Blossom all over the lawn? Check.
Blackbirds having dogfights through the trees? Check.
A mixture of t-shirts and wooly jumpers strewn about the house Because Of The Freakin’ Weather? Check.
An almost uncontrollable urge to get up in front of strangers and air my new poems? Check.
That can only mean one thing … The Spring Readings are upon us! Hooray!
Yes indeed, it is that time of year. Once again the Canterbury Poets’ Collective have assembled a selection of the great and the good of New Zealand poetry for the entertainment of the Canterbury public, and for eight weeks starting from the end of September, your Wednesday nights will be fully occupied. (Well, two hours of them, plus whatever your travel time happens to be.)
So, who do we have on the list this year?
Sept 28 – Jenny Bornholdt, Greg O’Brien, John Allison
Oct 5 – Jenny Powell, John Dickson, Erik Kennedy
Oct 12 – Pat White, Gail Ingram, Tom Weston
Oct 19 – Ashleigh Young, Hagley Writers’ Institute
Oct 26 – Mary McCallum, Heather McQuillan, Jeni Curtis
Nov 2 – Diana Bridge, Victoria Broome, David Gregory
Nov 9 – Nick Ascoft, Greg O’Connell, Marisa Cappetta
Nov 16 – David Howard, Best of the Open Mic sessions.
Not bad at all. And yours to enjoy for a measly $5 per session. And for those of you who are looking at the last session and wondering what that’s all about, the answer is Your Chance For Fame And Stardom. Each session begins with an Open Mic session, where anyone can put their name down to read a poem. There’s a huge variety of styles and levels, but it’s all really supportive and friendly. At the end of the open mic, everyone gets to vote on who they thought was the best reader, and the winner is announced (at the end of the whole evening). And to make things even more enticing, the winners (and usually runners-up, or close runners-up) become the invited guest readers for the last night, and get a longer slot to show off their wares. It’s great fun, and frequently the best night of the whole season.
The venue for all eight sessions is once again the Imagetec Theatre at ARA (formerly Christchurch Polytech). To find the room, from the Madras Street carpark you head on through the main doors, turn right, and take the very first door on your left: