Started on Friday night with Cafe Sospeso, but moved (for the night) to the Town Hall Art Gallery at Hawthorn Town Hall. David Gibley from Wagga Wagga was the featured reader. Hearing his Japanese poems was like taking a flying visit to the country - I loved them. Managed to nab him for The Word Tree next month, which delighted me.
The other feature reader read for too long and the poems were under-edited - really under-edited. They were supposed to form a seamless performance piece about a relationship break-up and, seriously folks, I would have broken up with the poet half way through poem one. Still, good venue, good crowd and it was fun to be out and about.
Then on Saturday we had the Word Tree with E Z Bee - excellent reading - loved the political edge to E Z's work, her pop culture references and humour. Great afternoon.
Then today I went to the launch of the Paradise Anthology - an anthology that seems to be gleaned from the Poetry Idol readers. The first half was saved only by MC Brian Nankervis' wonderful repartee and showmanship and Emilie Collier's cicada poem. The second half was good - Stephen Cummings opened with a set of music and was followed by Anna Fern,Maurice McNamara, Steve Smart and Marian Spires who all put in great performances with solid poems. Marian Spires is reigning Poetry Idol and the well-deserved recipient of $2,000 prize money - but her prize winning poem wasn't actually in the anthology - weird? Nor was her name on the Launch posters - weirder? Seriously, Poetry Idol - get your act together!
More poetry to come with the Puncher & Wattman Anthology of Australian Poetry, edited by John Leonar, launch on Wednesday night at the Wheeler Centre. Looking forward to that - though it's a pity it won't be mcd by Brian - he does such a great job. I've done school and school lit fest gigs with him and he's funny, ridiculous and sharp as - the kids love him and we loved him this arvo, too.