Groove Book Report: Tell Me My Name – Bill Manhire riddles; Norman Meehan music; Hannah Griffin song; Peter Peryer photographs – Published by Victoria University Press (Poetry + photographs + music CD)

Tell Me My Name Cover
Recently, I found myself caught up in the great Nobel Literacy Prize debate over whether Bob Dylan should have been awarded it or not. The arguments came from many sides but it all came down to this: Are lyrics poetry? That is, what makes lyrics suitable to be read; or recited; or sung or quoted; or used in a wedding speech; or a eulogy; or put on a pedestal and displayed around a Harbour walkway? Or anywhere? Do lyrics need music. Is that that what defines them or determines them from poetry? I guess the Nobel panel of judges decided that lyrics could stand alone as a legitimate branch of poetry – and QED a legitimate literacy work. That begs another question, too. Must a great literacy work be in a published book? Have any text or SMS works ever been nominated? Or even Kindle only editions. And, of course, one could easily argue that Rap is poetry – set to music or just recited. It doesn’t need Hip Hop to sell it, but it helps. Don’t let’s get started on that one.

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Jewel and Don Henley – TSB Arena, Wellington – 22 March 2017


Originally featured in

With a three-night stint in Aotearoa Henley rounded off his landed his four-decade time machine in the Capital with much ado and little fanfare.

Jewel Kilcher kicked off the evening with a simple solo set, beginning with a simple and stark a capella rendition of Somewhere Over The Rainbow. I haven’t see her perform since she performed in Wellington over 20 years. When she did that gig she was in her prime and she was very young, too. Her first album was out and she was enjoying the novelty of her first world tour. “This place is a barn” she remarked, noting the lousy sound and high reverberation. Back then the TSB really was a barn. Roll on a few years. Times have changed. Thanks to the shows like WOW (World of Wearable Arts) the place has come up to speed. And sound systems are definitely much better these days. All the better to hear Jewel. I’m still amazed at the purity of her voice. It’s still unique and so very clear. I don’t think it’s changed at all over the years. She still possesses the ability to jump octaves in a single song. The best example is during her big hits Who Will Save Your Soul and You Were Meant For Me. The latter she does with such aching passion that there’s not a dry eye in the place. She also rattles off a couple of others like Intuition, Hands, Standing Still and Foolish Games. Most of her material comes from the early albums. They all sound great in this stripped back format, as they were originally written.

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Launch of ‘Hit and Run’ at Unity Books 22 March 2017

Originally published on

“On 22 August 2010 New Zealand Defence Force (NZDF) elements, operating as part of a Coalition Force in Bamyan province, Afghanistan conducted an operation against an insurgent group…
Nine insurgents (not 12 as reported) were killed in the operation which targeted an insurgent group in the area where Bamyan province borders neighbouring Baghlan province.

Following the operation allegations of civilian casualties were made. These were investigated by a joint Afghan Ministry of Defence, Ministry of Interior and International Security Assistance Force Assessment team, in accordance with ISAF procedures….
The investigation concluded that the allegations of civilian casualties were unfounded.”
New Zealand Defence Force – Media Release – 20 April 2011.

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