Writers Group: Show Us Your Angsty Teenage Poetry

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A Dr Martens ad for Pavement mag  featuring sulky teenaged me, sometime in the early 90s.

We are all roaring with laughter—not a polite chuckle in sight. I mean tears streaming, snorting, thigh slapping, high pitched, cross your legs before you have an accident laughter. Hell, it feels good. Emma, Kirstin and Kiri started this Writers Group in Point Chevalier four years ago, Anna joined later, I joined three months ago, and Mary’s new tonight. So, perhaps that’s the joy of laughing so hard—it joins us together, affirms that we have things in common, that we like each other. I love these girls already.

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True friends don’t judge your teenage poems. They laugh.

The reason for our laughter? We’d agreed to bring along a poem from our teenage years.

Earlier that evening I’d scrambled around the attic looking for the black ring binder that contained laboriously typed pages and pages and pages of poetry written between 1994 and 1996, when I was aged 17 to 20, studying journalism at AUT. The poems abruptly stopped in March 1996 when my father died, my pen stunned into silence for years after. I’d thought for a time that the poetry in that black folder might win competitions, make me famous, or at least find me my very own Ted Hughes. Continue reading

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Book Review: Heart to Start (2013) by Derek Handley

I first met Kiwi entrepreneur and social change-maker, Derek Handley, in the early 2000s when we were party-mad 20-somethings, downing champagne and mojitos (or Manhattans if you’re Derek) at Auckland’s Crow Bar. At the time I owned a model and talent agency, and our wider group had that glorious unbreakable optimism of youth—we felt like we owned the world. But what most of us didn’t realise, while we were getting into mischief and staying up half the night (Derek included), was that Derek had almost been bankrupted, and, between drinks, was feverishly masterminding global technology ideas. In 2009 he sold his company, The Hyperfactory, to U.S. company Meredith Corporation, for an undisclosed sum. Oh, and bought half of Crow Bar—just for kicks.

Handley, Derek

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Time to Honor Elegance

In 1999, a very special woman took a chance on me. She bet on me when she could have placed her chips on anyone else; saw something in me that – at 23 – I had yet to see in myself. And here’s the thing, this week I’ve discovered just how many other people she has believed in – cultivated, loved, nurtured and set free into the world. I think it is time she is recognized for all she has done for the New Zealand fashion industry.  Continue reading