Purple Roses and Prussian Blue

Empty chairs awaiting the poets.

It was a rare treat Saturday afternoon to attend a poetry reading by five southern New Zealand poets at the wonderful Eastern Southland Gallery in Gore. The opportunity to hear poetry where we live is unusual. My title was inspired by colour content from two different poems, colours always make a big impression on me! I took a few photos with my cellphone with the flash disabled, apologies they’re shaky as the camera was a bit slow.

The five southern New Zealand poets were (L-R):

David Eggleton, Cilla McQueen, Kay McKenzie Cooke, Jenny Powell, Richard Reeve


Kay McKenzie Cooke was first up to the lectern and it was a joy to hear Kay reading some of her Gore-related poems. She’d spent her older childhood years in the Gore District. I’d got to know Kay through blogging and it was very special to meet her in person for the very first time. She has a WP blog at  CUTTINGS.  Also Wikipedia article

Kay McKenzie Cooke reading from her book ‘Born to a Red-Headed Woman’

Next up was Richard Reeve. “Richard holds a PhD on ‘New Zealand poetic reality’, and is a lawyer by profession.” — Academy of New Zealand Literature website


Then Jenny Powell. I’d already read how Kay McKenzie Cooke and Jenny Powell team up together as J&K Rolling and take their poetry out to various communities in Otago and Southland. For more information see Kay’s page  J&K Rolling  and she’s done a very scenic post on their  latest trip (to Glenorchy).


After a break it was a treat to hear Cilla McQueen (Bluff) reading. Well-known poet and New Zealand Poet Laureate 2009-11.  Wikipedia article


David Eggleton wrapped up with an animated performance of several of his poems. He is the current New Zealand Poet Laureate. Wikipedia article


Huge thanks to the five southern New Zealand poets who read poetry today and also to the Eastern Southland Gallery in Gore for hosting the event and providing refreshments during the intermission break. Event held Sat 16 November 2019.

Text and photos by Liz except for the Cilla McQueen photo by Nigel.
Exploring Colour (2019).

2 thoughts on “Purple Roses and Prussian Blue

Add yours

  1. Thank you Liz! It was lovely to meet you. And thanks for coming and being part of the Gore crowd who were receptive, warm and engaged. Someone suggested we make it a yearly event! And what a great venue … I need to make another visit and have a proper look at the paintings. I just didn’t have the time today. Thanks again for this write up, it’s very special and very kind of you.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. It was a real pleasure to attend and to write about the event Kay.. the idea of this being a yearly event is awesome. If your group is willing, that would be amazing!


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