Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Tuesday Poem: Best NZ Poems

A hundred people - yes a hundred, or close to - attended a reading of the Best NZ Poems 2009 at lunchtime yesterday here in Wellington, as part of the Writers on Monday series. It was the flag-waver for National Poetry Day this Friday and was, in poetry-speak, PACKED TO THE GUNWALES.

In Te Papa's marae [pictured], the rapt crowd included a couple of babies, a number of elderly folk, a good smattering of writers and young groovy types cross-legged on the floor.

A couple of my students came along too - one even cadged a ride back to the university afterwards. The nine writers on the stage made up over a third of the poets in Best NZ Poems 2009. I don't have the permission to post everything I heard so here are the links (below) with first lines to nab you.

What Sixty Minutes Teaches by Geoff Cochrane 'We're with an embedded camera crew/ in a suburb of Baghdad...'
The Poi Girls by Louise Wallace 'Kahu, Mere, and Faith/stand on the grass/by the corner...'
Certain Trees by Ashleigh Young  'One tree pretends to throw things/ and the wind goes sprinting ...'
Before we all hung out at cafes by Lynn Davidson 'At primary school on the monkey bars/we'd hang, aching, from the middle rung ...'
A Hassidic story might start... by Lynn Jenner ' 'A Hassidic story might start with trees and a problem ...'
Dylan Thomas (b.2003), Coolmore Stud, New South Wales by Gregory O'Brien 'From a paddock lately nuzzled/ by Groom Dancer, Pensive Mood/and Pursuit of Love ... 
Stowage by Chris Price 'The sadness of bells sitting silent/shelved like a library of hearts ...'
Hat by Marty Smith 'Dad wouldn't be seen dead/without a hat...' 
The Starlings by Tim Upperton [has already appeared on Tuesday Poem - Bryan Walpert's blog] 'Anger sang in that house until the scrim walls thrummed...'

Here's the link to more lunchtime readings. 
And more Poems at Tuesday Poem - click on the quill in my sidebar. 


Helen Lowe said...

Thanks, Mary--it might take me a while to work through them all but I will! And soudns like a fun event in a great setting.

LentenStuffe said...

What Mary said. Thanks for the links, Mary.

Janis Freegard said...

Wasn't it great? There were a couple of poets reading whose work I wasn't familiar with and some firm favourites, too. A nice mix.

Rachel Fenton said...

What a cool venue - and corking first lines - makes me want to rush out and buy up all the poetry in my local book shop!