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.