14th November 2017 @ Poetrylive

8PM at the Thirsty Dog, 469 K’rd

Guest Poet: Sophie Procter

Sophie: “I’m a storyteller, poet, and I make kick-ass coffees. The coffees pay the rent, plus I get to interact with so many crazy and interesting people. I’m always listening and always learning and very often practicing the virtue of patience….Writing and creating is what pays my soul, and with that I get to express and leave a little something in this world that hopefully ignites a spark in others.”

Sophie had her visual poetry exhibited just this weekend in group show, vīsuālis at the NZ Poetry Conference and Festival, and her poetry collection is in its last proofing stage which will be launched in the new year.


Guest Musician: Jessy Wadeson

With 20 years of various singing and songwriting experience ranging from musical theatre to old school blues and solo travelling musical journeys, Jessy has recently moved to Auckland and started a band with a bunch of rad young lads. There is some sexy soul going on and things are gonna get bigger. This night, Jessy will be performing solo once more.


Open Mic: all welcome to read/perform

Koha entry

MC Rachael


7th November 2017 @ Poetrylive

8PM at the Thirsty Dog, 469 K’rd

Guest Poet: Serie Barford

Serie Barford was born near a Rongo stone in Cornwall Park to a migrant German-Samoan mother and a Palagi father and grew up in West Auckland. She is published in print and digital journals and anthologies and in four poetry collections. Entangled Islands (Anahera Press), her latest collection, combines poetry and prose. 

In 2017 Serie’s been published in Black Marks on the White Page, Manifesto: an anthology of political Poetry, Atlanta Review, Forty Years of Titirangi Poets, the School Journal, the Phantom Billstickers Project, Best NZ Poems (2015) translated into a bilingual Italian-English edition by Francesca Benocci and Palabras Prestadas #109 – poems translated into Spanish by Charles Olson.


Guest Musician: Damian Anderson

Damian Anderson is from Putaruru and have been playing in band, Jam Dr, for 10yrs. His passion for original music has always been the driving inspiration. He has a diploma in music and is a registered member of APRA (Australian performing rights association 

He will be performing original work at Poetry Live as a solo artist – Dae, a gentle but stirring mix of RnB, reggae and rock.  

Open Mic: all welcome to read/perform

Koha entry

MC Simone

31st October 2017 @ Poetrylive

8PM at the Thirsty Dog, 469 K’rd

                             Maddy O’Dwyer

                        w- Callum Gentleman


hit the garden like a technicolour shell

Weed hackers squatted and snarled at ankles where suburb edge bled into ghetto.

I groped at the streets till

I knew them, terrified

I’d fall out.”

Join us for a classic Poetry Live! Book launch featuring music from Callum Gentleman

Baby Teeth is the debut poetry collection by Madison O’Dwyer. It tells the story of a poet and a city slowly falling in love — and then being thrown abruptly out of it. From the drunken griefs and uncertain romances of youth to the curves of the sky and the edges of the waterfront, Baby Teeth is what is left when an adolescence is shed in our city of sails: a book of wolfishly devoured moments, the first real bites of life.

Open Mic: all welcome to read/perform

Koha entry

MC Matt

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