Poetry Live Presents Ron Riddell and Luke Hurley

Please be aware of a different format for the 24th!

8 PM Open Mic
8.40 PM Ron RIddell
9.20 PM Luke Hurley
10 PM More Open Mic

Guest Poet -Ron Riddell
A painter, musician and the author of several plays and novels, he has published a little mountain of poetry books, and the mountain is still growing under his bed! Recent books are: Dance of Blue Dragonflies (poetry) and Pachamama & the Jaguar Man (novel). Previous work has been translated into ten languages. His long poem The Wanderer is being launched in New Zealand in 2020 by HeadworX Publishers of Wellington. Saray Torres is his wife. He has two sons Roland and Pablo, and three granddaughters Tuvia, Felicia and Ella, who all live in Sweden. Fonsie, his cat comes from Wanganui.

Ron Riddell worked for many years as a teacher, editor and bookseller and has performed his work in many festivals and cultural venues around the world, including The Edinburgh Festival, Harbourfront (Canada), El Festival Internacional de Poesía de Medellín (Colombia), El Festival Internacional de Poesía de Cartagena (Colombia), The Austin International Poetry Festival (U.S.A.), El Encuentro Internacional de Poetas (El Salvador), International Poetry Festival in Costa Rica, Festival de Poesia de Bogota and Chilepoesia in Santiago, Chile. He has been involved in a number of peace and cultural initiatives in Colombia, Chile, El Salvador, U.S.A. and New Zealand and has been the founder and organiser of many writers’ workshops and cultural gatherings in New Zealand, Great Britain and Colombia. In Auckland in the 1970’s Riddell founded The Titirangi Poets and later in the 1990’s established a haven for poets with the Live Poets’ Café which adjoined the Dead Poets Bookshop in Karangahape Road. In Wellington he founded The Wellington International Poetry festival. He has published twenty-one collections of verse. In 2004 he was finalist in The Wellingtonian of the Year Awards. His verse collection, Leaves of Light was awarded The House of Poetry International Poetry Award for 2005. Dance of Blue Dragonflies (2016) and his most recent novel, Pachamama and the Jaguar Man (2018) received an award from The Ministry of Culture in Bogota. At present, he divides his time between New Zealand and Colombia. His work has been translated into German, French, Swedish, Japanese, Turkish, Arabic, Hindi, Bengali, Uzbek and Spanish. He’ll be reading from his new book The Wanderer.

Guest Musician – Luke Hurley
Luke is a guitarist and singer / songwriter. Born in Kenya, grew up in Zanzibar till age 12 then moved with family to NZ. He achieved a degree of early success on student radio with the song “Mona Lisa” in the early 1980s at University of Otago in Dunedin.. 2 songs were featured on the film ‘Insatiable Moon’.
He has been writing songs and singing them for more than 30 years. Other well known songs include Make Room, Kings Cross, Limited Liability, Fait Accompli or others.
You may have met him during his travels in Australia, UK, Ireland, Sweden, Denmark, Norway, Germany, France or any one of dozens of towns in New Zealand.

Poetry Live Presents Jeremy Redmore and Elizabeth Kirkby-McLeod

Tighten your bootstraps, ladies and gents, Poetry Live MC, Jamie Trower is back in the saddle and ready to rodeo you the greatest of times this side of the summer solstice!

It’s Poetry Live’s 40th Year, so on the 3rd of March starting at 8:00PM, we have two fantastic guests to wow you all!

First up, we have Jeremy Redmore. Entertainer and artist, Jeremy Redmore is a brilliant musician who started making tracks in the music industry as the lead-singer of Midnight Youth. After releasing the platinum-selling album, The Brave Don’t Run, it peaked at number two on the NZ album charts, won three New Zealand Music Awards and the tune ‘All On Our Own’ scored a Silver Scroll for the most played song in 2009! You wouldn’t think that you could get any better in a music career. So when Jeremy left the band in 2012, he strived to better not just his music but himself along the way and succeeded absolutely.

He casually opened for Ed Sheeran in April 2014 and, that July, released his first solo album, Clouds Are Alive which reached number six in the charts. His second album, The Brightest Flame consists of 11 songs that are divided into five chapters and release dates. The story in the music illustrates shock, isolation and hope. The album will all come together in its final installment on March the 20th.

Also, last November, it was announced that Jeremy and the rest of Midnight Youth are going to reunite for a one-off reunion show at the Tuning Fork and they’re opening for My Chemical Romance! You really don’t want to miss seeing Jeremy at Thirsty Dog on the 3rd!

After Jeremy amazes us, we’ll have our usual 30(ish) minutes of open-mic and then our guest poet!

Elizabeth (Libby) Kirkby-McLeod is an Auckland author whose poetry and writing have appeared in a range of New Zealand publications, including takahe, Landfall, Poetry New Zealand Yearbook, Newsroom, and the NZPS 2018 anthology, The Unnecessary Invention of Punctuation.

She was long-listed for the 2008 Six Pack 3 authors anthology and her poem ‘Her Warning Signs’ was Highly Commended in the 2018 International Poetry Competition. Her first poetry collection Family Instructions Upon Release was published in November 2019 with The Cuba Press.

Its first print-run quickly sold out and the collection has been praised by reviewers in The New Zealand Herald and Radio New Zealand National. She has a children’s book forthcoming with Gilt Edge Publishing. Elizabeth also reviews poetry, is an active member of the NZSA Auckland branch and produces the NZSA Oral History Podcast series.

Elizabeth has a First Class Master of Creative Writing from AUT, where she was a recipient of the Dean’s Award for Excellence in Postgraduate Study.

Then the second half of open mic! What a thrilling time we shall all have!

Koha donation too would be greatly appreciated for our guest musician and poet 🙂  

Poetry Live! Presents: Judith McNeil and Glevie

This is Poetry Live’s 40th Anniversary Year
As part of this year we are featuring as guest poets some of Poetry Live’s past MCs.

Guest Poet: Judith McNeil

Judith McNeil started writing poetry 40 years ago and hasn’t stopped since. With others she set up four-by-two publishing in 1995 to publish Tongue In Your Ear, an anthology of poets who read live. Ten years later, after volume 9, Judith decided it was time to publish some of her own work, including After 1984, All My Shirts and Going East: a journey with my mother. She had believed that reading her poems aloud was publishing enough but it was also gratifying to see her work in books. She will read from these books and some of her more recent poems inspired by her life in the country.

Guest Musos: Glevie


Glen and Yvie have always had a love affair with music. Yvie has been singing since before she could talk and Glen has been playing music for most of his life. After meeting seven years ago, they found common ground with their favourite music and have been playing together ever since.

MC: James Crompton

Rough Schedule

8pm: Glevie
8.30 Break
8.40pm Open Mic Part 1
9.10 Break
9.20 Judith McNeil
9.50 Break
10.00 Open Mic Part 2

Please bring koha to support our artists.
Open Mic is a 5 minute limit.

Ease in to the New Year with All Night Open Mic

MC Sophie here wishing you all a happy 2020!

Help me ease back in to the new year with all night open mic this Tuesday. If you want to you can bring along an acoustic instrument (no plug ins, no faffing) and do a song, or if you have the skillz do one a cappella. Keep it to 5 mins though or I will bear hug you off the stage.

Can’t wait to see you y’all tanned selves.

Last Night of the Year!

Come and celebrate another great year of Poetry Live! this Tuesday with all night open mic!

Every open mic performer goes into the Xmas raffle! There are two small xmas gifts up for grabs so if you haven’t been up on the PL stage before, but you’ve always wanted to, then tonight is the night!

Poetry Live! Presents Sophie Procter & Joel Vinsen

Wowzers! It’s December already!? What a year it’s been! On Tuesday, 3rd of December, we have two very special guests who are going to set the silly season off with a shazaam! Fellow MC and poetry-legend Sophie Procter and guitar-extraordinaire, Joel Vinsen!

We will start at 8:00pm with Open Mic and around 9ish, we will have Sophie and Joel perform together for us!

Joel Vinsen – guitar extraordinaire, teacher and experimental improviser – and Sophie Procter – poet, long time Poetry Live alum and MC – first played together at The Kerouac Effect, an event that randomly pairs poets and musicians to create a magical mishmash of creativity, since then Soph and Joel have been super keen to play together again.

After they’ve performed their set, we will have the rest of Open Mic!

What a glorious time we shall all have!

Koha donations appreciated greatly.

Pop in for a drink, a yarn and listen to some awesome poetry!

MC’d by the forever loud, proud and shaky Jamie ‘as cool as a cucumber’ Trower.

Poetry Live! presents Gus Simonovic & Waveforming

Book launch: “The Alien Brain Balm” by Gus Simonovic

Gus Simonovic is a cultural catalyst; poet, educator, creative entrepreneur, publisher, and a producer. His work has been widely published, and performed, locally and internationally. Gus is a driving force behind long-standing poetic project “Printable Reality” (www.printablereality.com).
Even though he can be hard to understand, at times – his English seems to be broken all in the right places. He claims he understands himself, and is dedicating his life and work to understanding others. Most of his actions are inspired by simplicity, sustainability, beauty and minimalism.
As a Yoga teacher, massage and Reiki therapist, Gus combines his passion for arts and dedication to well-being in running creativity classes, workshops and retreats;
for youth and adults. To book a performance or a workshop please contact gus@printablereality.com

Guest musician : “WAVEFORMING”
Weaving landscapes of sound that expand and shift across the fabric of time & space – “WAVEFORMING” brings you a musical collage of colourful compositions

MC Kate Kelly

Guests from 9pm til 10pm
Koha entry to support the guest and musician

Poetry Live! presents Ivy Alvarez & Christ ‘Albi’ Dent!

Tuesday 19th November, 8pm at The Thirsty Dog, cnr Howe St and K Rd.

Guest Poet: Ivy Alvarez

Ivy is the author of The Everyday English Dictionary (Paekakariki Press), Disturbance, and Mortal. Her latest poetry collection is Diaspora: Volume L. A MacDowell Colony Fellow, and a Hawthornden Fellow, her work is widely published and anthologised, with several poems translated into Russian, Spanish, Japanese and Korean. Born in the Philippines and raised in Australia, she lived in Wales for almost a decade, before arriving in New Zealand in 2014.

Guest Muso: Chris Dent

Chris a.k.a. Albi, is a soulful singer songwriter who wears his albinism with pride. Whether it’s hitting the road with his award winning band Albi & The Wolves, causing musical chaos with Zarek & Albi in Europe or just sitting in a local bar all on his own he brings passion and humour to each situation. His style changes from act to act but in a solo set expect to hear tales from the road, groovy folk songs, and his takes on popular music that’s performed in his unique way. After 10 years of making music he always brings a great energy to the stage so do not miss the opportunity to see him perform with one of his acts or all on his own. You will not regret it.

Rough Schedule

8pm Chris

8.45-9.20pm Open Mic

9.30-10pm Ivy

10.15pm Open Mic

Poetry Live! Presents: Richard Taylor and DogRL

Guest Poet: Richard Taylor

‘The last word shall want a word’ (Richard Taylor).
Richard Taylor has published three books including the chap book Singing in the Slaughterhouse, and the more ‘official’ books RED, and most recently Conversation With a Stone.
Born in Auckland he worked as a labourer in factories and in many similar jobs then trained as a Lineman for the Post Office. He studied for a Cert. of Engineering in telecomms and electronics while bringing up three children in South Auckland. Around 1988 he started writing and reading again and also attended Auck. University & got a BA in English Lit and Philosophy. Around this time, starting in 1989, he read at Poetry Live and continued to. Later he was published in various poetry magazines including Poetry NZ and Brief Magazine. He was in the performance group ‘The Poetry Bratz’ (organized by Raewyn Alexander) with Renee (Naima) and Yves Harrison, Linda Earle, Olwyn Sterwart and others. He performed some works at the university drama production ‘Red Zephyr’ at the Little Maidment.
His style is difficult to pin down and those who have heard him have either been instantly sent to sleep forever: or have been hugely overwhelmed by his passionate rage and furious storms of words, all of which wildness & ‘Sturm’ may indeed ‘signify nothing’. His mind has been said to be like an Enormous Ice Cream. Others see him as crazy in a jolly way. He searches endlessly down dawnless side alleys for the perfect coffee and donut…Regardless, it has been said of Richard that he exists….For years, he tells me, he has been deeply concerned about the fate of the red wire and the blue wire, and where they went to: when I inquired why & what these were, he was at a loss…In fact, he became as enraged at these injurious questions as any Icecream, and he told me to go away. “Perspicacious” “craggy” “donut” “intaglio” “coffee” “cream” “blopp” and “fog” he tells me are among his favourite words, and he remains happy with, if stupefied, by himself….
He informs me he once wrote a poem called ‘Oxymoronologologolistical’….
He has a Blog called EYELIGHT where he is now slowly & with near infinite stupefaction & tediousness assembling his Infinite Project. Asked what & why that was he burst into an angry string of invective, then fell back and said:
“I don’t know — who am I anyway?”
It seems to me that such profoundly silly utterances are what makes Richard so fascinating in an immensely tedious but ineffable way…

Guest Muso DogRL (aka Peter Thumath)

I’ve been writing (scribbling) for a few years now. For the last 5 I’ve been a regular at Poetry Live at the Thirsty Dog, performing under the stage name of DogRL Last year I made the finals of Going West Poetry Slam. The one and only slam I’d ever been to! For years I’ve been bashing an old guitar. I’m no virtuoso but like to think I can keep some kind of rhythm. Woody Guthrie famously said “any more than three chords and you’re showing off” I thought he meant three chords in total. I realize now he may have meant per song. For me songs have always been about the lyrics as much as the music. So it was a natural progression into song writing from poetry. I mentioned to a workmate that I was going to perform on stage. He said “aren’t you supposed to get that out of your system when you’re 18?” I guess so; it’s just that I’m a late developer. So when James asked if I knew of a musician for the guest spot; naturally I said yes !

James Crompton

Rough Schedule
8pm DogRL
8.30 Break
8.40 First Open Mic (First Session)
9.10 Break
9.20 Richard Taylor
9.50 Break
10pm Open Mic (Second Session)

Thankyou for bringing koha to support our guests.
Thankyou for keeping to a 5 minute limit on Open Mic.

Poetry Live! Presents: Mental Health Awareness Week

Kate Kelly & Glevie

Tuesday 24th September @ The Thirsty Dog

Cnr K Rd and Howe St

Mental Health Awareness Week

Guest Poet: Kate Kelly

Kate Kelly likes to pretend to be a Doctor to allay the stress of worrying about the environment. Please plant a tree!

She currently works in Mental health as a Residential support worker and as Peer support. This is a challenge that she relishes.

Poetry is an outlet that she really cherishes, please bring your Mental Health poetry along, this is something to be supported and celebrated.

Guest Musos: Glevie

Glen and Yvie have always had a love affair with music. Yvie has been singing since before she could talk and Glen has been playing music for most of his life. After meeting seven years ago, they found common ground with their favourite music and have been playing together ever since.

MC: James Crompton

Rough Schedule

8pm: Glevie
8.30 Break
8.40pm Open Mic Part 1
9.10 Break
9.20 Kate Kelly
9.50 Break
10.00 Open Mic Part 2

Please bring koha to support our artists.
Open Mic is a 5 minute limit.