Category: What’s on

A Projection of Pride 

Whether you’re a part of the Rainbow community or an ally, October has some great opportunities to commemorate the Manawatū Lesbian Gay Rights Association’s (MaLGRA) birthday month. 

That classic combo of coffee and creativity will be on offer this Wednesday evening, from 5.30pm, as we celebrate diversity and acceptance. Writers are welcome to share their rainbow positive poems and we’ll also have a selection from our wonderful collection for people to browse and read aloud. 

Information about other rainbow-positive activities happening in Palmerston North this month can be found here. 

Read the Rainbow with our queer poetry and young adult recommendations. 

Recommended Queer Poetry:

Don’t call us dead: poems 

By Danez Smith 

Out here: an anthology of Takatāpui and LGBTQIA+ writers from Aotearoa 

Curated by Chris Tse and Emma Barnes 

Echidna, or, the many adventures of Hinenākahirua as she tries to find her place in a colonised world: included throughout is the story of Māui-Pōtiki & Prometheus  

by essa may ranapiri 

100 Queer Poems 

Curated by Mary Jean Chan and Andrew McMillan 

Recommended Rainbow Reads for Young Adults 

  

We Could Be Something 
by Will Kostakis 
 
A wonderful emotional rollercoaster of a novel about two young men, each on a journey of discovery. It’s part coming-out story, part falling-in-love story, part relationship breakdown story, part extended Greek family story. It’s warm and funny, a little bit heartbreaking, and completely satisfying. Harvey’s dads are splitting up. It’s been on the cards for a while, but it’s still sudden. Woken-by-his-father-to-catch-a-red-eye sudden. Now he’s restarting his life in a new city, living above a cafe with the extended Greek family he barely knows.Sotiris is a rising star. At seventeen, he’s already achieved his dream of publishing a novel. When his career falters, a cute, wise-cracking bookseller named Jem upends his world.Harvey and Sotiris’s stories converge on the same street in Darlinghurst, in this beautifully heartfelt novel about how our dreams shape us, and what they cost us.’Vivid and exquisitely written… Kostakis weaves a sparkling tale of hardship, heartbreak, identity and the universal struggle of finding your footing in the world.” 
 
 

Simon vs. the Homo Sapiens agenda 
by Becky Albertalli 
 
“Sixteen-year-old and not-so-openly gay Simon Spier prefers to save his drama for the school musical. But when an email falls into the wrong hands, his secret is at risk of being thrust into the spotlight. Now Simon is actually being blackmailed: if he doesn’t play wingman for class clown Martin, his sexual identity will become everyone’s business. Worse, the privacy of Blue, the pen name of the boy he’s been emailing, will be compromised. With some messy dynamics emerging in his once tight-knit group of friends, and his email correspondence with Blue growing more flirtatious every day, Simon’s junior year has suddenly gotten all kinds of complicated. Now, change-averse Simon has to find a way to step out of his comfort zone before he’s pushed out — without alienating his friends, compromising himself, or fumbling a shot at happiness with the most confusing, adorable guy he’s never met.” 

Nick and Charlie 
by Alcie Oseman 
 
A short novella based on the beloved characters from Alice Oseman’s acclaimed debut novel Solitaire and graphic novel series Heartstopper. CHARLIE: “I have been going out with Nick Nelson for two years. He likes rugby, Formula 1, dogs, the Marvel universe, the sound felt-tips make on paper, rain and drawing on shoes. He also likes me.” NICK: “Things me and Charlie Spring do together include: Watch films. Sit in the same room on different laptops. Text each other from different rooms. Make out. Make food. Make drinks. Get drunk. Talk. Argue. Laugh. Maybe we’re kind of boring. But that’s fine with us.” Everyone knows that Nick and Charlie are the perfect couple – that they’re inseparable. But now Nick is leaving for university, and Charlie will be left behind at Sixth Form. Everyone’s asking if they’re staying together, which is a stupid question – they’re ‘Nick and Charlie’ for God’s sake! But as the time to say goodbye gets inevitably closer, both Nick and Charlie question whether their love is strong enough to survive being apart. Or are they delaying the inevitable? Because everyone knows that first loves rarely last forever…” 
 
 

Georgia Peaches and Other Forbidden Fruit 
by Jaye Brown 
 
“Joanna meets the perfect girl for her and must decide whether to break a promise that could change everything for her and her family or lose out on love in this charming young adult romance. Joanna Gordon has been out and proud for years, but when her popular radio evangelist father remarries and decides to move all three of them from Atlanta to the more conservative Rome, Georgia, he asks Jo to do the impossible: to lie low for the rest of her senior year. And Jo reluctantly agrees.Although it is (mostly) much easier for Jo to fit in as a straight girl, things get complicated when she meets Mary Carlson, the oh-so-tempting sister of her new friend at school. But Jo couldn’t possibly think of breaking her promise to her dad.Even if she’s starting to fall for the girl. Even if there’s a chance Mary Carlson might be interested in her, too. Right? 
 
 

Icebreaker 
by A. L. Graziadei 
 
“A. L. Graziadei’s Icebreaker is an irresistible YA debut about two hockey players fighting to be the best—and the romance that catches them by surprise along the way.Seventeen-year-old Mickey James III is a college freshman, a brother to five sisters, and a hockey legacy. With a father and a grandfather who have gone down in NHL history, Mickey is almost guaranteed the league’s top draft spot. The only person standing in his way is Jaysen Caulfield, a contender for the #1 spot and Mickey’s infuriating (and infuriatingly attractive) teammate. When rivalry turns to something more, Mickey will have to decide what he really wants, and what he’s willing to risk for it.This is a story about falling in love, finding your team (on and off the ice), and choosing your own path.” 
 
 

Annie on My Mind 
by Nancy Garden 
 
When Liza Winthrop first lays eyes on Annie Kenyon at the Metropolitan Museum of Art, she knows there’s something special between them. Soon, their close friendship develops into a deep and intimate romance. Neither imagined that falling in love could be so wonderful, but as Liza and Annie’s newfound sexuality sparks conflict in both their families and at their schools, they discover it will take more than love for their relationship to succeed.   One of the first books to positively portray a lesbian relationship, Annie on My Mind is a groundbreaking classic of the genre. The subject of a First Amendment lawsuit over banned books and one of School Library Journal’s “One Hundred Books that Shaped the Century,” Nancy Garden’s iconic novel is an important story for anyone discovering who they’re meant to be.” 

Language Expo 2023

On Saturday Sep 30, 1-4pm, Manawatū Multicultural Council are putting on a Language Expo at the Central Library.

They say: “Join us as we celebrate some of the languages we have in Palmerston North. Perfect for school holidays as there will be lots to see and plenty to do! Language stalls, traditional language games, arts & crafts, reading & writing workshops, reading station and multilingual storytelling!”

More details here on the MMC Facebook event listing.

Creative writing showcase

On Wednesday the 4th of October, seven of the finest student writers from Massey University Te Kunenga ki Pūrehuroa will present a showcase of their work at the City Library. The writers represent a range of genres and literary styles, each with their own individual voice.

The showcase will be hosted by Doctors Gigi Fenster and Thom Conroy from Massey University. Massey’s creative writing programme has been running as an independent programme since the establishment of the Master in Creative Writing in 2011. Dr Fenster says it has “grown to be a flourishing part of New Zealand’s literary community. We offer papers for first year students trying out creative writing for the first time through to established writers undertaking a PhD. Our papers cover a wide range of genres and literary disciplines.”

Quizzed on the importance of creative writing in Aotearoa today, Dr Fenster responds: “I could say that creative writing is therapeutic, that it helps to alleviate stress, that it helps us make sense of the world, to make connections, to understand humanity. And all that would be true. But I wonder whether its real value is found not in any of these ‘goals’, but rather because, like any other art form, it makes our hearts sing. Good writing makes us feel something intensely, and to emerge from the experience unscathed.”

Palmerston North City Library is a proud supporter of making people’s hearts sing in this way. The creative writing project ‘Versions’ is in its fourth year now, and has more participation than ever before. Anyone can have a go at writing, and enjoy the experience of being published. As the Library’s masthead says, it’s all about Te Ara Whānui o te Ao: exploring all the pathways of the world. These opportunities are open to all, and who knows? A first-time writer might be encouraged to take it further. Maybe even study creative writing at Massey!

Come to the showcase and get a taste of the craft, the imagination, and the drive, that makes a great writer.

“We are so proud of our writers’ achievements,” says Dr Fenster, “and of the wealth of talent in the Manawatū region.”

Off The Page is a series created as a collaboration between Massey University Te Kunenga ki Pūrehuroa and Palmerston North City Library.

Light refreshments from 6:15pm

Showcase 6:45pm

Mahuru Māori

As a continuation of our celebration of te reo Māori, here at the Palmerston North City Library we acknowledge Mahuru Māori. As well as our regular activities: 

Kōrero Kawhe

Manu Hāpai waiata group

Here are some more activities during Mahuru:

Rorerore Tōtiti – Sausage Sizzle

Kiriata reo Māori me te kānga pahū – Māori language movies and popcorn!

Learn more about Te Wiki and Mahuru:

Te Rangaihi Reo Māori | Māori Language Movement (reomaori.co.nz)

Mahuru – Me kite, Me Rongo, Me Kōrero (mahurumaori.com)

Te Taura Whiri i te Reo Māori

Nankeen Night Herons – Presentation

With only about 50 birds, and only found along the Whanganui River, the Nankeen Night Heron is one of New Zealand’s rarest breeding birds. For the first time in 28 years, we have found nests, and been able to photograph them from nest building to chick fledging. Renowned NZ bird photographer and author Paul Gibson will present a highly illustrated talk about these local beauties that are very special to our area. He will also add a little bit about a godwit with the tag AJD, featured in his book Feats Beyond Amazing.

Paul will have some of his books for sale.

Photograph by Paul Gibson, courtesy of Unique Pictorials

Part of the monthly presentation series brought to us by Forest and Bird Manawatū branch.

Tuesday, 12 September 2023, 7:30pm – 8:30pm, Central Library. All welcome. More details here.

Chinese Language week

New Zealand Chinese Language Week 17-23rd September 

New Zealand Chinese Language Week (NZCLW) was first launched in 2014 designed to increase Chinese Language learning in New Zealand. NZCLW seeks to bridge the cultural and linguistic gap by delivering fun and practical initiatives that encourage people to learn Chinese. Celebrate this year with our local Chinese organisations who have organised an exciting range of activities in the city. 

At Central library 

Sunday 17th September 

An afternoon with PN Chinese School  

1.30pm-3.30pm 

Calligraphy, storytelling and crafting workshops.

First Floor, Children’s area 

Raising Bilingual kids in Chinese Culture 

1.15-2.15pm 

Presentation with guest speaker Melody Chang. Run by the Manawatū Chinese Association, Active Learning.  

All parents welcome.

Oroua Room, Ground Floor 

17th September- 23rd September 

Student Work Exhibition 

Come and see what the PN Chinese School have been working on! 

First Floor, across from the Community Languages area 

Display by Manawatū Chinese Association 

Learn more about Cantonese Language! 

First Floor, across from the Community Languages area 

As part of NZCLW 2023 the book ‘Weka’s Waiata’ by Nikki Robinson has been published in Mandarin Chinese, te reo Māori and English. It’s a trilingual children’s book!

“Together We Read” on Libby

From Sep 27 to Oct 11, there’s a programme called “Together We Read” on Libby, which lets multiple people read/listen to the same title at the same time – no wait lists!

This year the featured title is Aotearoa-based author Charity Norman’s Remember Me.

In Remember Me, Emily Kirkland returns to New Zealand to care for her father, who suffers from dementia. As his memory fades and his guard slips, she begins to understand him for the first time – and to glimpse shattering truths about his past. Truths she’d rather were kept buried.

The ebook and audiobook can be read on all major computers and devices, including iPhone®, iPad®, Android™ phones and tablets, Kobo® tablets and eReaders, and Chromebook™ and there are no waiting lists or holds. The title will automatically expire at the end of the lending period, and there are no fines for late return.

Find out more about Libby here.

See more about Together We Read here.

Or pop in and see us!

‘Versions’ writing project

Every year the City Library gives you the opportunity to get published!

We give you a writing prompt to get you started. Let it take you wherever it will!

Submit your finished short story, poem, play script, or song, and we’ll publish it.

Maybe you’ve never written but want to give it a try, or maybe you’ve already done a lot of writing but want something quick and fun to do. Versions is for everyone!

We’re all about celebrating the abundance of creative talent here in the Manawatū.

Keep your eye on our What’s On page for the prompt announcement each year, or contact us to learn more.

‘Reading Unleashed’

with Canine Friends Pet Therapy and Palmerston North City Library

Reading to dogs can offer children a non-judgmental, calm, and supportive environment in which to practice both their reading and reading aloud skills. Studies have shown an association between reading to dogs and improvement in reading, motivation, emotional wellbeing, self-esteem, confidence, self-perception, and/or concentration. It is also suggested that the presence of dogs can help reduce a child’s stress levels and, thereby, possibly helping the young reader to develop a more positive approach to learning.

Excited by such potential, Palmerston North City Library and Canine Friends Pet Therapy are very happy to introduce ‘Reading Unleashed’ – a free programme where children can practice their reading in a fun way by reading to one of Canine Friends’ beautiful dogs.

Sessions are available for primary school aged children, and currently run at all Library locations during term time. Individual sessions run for 15 minutes and bookings are essential: email content@pncc.govt.nz. See all the times and days available on the What’s On page.

Look forward to meeting you at ‘Reading Unleashed’.

Kay: Content Development Librarian

‘Writing For Children’ panel discussion

Some of Aotearoa New Zealand’s best writers will feature again in this year’s Off the Page series.

We launch on Wednesday 26 April, 6:30pm with a panel discussion on Writing for Children featuring a panel of multi-award winning authors.

Kate de Goldi
 says, “there is nothing quite as rousing and nourishing for a writer as close proximity to the imaginative life and perspective of young people”. Read about Kate’s life in books and thoughts on reading or listen to her talk about her passion for hooking children into good quality literature and her work co-editing Annual, a collection of stories, comics, poems, crosswords, games and songs – created by some of the best New Zealand writers and illustrators – now up to its third edition.

Brigid Feehan thinks that young people and older people sometimes see things clear and true – things that people in the middle might be too distracted to see. Her latest novel, The Life and Times of Eddie McGrath, portrays the forming of a strong bond between an old woman and a young girl, who only meet by chance, over their shared affinity for animals. Read about her approach to writing for young adults.

One piece of advice Philippa Werry offers to young writers is, “Be curious. People tell each other stories every day. Learn to listen to them”. Philippa wanted to be a writer from very young and wrote stories, poems and book reviews for the Children’s Page in the Saturday Evening Post newspaper, “and I still have the book that I pasted them into!” Check out this Stuff article about her influences and how she writes.

Anna McKenzie was born here in Palmerston North before moving to Hawkes Bay. Extremely versatile in her approach, her most recent novel tells the story of a young woman coming of age in the years of WWI. Listen to Anna talking at NZ Festival Writers Week about the origins of Evie’s War, the stories that stand behind it and the research that supports it.

The Off The Page series includes talks, readings, discussions and workshops from and for writers and connects the Manawatū to the beating heart of contemporary literature. The series is a partnership between Massey University School of Humanities, Media and Creative Communication, Bruce McKenzie Booksellers and the Palmerston North City Library.