past event

Lunchtime Poetry Reading

Friday 21 Sep 2018

View event on Facebook

Join us for a lunchtime reading with poets Ya-Wen Ho, Alison Wong and Vanessa Crofskey.

This event marks the conclusion of the week-long Asian Aotearoa Writers’ Occupation at Enjoy. 

Alongside the Asian Aotearoa Arts Hui 2018 (AAAH) held in Wellington from 20–23 September, Enjoy has collaborated with hui organisers to invite a group of writers to ‘occupy’ the gallery space over a week. The invited writers have used the gallery as a work and gathering space, installed work that physically claims space and maps shared concerns, and overseen a series of accompanying public programmes.


About the writers

Ya-Wen Ho is a letterpress researcher, graphic designer, and poet currently living in and working from Wellington. As research assistant for the Chinese Scholars’ Studio project at Wai-te-ata Press, Victoria University of Wellington, she is cleaning and archiving a unique collection of Chinese metal type, once used to print the New Zealand Chinese Growers Journal (1949-1972). As part of the project, she researches and contextualises the local history of the Growers Journal within broader Chinese-language print histories. 

Always seeking to bridge academia and broader communities, she also practises as a poet and freelance graphic designer. Her first book of poetry was published by Tinfish Press (Hawaii, 2012). Literary awards include a Horoeka/Lancewood Reading Grant in 2015 and the Ema Saiko Poetry Fellowship at New Zealand Pacific Studio in 2016. She designs print matter, from community zines to the first English-Mandarin bilingual edition of 25 Best New Zealand Poems (Wai-te-ata Press, 2016). A Taipei-born New Zealander, she works bilingually between Mandarin and English, merging the two languages in performance.

Alison Wong is a Chinese New Zealand poet, novelist and creative non-fiction writer. She now lives in Australia and moves back and forth across the Tasman. In the 1980s she spent two years in China on a NZ-China Student Exchange Scholarship then spent 1994 in Shanghai. In 2014 she returned to China for the Shanghai International Writers’ Programme and in 2016 for the Sun Yat Sen University International Writers’ Residency. 

Her debut novel, As the Earth Turns Silver,won the 2010 New Zealand Post Book Award for Fiction and was shortlisted for the Australian Prime Minister’s Literary Awards. Her poetry collection, Cup, was shortlisted for Best First Book for Poetry at the 2007 Montana New Zealand Book Awards and her poetry appears in Best New Zealand Poems 2015, 2007 and 2006. She was a judge for poetry at the 2018 Ockham New Zealand Book Awards. Her work has been translated and published internationally.

Vanessa Crofskey is a young multidisciplinary artist who works within text, performance and installation. She identifies as Chinese/European and is interested in language as an object of both intentional violence and resistance.

Vanessa was the recipient of "Best Storytelling" and Auckland Theatre Company's "Here and Now" Awards at the Auckland Fringe Festival in 2017. She is the 2015 University of Auckland Slam Champion and current Auckland Regional Slam Champion. 

Described as a “rising star of spoken word” by the Spinoff, Vanessa has worked on poetry films for Auckland Museum, performed at Auckland Writer's Festival, in Alice Canton's Other:Chinese and presented work in a number of exhibition spaces including: RM, Window Gallery, PAWA and The Performance Arcade. She is published both in print and online.