Mentorship for poet
CARIN Smeaton’s prose takes a look at life’s smaller moments.
It is smattered with slang from the conversations she has with people on Auckland’s streets.
Her favourite self-written piece, titled Panchi Bawara, talks of encounters with ‘‘goblins’’ and ‘‘rumpelstiltskins’’ on Karangahape Rd, and those who are ‘‘skint like da man on the concrete’’.
‘‘Some people have asked me: ‘ Do you rap?’
‘‘Online, where they can’t actually see I’m a white, middle-aged female.
‘‘Which is the good thing about writing, right?
‘‘They don’t see who you are, they’re just reading what’s inside of you and it doesn’t really matter your skin tone or how old you are,’’ she says.
‘‘So the dialect compensates for me not being able to say it out loud, in the flesh.’’
Smeaton writes under the pen name of Nira C but has had works published under both names in poetry collections and online.
‘‘It’s quite heavy on the slang and cussing,’’ she says of her work.
‘‘It’s also conversational – I’ll write it down as I hear it because my narratives are mostly about what people are saying to me or them telling me a story about what has happened to them.
‘‘I like writing because you have a voice and you can basically say what you feel.
‘‘You can actually express yourself,’’ the mother-of-two says.
Smeaton will be mentored by renowned Auckland playwright Vivienne Plumb after successfully gaining a New Zealand Society of Authors 2015 mentorship.
The scheme will see Smeaton given feedback by Plumb on her manuscript, Tales from the Gutter of my Heart.
The NZSA says 75 applications were received but just 13 mentorships were on offer.
Pt Chevalier comic artist Sally Bollinger will be mentored by Ant Sang, of the same suburb, under the scheme.
Sang is well-known as the character creator for animated television show Bro’ Town.
Bollinger has already had a taste of scriptwriting success.
She, along with younger sister Elsie and friends Minnie Grace and Claris Jacobs, created Shakespearean web series Nothing Much To Do ( Auckland City Harbour News, December 19 2014).
The series’ popularity saw fans donate more than $23,000 to the group for a second season.
Grey Lynn poet Carin Smeaton will be mentored through the New Zealand Society of Authors.
Comic artist Sally Bollinger of Pt Chevalier will be mentored by Ant Sang.