Wellington and the Aotearoa Poetry Film Festival

After two cancelled flights, one missed connection and being put on standby, Lilián and I finally arrived in Wellington at the end of my birthday, 23 October. We came over to New Zealand at the invitation of the Aotearoa Poetry Film Festival and it was a wonderful experience working with the other judges, Chris Price and Paul Wolffram, to discuss and choose the winning films. Here are some photos from the Roundtable 'How to Film a Poem' with Annie Collins (filmmaker); James Littlewood (Going West); Judy Boyle (filmmaker); Charles Olsen (APFF Jury and filmmaker).

Two of our films, Llanto congelado (Frozen Cry) and Paisaje urbano (Urban Landscape) were shown in the Retrospective of New Zealand Poetry Film at Light House Cuba on the opening night of the festival and the closing night was the screening of the finalists and the awards ceremony, which we participated in. For many in the audience it was their first experience of poetry film and they told me they were surprised at how enjoyable and varied the films were. Below are some photos during the awards ceremony, and you can see more photos from the festival on aotearoapff.com/photo-galleries.

I popped into Unity Books at 57 Willis Street, Wellington, and they kindly agreed to stock all three of my poetry collections – Sr Citizen (2011), Antípodas (2016) and La rebeldía del sol (Rebellious Sun, 2022) – they are all published in Spain (with poems in both Spanish and English) so if you would like a copy it may be your only chance, unless you are planning a trip to Spain!

I have lots of people I want to catch up with in Wellington and hope I have time of Christmas and the New Year before we return to Spain! It was lovely to finally meet Mary McCallum of The Cuba Press and Mākaro Press in person! She has been supporting the Given Words competition I run for National Poetry Day for many years and is also a novelist and poet.

It was so lovely for Lilian Pallares and I to participate in the radio show for Spanish speakers, Radio Qué Onda, earlier this week in Wellington. We spoke about poetry film and our participation in the Aotearoa Poetry Film Festival. We read our poems and shared a couple of our favourite music tracks.

You'll find the podcast – Que Onda!-07-11-2023 – to listen to or download on the following links:

Ngā mihi to everyone who has made our trip to Wellington possible. It has been a wonderful experience so far, and even the weather has had its good moments!