It truly was a gathering of literary luminaries when literature and art magazine takahē celebrated 31 years of circulation with the recent launch of its 100th issue at, most fittingly, the Sign of the Takahē.
Current takahē chair, Jeni Curtis, introduced guest speaker and takahē founder, Sandra Arnold, whose anecdotes on the birth of the magazine were both historically intriguing and entertaining.
Aotearoa Poet Laureate, David Eggleton, then read three poems: ‘A Week in the Valley’, ‘Dear Reader’, and ‘The Burning Cathedral’ – a moving poem about the fire of Notre Dame.
Next to take the stage was local poets James Norcliffe and Bernadette Hall, followed by takahē essay editor, Andrew Woods.
Cindy Botham, from Tauranga, read her poignant poem ‘From the Settlers’ Cemetery, Akaroa’, which won the takahē Monica Taylor Poetry Competition Award, 2020.
‘Strike the Pounamu’, a 100-line poem on voices of Aotearoa, was read by takahē poetry editors Gail Ingram, and Jeni.
With 84 of our country’s finest poets having contributed lines to the work – such as Vaughan Rapatahana, Sue Wootton, Karen Zelas, Michael Harlow, Siobhan Harvey, Fleur Adcock, Albert Wendt and former poet laureate Elizabeth Smither – it was, indeed, the perfect ending to a poetic night.