Lilliput Libraries

A nice piece of serendipity this morning when I heard the irrepressible Ruth Arnison being interviewed on National Radio about Lilliput Libraries – I came across my first one, number 251, recently on Stewart Island / Rakiura.

The Rakiura Lilliput Library is next to Beaks and Feathers in Oban. Photo: Sandra Simpson

Ruth started the Lilliput Library project 8 years ago in Dunedin as a personal endeavour, although has since passed it on to the various communities while still co-ordinating it. Number 302 has just opened in Invercargill, and the project has extended to Queensland. Listen to the interview here (15 mins).

I was delighted to find a book I wanted to read, and even happier to be able to replace it with one I had enjoyed.

Ruth was awarded a Queen’s Service Medal in 2018 for her services to poetry and literature, which includes Poems in the Waiting Room (ended last year) and Step Sisters. The interview includes her thoughts on the importance of reading for children.

I’ve posted about cute community libraries before, after seeing one in Iran and one in the United States.


Tools of the Trade

Several New Zealand haiku poets (and one Australian) have been involved with the PoARTry Exhibition Tools of the Trade, which is running at Mercy Hospital in Dunedin for the month of March 2021.

Hospital staff provided words around their work that had meaning for them, poets created works inspired by these words, and artists created works inspired by the poems! Another amazing event from the brain of Ruth Arnison, co-ordinator of the Poems in the Waiting Room project. All artworks are for sale with poets, artists and PitWR sharing the proceeds.

Uber-talented Tasmanian poet and artist Ron Moss has created a lovely video to help promote Tools of the Trade.

You can see one of my haiku in the video, a poem which has inspired a beautiful cushion cover by fabric artist Imogen Berwick.

The other haiku of mine that was chosen appears in the hand-made concertina book by craftsman printer John Holmes.

spring morning –
an aura of light pulses  
around the heart monitor

Sandra Simpson

Happy NZ Poetry Day!

August 23 is National Poetry Day in New Zealand. Thanks to the indefatigable Ruth Arnison of Dunedin patients in the city’s Mercy Hospital will today receive a PoARTry card on the tray with their lunch.

Ruth has co-ordinated 10 local artists to create works in response to 10 poems/haiku and she’s had photos of the artworks made up as postcards with the poems on the reverse side. The original artworks will be on display and for sale at Mercy Hospital for a two-week period.

“Mercy Hospital is sponsoring the Poems in the Waiting Room poetry cards for four editions so this is my way of saying thanks to them,” Ruth tells me.

Laura Gregory has taken up one of my haiku and created a lively Market Lady (painting on MDF board).

‘Market Lady’ by Laura Gregory. Photo: Ruth Arnison

end of harvest
we pull out the leaves
on the dining table

– Sandra Simpson

This is the same haiku that last year inspired a mosaic by Greta Doo. Read more here.