For the Poet Laureate
Michele Leggott's 18 month term as New Zealand's Poet Laureate has come to a close. She has spread the word far and wide in many and varied ways: poetry on the pavement; creating a digital poetry bridge between Florence and Aotearoa; the 1,000,000 poems for Matariki project - the list goes on... a remarkable laureateship that I'm sure will be a tough act to follow for the next talented wordsmith who gets the job.
Perhaps the strangest event that Michele initiated was a symposium in honour of a circus elephant named Molly who performed around the country in the 50s, but unfortunately died in Ohakune after eating the poisonous leaves of a tutu tree. Molly's skull is on display in the Biology Department at Auckland University.
A number of us are gathering at Michele and Mark's house tomorrow to help them polish off the last shipment of laureate wine courtesy of the Te Mata Estate vineyard in Hawke's Bay (tough job I know!!). Anyway, I wanted to make her something by way of congrats on a job supremely well done, so I made her a Molly the elephant. I hope she likes it...