Well, there I was – it was only February and I was welcoming back Poetry at the Fringe and looking forward to all the sessions to come in the year. But it was not to be. Covid-19 had other plans…
In fact there was a session planned for March and it turned out to be the last full weekend before we went into Lockdown across the country. I didn’t attend – the venue was open and claiming safety, and fair enough. But we were already on edge and I had a kid sick at home. So it was just February for me. Then the lockdown. And now we’re back…
July was the first session back post-lockdown so there was no guest poet – it was a double-session of open mic. Regulars that have been there for years, people like me that have been turning up the last year or so and at least three brand new readers; one that mentioned she had been writing for years and this was her first time ever reading anywhere in public.
It’s such a fun session – so full of joy and range and rage and wisdom and weirdness. Poetry. It comes in nearly all shapes and many colours. And that was certainly how it was at yesterday’s first session back. The themes were lockdown – if you wanted it to be – and Matariki, since those were the moments most near. And if they weren’t dear to the poet at all then you could speak about anything else.
I had a go at two new poems – Holiday Browsing which I felt was a real lead-balloon to read live. It just didn’t feel like it worked okay. Which is fine by the way. I quite like a bomb. It’s interesting to try to gauge – and then I read my recent rant about how much I hate Tapas and any shared plates meal arrangement. This seemed to go a lot better – had a few people tap me on the shoulder on the way out saying they liked it, or at least they chuckled and many that agreed with the sentiment.
It’s good to be back. And my thanks to Sameena Zehra for the pic here of me.
So many good poems shared by so many great minds yesterday. I think in some ways it was one of my favourite sessions so far – had that really nice feel too, we’re all feeling it, post lockdown, of something we used to love coming back; maybe not a return to normal but a glimpse at the least.
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