They came in their thousands (Week 12: 23-29 September)

Or maybe just a couple of handfuls. The poetry reading made for an enjoyable afternoon at The Bean Barn out of the wind and rain. As usual on AFL grand final day, the streets were deserted and I got a park right out the front of the cafe. A rock star park, some would say.

I arrived at the same time as Nathan Curnow, co-reader and poetry demigod, and the handfuls followed not long after. In the throng were community radio legends Dave and Myles, great supporters of the arts scene in Ballarat. Where would we be without them and Voice FM?

Great to hear Nathan’s new words, so beautifully bound by Walleah Press: a cover that feels like fine wax. Naturally I got him to sign my new copy. I read some of my anthologised poems, and a couple of new ones finished during the residency. All in all a relaxing and inspiring afternoon. It isn’t often one gets to sit around and talk about poetry.

The winner of the Residency Prize was Beatrice, otherwise known as BJ, who had taken out the week 2 quiz back in July. She had correctly (and quickly) re-assembled my childhood favourite by C.J. Dennis, ‘The Triantiwontigongolope‘. She won a small mountain of poetry anthologies, including the latest Australian Poetry journal, a magnetic poetry kit (for the fridge – where else?), a bag of special Bean Barn coffee and a spoken word CD featuring Victorian Emilie Zoey Baker among others.

Big thanks to the others who came to the reading – a small but appreciative crowd always beats none.

Congratulations also to the week 12 community poets (you know who you are)! They did it again, taking my lead to create this week’s communal poem. Albeit a little shorter than the previous three, a farewell ditty emerged, and my hat comes off to the four who added lines to it.

**
Farewell my friends, the end is nigh –¬†one week and I am gone
To seek adventure near and far, from breakfast I am torn.
I pack my bags with sense of fun and style to which I was born,
to an adventure with no end, I pedal so fast with legs shorn.
Long into the sunrise I ride with lovely memories adorned.

**
My sincere thanks go to The Bean Barn for letting me litter up their place every week since July. Have loved the hot choccies as part of the weekly routine – there are none better in Ballarat. As for those iced chocolates – let it be known that Tanya is the Iced Chocolate Queen. Also, thanks to Australian Poetry for giving my the residency – much valued TIME to write (or at least think about) poetry.

So is this the end? Of the residency, yes. Of the blog?

I started it to document my residency; to mark the time as a cafe poet. Do I unplug, now that it is over?

 

Poetry reading this Saturday

This is it. The final fling of my poetry residency. The last hoorah. My last day as Poet in Residence (note capital letters) at The Bean Barn is Saturday 29 September 2012 and to celebrate, I invite you to come along for a poetry reading from 3pm to 5pm.

It won’t be just any reading. Joining me will be poetry royalty, Nathan Curnow, who will treat us to some poems from his latest book, Radar, which is now available from Readings. He might even sign your new copy!

Oh and before you ask: yes, I know that’s the day of the footy grand final. This will be the best non-footy entertainment you’ll find in Ballarat that day. And I’m proud of that fact.

Poetry reading

Poetry reading in Ballarat 29 September

The end is nigh

Ironic isn’t it? Just as I’m closing in on reporting the residency antics with this blog as they happen instead of a million weeks behind, the end of the residency zooms up to meet me. Things don’t last for ever. Especially the good things.

It’s all supposed to be over by October because another brood of cafe poets will then be ushered out into their respective cafes by the kind folk at Australian Poetry.

This means I have some organising to do: the long-awaited drawing of the Residency Prize for starters. Remember way back at the beginning – in July – I ran some quizzes to reassemble sections of some well-known Australian poems? One of those winners will win again, and this time they’ll scoop more than a free coffee at The Bean Barn. I can’t tell you what they’ll win though – that would ruin the surprise. For now though, put aside 3-5pm on the 29th September for a final hoorah at The Bean Barn. One thing I can tell you though, is that there’ll be a very very fabulous poet reading some of his newly published works of genius as a special treat.

And don’t give me any excuses like the footy grand final being on, because it just won’t cut it!

ap

AP’s Cafe Poet Program

 

Week 4: 22-28 July

How’s this: you wouldn’t think when it’s so easy to ‘just google it’ that I would mistake Roald Dahl for an Australian. Clearly this is an example of that phenomenon where, if you like them enough, well, they must be Australian. Just like the Queen is.

I never said I was an expert on poetry. But I might become an expert on googling instead. This residency is bringing about learning in such unexpected places, mmm?

This week’s ill-fated poetry quiz was indeed a stanza out of Roald Dahl’s ‘The Three Little Pigs’ from the ‘Revolting Rhymes’ series. The winner of the covetted coffee is Adele, and she also goes into the Draw from the residency. Special mention goes to Alex and not just because his dad, David from Tutmut, pulled me up over Dahl’s citizenship. Maybe it was Dahl’s notorious, um…personality traits that convinced me he was Australian.

At any rate, I suspect I bamboozled the coffee fiends with that minor transgression of borders. And yes, I promise to just google it next time. If only to keep David from Tumut off my case…