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Featuring the poetry of Simon Williamson
Arranged and performed by Mike Eager

3-7 March, 8.00pm
Katipo Café, 76 Willis St, Wellington
Bookings: 021 064 5893 Cost: $15/12/11

"Every poet is a bit like Maui; part myth, part reality"

So begins Haimona, a fringe festival show of rich language and imagery performed by Mike Eager telling the story of his friend Simon Williamson using Simon's own poetry.

Simon died in 1999 at the age of thirty-one. He was well known in the New Zealand underground poetry scene and was regularly published in publications such as Takahe and Jaam, but his greater recognition has come posthumously with two published books displaying the range of his poetic vision (Storyteller and Twenty-five Cars).

Mike has arranged and linked a sequence of Simon’s moving poems to form a narrative - taking the audience on a journey from Simon's childhood in the Waikato into the tumultuous experience of mental illness, which included a short stay in Purehurehu, a locked ward at Porirua Hospital. From there a road trip to the serenity of the Hokianga and a return to Wellington's Lyall Bay resulting in a recovery of self and belief in his artistic mission.

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Maori culture is an enriching element in the narrative that makes up Haimona (Haimona is Maori for Simon). As Apirana Taylor wrote in an introduction to Simon's book Storyteller, "Through his respect for Maori he was able to weave Maori terminology and mythology successfully into his work, and his vision and talent as a poet enabled him to understand Maori concepts which have always been expressed in poetical terms".

Haimona features a new backing soundscape, created by sound engineer Stephen Upston.

Devisor Mike Eager knew Simon well from the late 80's when they were part of a performance group called Poetrycorp. Mike has previously developed poetic sequences as theatrical narratives, touring a sequence of his own poems Living First Class in a Third World Country through Northland and another sequence has become the spoken narrative of a short film The Firewood Tree.

A copy of Simon Williamson's book Twenty-five Cars - which includes the poetic sequence Haimona as well as Miss you, bro, a powerful sequence against suicide - will be a bonus with each ticket that is purchased.


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