Saturday, February 26, 2011

Traverse Poetry Slam 25 Feb

Hosted my first slam last night, standing in for the wonderful and dedicated Julian Fleetwood. It was a great night - a strong pool of performers and a large, welcoming audience. The Front has done a bit of redecorating and has raided some front lawns to replace a lot of its furniture. Overall, an inspiring start to the slam season of 2011.

I asked the audience for their definitions of poetry and read these out in between slammers. My favourite:
Poetry is...a most beautiful bird that allows us to hold it for a while.

Together with the audience contributions, I found some quotes from well-known poets. I really liked Marianne Moore's:
Poetry is...imaginary gardens with real toads in them.
Finally, while reading the newspaper this morning I realised a definition of my own:
Poetry is...everything political spin is not.
I tried my hand with poet humour, with mixed success:
What is the definition of a simile?
It is like a metaphor.
I performed a poem about billy-carts (soap-box racers for our American friends). I'm sure it's the only time I will mention Bunnings in verse. I will post the poem later this week.

The quality and range of the performers was comforting - the slam scene in Canberra is doing well. There were some poets new to slam and others new to slamming in Canberra. I hope to see them all back next time, along with several of the audience who have now been inspired to give it a go.

Finally, a big thank-you to Bernadette, who did a fantastic job reminding me of all the things I forgot to do. Oh, and she brought cupcakes and performed a very vivid poem about hotel rooms (among other things).


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