Monday, June 26, 2017
Saturday, June 24, 2017
Lowlife: short storiesby Michael Botur
A Whangarei writer says ‘working class’ experiences he has had throughout his 20s and early 30s as part of Generation Rent inspired his latest short story collection.
Michael Botur releases Lowlife: short stories in Whangarei on July 12. The book is Botur’s fourth short story collection, with previous collections garnering strong reviews.
Lowlife has a thoroughly Northland flavour to it, featuring a unique “gang patch” cover referencing the ‘dirty realism’ style and content of the book.
“The Lowlife stories are about people stuck in conflict trying to work their way out of it, trying to make their lives better,” Botur says.
“My characters often share frustrations with me as we both try to make our lives better in a part of the country where there’s not much money circulating. Buying a cheap house in Tikipunga and trying to escape Generation Rent has been a particularly big influence on me. That’s a class conflict thing, and class conflict is a big theme in the stories.”
Michael Botur works as a freelance journalist for Northland DHB and as a content writer of blogs and property and parenting columns. His recent publications include poetry in Manifesto Aotearoa: 101 Political Poems published by Otago University Press and flash fiction selected for Bonsai: The Big Book of Small Stories by Canterbury University Press. Botur is author of previous short story collections Spitshine (2016), Mean (2013) and Hot Bible! (2012). Awards include
250pp ISBN-13: 978-1547018598 RRP $24.99
Conquistador Puzzle Trail translated into Spanish and free copies sent to 350 Schools and Universities in New Zealand
The Embassy of Spain in New Zealand and author Winston Cowie have collaborated and translated Cowie's book, Conquistador Puzzle Trail, into Spanish. Conquistador Puzzle Trail proposes that Spanish or Iberian navigators may have been the first Europeans to voyage to New Zealand, over 100 years pre Abel Tasman.
The Spanish version is entitled "Nueva Zelanda, Un Puzzle Historico: Tras la pista de los conquistadores espanoles," which means: “New Zealand, a history puzzle: After the traces of the Spanish Conquistadors.”
As part of the celebration of launching the Spanish version, the Embassy of Spain and Cowie have sent a free English version, to 350 Secondary Schools and Universities in New Zealand.
The Ambassador of Spain comments that “this book focuses on the cultural relations between our two countries that despite being in the antipodes they might have shared a common history. It is really a food for thought not only for scholars but also for students in the schools of New Zealand.”
Author Winston Cowie, states "I am incredibly grateful to the Embassy of Spain, New Zealand for their ongoing collaboration and cooperation. To have Conquistador Puzzle Trail now translated into Spanish and distributed across Spain, and the English version now in most Secondary Schools and Universities in New Zealand is a proud moment. My hope is that students will read the book, and in time become teachers themselves, and perceptions changed in respect of the European discovery of New Zealand. What is needed is a robust public debate on the subject, and more research, in order to move knowledge forward. Everybody has a role to play."
The Embassy of Spain and Cowie have also offered a free personal copy to the first 10 history teachers that volunteer to write their own objective review on Conquistador Puzzle Trail.
The Embassy of Spain and Winston Cowie look forward to the ongoing discussion on the theory that the Spanish and other Iberians were the first Europeans to voyage to New Zealand.
“Plus ultra,” ‘Beyond’, as the Conquistadors would say.
Gunshots Are Too Common by Patrick Pink, Auckland
When Winter Comes by Rachel Smith, Christchurch
It won’t happen again by Shani Naylor, Wellington
Birdman in Aotea Square by Anita Arlov, Auckland
Kinaesthesia by Allan Drew, Auckland
Shipboard Romance by Fiona Lincoln, Lower Hutt
Spindrift by Janis Freegard, Wellington
The Math of Me by Jessica Thompson, Dunedin —
Peace and Quiet by Derek Jones, Auckland
Scar Tissue by Nikki Crutchley, Hamilton —
Scout by Robyn Maree Pickens, Dunedin
The Chlorinated Mermaid by Nikki Crutchley, Hamilton
Three Dresses by Jessie Puru, Auckland
The Cold by Joy Tong, age 15, Auckland
Dear Satan by Asha Clark, age 12, Tauranga
The Brass Angels by Russell Boey, age 15, Christchurch
What Happens Next by Jacinta van der Linden, age 17, Kaitaia
Cake and Ice-cream by Jana Heise, age 12, Northland
Ode to Joy by Monica Koster, age 15, Christchurch
The Worry Troll Who Lives in my Head by Annick Laird, age 15, Northland
Excuses by Joy Tong, age 15, Auckland
Interchange by Freya Kelly, age 12, Wellington
The Carnival by Dominic Botherway, age 10, Queenstown