"Riddell’s great strength is his positive view of human existence."
- Capital Times

Ron Riddell

A selection of publications by Ron Riddell are now available for purchase on the site.

Salón de la Poesía PDF Print E-mail

Salón VIP de Tequila Herradura, planta alta, Expo Guadalajara

17:30 a 18:20

Participa: Ron Riddell
Presenta: Rogelio Guedea

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A trip to Europe PDF Print E-mail
Ron has recently returned from Europe where he attended 2012 Frankfurt Book Fair. His novel A Love Beyond, which was featured on the NZSA stand, attracted considerable attention. (Negotiations with a German Publisher are proceeding. Following Frankfurt Ron and his wife Saray Torres undertook a brief of Europe on tour, which included poetry and music events in Brussels, Valencia, Madrid and Prague.

Following his return in New Zealand in November 2012, Ron held a prelaunch event at the Titirangi Community Centre for his novel, The Guardian of the Shield. Official publication date for this novel is February 2013 and launch events are planned in selected Auckland District Libraries in February and March (N.Z. Book Month), 2013.

A Wonderful Weekend of Poetic Dialogue in Hiruharama on the Wanganui River PDF Print E-mail

by Ron Riddell

On the weekend of November the 27th and 28th there was a much-anticipated gathering of poets in Jerusalem. Nine poetic pilgrims made the hot, winding journey up the river road to share their poetry; their thoughts about life; their hopes for "papatuanuku" (mother earth) and humanity.

In a series of moving exchanges, poetic thoughts and voices were sought and found. New ways of looking at life and art were explored; new ways of sharing, of hallowing a common creative ground; new ways of looking at how we create positive, unifying and healing relationships.

It was the hope of the organizers, Saray & Ron Riddell that a "further seed" be planted at Jerusalem; a spiritual seed that takes its essence from living creative impulses. To their great delight, this planting was successful.

Sister Sue and Sister Margaret (whose Order of the Sisters of Compassion the organizers had worked with previously in the context of the Wellington International Poetry Festival) were very considerate with their assistance in making the Jerusalem Retreat Centre available as the venue for the event.

Poetry in Motion – a New Zealand Poet in the U.S.A. PDF Print E-mail
I will begin this poetic travelogue/commentary with the handy catch-phrase, "Poetry in Motion," which is also the name given to a special annual poetic series of events in the U.S., timed to coincide with the advent of National Poetry Month. This week I have had the honour of participating in the Los Angeles Poetry in Motion event, which featured a dozen leading poets from Los Angeles and other parts of California.

I have been on the road for just a few weeks, having left New Zealand on the 11th of April, bound for the 13th Austin International Poetry Festival, deep in the heart of Texas. Austin is in fact the state capital of Texas and is renown for its cultural life and burgeoning population, which has more than quadrupled in the last forty years. The current population stands at little less than a million, the new airport is more spacious and well-organised than LA International and everywhere the convoluted spirals of new freeway systems are sprouting up.

The pace of life in contemporary urban U.S.A. is extreme. This includes the poetic scene. Hurtling along interminable motorways from one event to another at the AIPF,( where there were some 200 poets participating), I began to get the speed wobbles. Fortunately, none of my wheels came off. At least none that I noticed, last time I checked.

Poetic Pilgrimage to Central America PDF Print E-mail
May the 18th, Thursday.

I've been up since 3.30am, battling a winter cold and an intermittently functional internet connection with colleagues in El Salvador and Costa Rica. The biggest challenge at the beginning of this particular poetic mission is that my connecting flight from Los Angeles to San Salvador leaves at 1.35 am, on the morning of the same day, some nine hours before my flight from Auckland is due to touch down on the hallowed ground of the U.S.A.

"No hay problema," says Pablo Benitez, on his crackling Salvardorean cell phone. He is one to it and will have emailed me a new ticket by the time I touch down in Auckland, later the same morning. Listo. Muy bien. I'm heading back to

Latin America. My Colombian wife, Saray Torres, says I must be strong! I'm sitting in the main pavilion of Wellington Airport, which bears the title, "Wild at heart", barely awake, my eyes streaming, thinking she might be right.

Monday, the 12th of June, 2006. I am sitting in the gathering twilight at San Jose International Airport, Costa Rica, waiting for the early evening flight which will take me back to Los Angeles, via Guatemala - the first leg of my journey home to New Zealand, after nearly a month on the poetic trail in Central America. I have just said my goodbyes to my good friend, Norberto Salinas, Costa Rican poet and director of The Costa Rican International Poetry Festival. And now I am returning home, with my batteries charged, with my health restored a thousand-fold.

This has been the fifth year of the festival. It has been a great honour for me to share the podium here with some Latin America's leading poets, including Ernesto Cardenal, Nicaragua, Raul Zurita, Chile, Vicente Muleiro, Argentina, Claribel Alegría, El Salvador/Nicaragua and Antonio Ramirez, Puerto Rico. Ten days ago during the festival, my new book, Raukura, which is dedicated to Te Whiti O Rongamai and the people of Parihaka, was launched during the festival here. Published by La Casa de Poesia, Costa Rica, it has had a rousing reception, with poems like "Blue Yellow/Azul Amarillo" and the title poem, "Raukura," being particular favourites with audiences.