There are some things to dislike about summer nearing its end, but one of the good things is that, as the days draw in, the monthly poetry reading sessions in Wellington resume.
Earlier this week, I went to the first sessions for the year of two of Wellington's longer-running poetry reading sessions: Poetry at the Ballroom Cafe in Newtown on Sunday afternoon and then the New Zealand Poetry Society (Facebook | Twitter | Web) at the Thistle Inn on Monday night. The respective lineups were:
* Ballroom Cafe: open mike (good mixture of performance and "page" poets), musician (jazz pianist Gilbert Haisman), and guest reader (poet Pat White). I had to leave before the end of Pat's reading as I had something else on immediately afterwards, but there is a quiet power to his poetry that becomes evident as he reads it.
* New Zealand Poetry Society: open mike (one of the best I've heard at the NZPS), guest reader (poet Teresia Teaiwa).
I enjoyed both sessions very much, but the absolute highlight from me was hearing Teresia read. I'd heard her read a few poems before, but the way she put the reading together and wove her poems in with a narrative was an absolute treat. If you get the chance to hear her read, I advise you to take it!
All being well, I'll be doing some more guest readings this year, partly on the back of Men Briefly Explained. The first of these will be in Porirua in April as part of the monthly Music at the Metro series - I am looking forward to it.
I don't believe I will be required to sing, but if I was, I would naturally sing this, since it's referenced in the Men Briefly Explained poem Queens of Silk, Kings of Velour: