Creative community offers an ode to Joy
Tributes flowed for arts doyen Joy Green, who died suddenly last Thursday night. Joy’s personality, intellect, generosity, energy and range of interests attracted eulogies from Palmerston North mayor Grant Smith, fellow academics, poets, musicians, theatre practitioners and on-line gamers.
Joy, 51, an adjudicator at the Student City Arts & Cultural Awards, collapsed and died during the event at The Chalet.
‘‘She was one of the drivers of the arts community in Palmerston North and will be greatly missed,’’ mayor Grant says.
A Massey University Masters graduate, the senior tutor for the university’s School of English and Media Studies was planning a PhD.
The writer and poet was also a Globe Award-winning theatre director and producer for her own ProperJob Productions. Antony and Cleopatra her latest production was performed at Te Manawa. Joy produced five plays for Summer Shakespeare, directed performance poetry for Massey’s Festival of New Arts, and was involved with the Massey University Drama Society.
She helped mentor many young writing and performing talents, also reviewing plays for The Tribune and for Theatreview.
Appointed 2016 Summer Shakespeare director for a production of The Merry Wives of Windsor, she was embarking on a production of Fiona Samuel’s play Lashings of Whipped Cream.
Joy published poetry and short fiction since the early 1990s, completing her Masters in off- page poetry forms, a project that incorporated Anatomy, a multimedia poetry installation in Square Edge. Those poems were included in her debut poetry collection Surface Tension published in August 2014 by the city’s Hau Nui Press, with Manawatu Awakening displayed on George St.
A contributor to catch and release: Poems from Manawatu, a volume of e-poetry published last month by Palmerston North City Library, Joy took part in Poets under Pressure, a response to National Geographic’s 50 Greatest Photographs exhibition at Te Manawa for National Poetry Day.
Born Joy Whitfield, she grew up in Trowbridge, Wiltshire, and met husband Nic at the University of Exeter. They married in 1986 and emigrated to Palmerston North in 1994. They have a daughter, Megan and two grandsons. Joy’s funeral will be at Lychgate on Roy St on Friday at 1pm.
Writer, poet, director, producer and teacher, Joy Green reads from her poetry collection, Surface Tension during the Hau Nui Press book launch at City Library last year. Her loss to Manawatu’s arts community is immeasurable.