs in 2010 under the moniker New Hang Ups. Touring NZ and regularly gigging New Hang Ups delivers a fun, colourful and energetic stage show incorporating a mini trampoline to help inspire people to get UPS.



Miriam Barr is an Auckland-based page and performance poet with a background in psychology, recently completing her Doctorate. Her poetry has been published in Landfall, Takahe, Brief, 4th Floor, Poetry NZ, Potroast, REM Magazine, Blackmail Press, The De-Formed Paper, Enamel, Magazine, JAAM and Wild Goose Poetry Review. Her first major collection, Bullet Hole Riddle, was published by Steele Roberts in November 2014. She has previously self-published two collections of her poetry, Tangents (2006) and Observations from the Poetry Factory (2007).  She has performed her work widely, both solo and in collaboration with other poets, artists, dancers and musicians. Miriam has a long history of promoting poetry and poets through a range of mediums including being a former Poetry Live MC, and National Coordinator of New Zealand’s annual National Poetry Day.


Hannah Owen Wright is an Auckland musician & performance poet.  She has featured on the Poetry Live stage in various guises and collaborations, and we look forward to seeing the guise she will be performing under on this night.

Open Mic: all welcome to read/perform

Koha entry

MC Rachael