(Feature photo: Rohan Molloy)
In the borderland between Science Fiction and Environmentalism dwells a New Zealand writer who infuses both with wit and poesy. In this installment of the Weekend Name Drop, meet Tim Jones.
Name: Tim Jones
Creative fields: Writer, Editor, Poet, Blogger, Climate Change Activist
Location: Wellington, New Zealand
My connection: In April of this year, I attended a session about Speculative Fiction in Palmerston North, part of the Off the Page series hosted by Thom Conroy and Massey University. Tim was one of the panelists in this session along with Jess Richards, and he is the final writer from that enjoyable evening to be featured in the Weekend Name Drop. I joined the panelists for dinner after and later connected with Tim on Twitter where we have maintained contact, including our correspondence about this post and his upcoming book launch.
Inspiration for this writer: To be honest, I had never heard of Tim before meeting him in Palmerston North. Listening to him discuss speculative fiction and share a passage from his novella, Landfall, I was impressed by his intelligence and humour, but thought he was only about science fiction (not that there’s anything wrong with that!). Over dinner I continued to find him exceptionally astute and learned he was very hard-working as well as generous in his encouragement of the independent publishing route I have taken. I enjoyed one poem from his new book, New Sea Land, posted on his blog, and I am looking forward to encountering the environmentalist aspect of Tim’s art in the rest of collection.
Why you should check him out and share with others: Tim’s writing appears diverse, containing elements of science fiction and environmentalism “although neither dominates his writing.” Reviewing Tim’s collection, Men Briefly Explained, Vaughan Rapatahana writes, “He is not pretentious. No special effect incorporation of arcane academically-sourced names and terms … He can write some damned fine lines too.” His blog, Books in the Trees, is regularly updated with Tim’s poetry, pieces by other poets, interviews with other writers, literary and environmental news concerning New Zealand, and links to major sites related to Tim’s interest areas. It’s a good place to explore online.
Sample of work:
Tim’s poem, All ships are one ship, is published in his new collection New Sea Land (Mākaro Press, 2016). It is previously unpublished. Many thanks to Tim for allowing it to appear online for the first time in The Weekend Name Drop:
Bow to stern, all ships are one,
entangled journeys on the flood and ebbing tides.
Mountainous Atlantic breaks on the foredeck,
quiet Pacific bathes the rudder in light.
Harbour towns flicker on the shores of shoaling bays,
anchors always lowered, always aweigh.
Sailors curse in Babel, suffer the chafings of salt,
climb and fall from rigging, work the ASDIC
and hear multiple pings in return. Red skies
smear nights into mornings, crow’s nest
forever on the verge of sleep, captain
peeling eyes against black midnight and grey dawn.
All ships are one ship. Docked, on maiden voyage,
foundering, the vessels drift in the Sargasso,
catch the freshening trades, chase entangled sails
down the strong and subtle currents of the stars.
Listen to Tim, himself, reading from his collection, Men Briefly Explained (starting at the 8:20 mark):
The Weekend Name Drop is a weekly feature on this blog, promoting people I have encountered who are doing creative things.