Went to the first of the Autumn Poetry in Performance nights last night – and won the Open Mic! I read “The Messenger“, a.k.a. ‘The Spoon Poem’. (I’ll post the poem on this site after I get it published. Maybe as part of the winter rotation.) It felt good as I read it, but I was still surprised to win. Frankie McMillan was runner-up, and I thought her poem probably had the edge over mine. (I voted for it!) Nice to be wrong.
It was good to meet Tim Jones again – he’s a very good reader, and gave us a mixture of poems from his first two collections (Boat People and All Blacks’ Kitchen Gardens) as well as some new poems. One of the best things was the way he reshaped the reading on the fly, to pick up some of the themes that had dominated the Open Mic session. I don’t think I’ve seen (ok, heard) that done before. I’d hoped to hear him read “First Light”, but not this time.
Fiona Farrell was as assured as always. She’s someone I really enjoy hearing – she’s got the knack of knowing just how much information to give the audience about the poem before reading it. It’s so easy to say too much, or to be boring. But she never does. Just enough so that you feel her passion for the poem, and are grounded in it.
That’s enough for now. I’m not going to do a report on every reading, but I’ll try to offer a few thoughts. For my own records as much as anything else. You want to know more, come to the readings! What else are you going to get for $5?