Friday, July 22, 2011

Happy Poetry Day

Today is Poetry Day in New Zealand and it's an event that has really taken off - especially with those of us who celebrate every day as poetry day. It's a day when it's OK to love poetry.

New Zealand National Poetry Day Friday July 22nd 2011

To mark this special day I'd like to feature a couple of brand new slim volumes I've recently bought and I'm currently enjoying.

in vitro by Laura Solomon (2011)

Beyond sharp, these satirical set pieces offer a tasty read. "In vitriol" might have been a alternative title. I don't believe poets should pull punches.

Favourite poem "The Poet Leaves the Table." Favourite lines:

She had been mollycoddled enough.
No, no, I think you mean, she had been mauled enough.

Western Line by Airini Beautrais (2011)

I love this book even though it is published by "an academic press of mediocre standing which devotes far too much of its funds to lacklustre poetry" because I admire Airini Beautrais' poetry (it's not lacklustre at all) and because there are lots of trains in the book and I love trains as well as non-lacklustre poetry.

Favourite quote is from a prose poem called "The Woman on the Phone"; the woman is on a train and blabbering away at full volume on her mobile phone with just a handful of other people (including of course, our poet) a captive audience, listening in. The train goes into a tunnel and the woman is of course cut off, but doesn't at first understand. "Hello?" she says:

She has forgotten what happens under mountains.

Dunedin's primo poetry event will happen this evening at the Dunedin Public Library, in direct competition with some sort of rugby game going on somewhere else in the city. Readers will include the wonderful Rhian Gallagher, whose first book Salt Water Creek was shortlisted for the prestigious Forward Poetry Prize and whose second book Shift will be released later this year by Auckland University Press; Michael Steven; Richard Reeve; and Burns Fellow Fiona Farrell; with pyrotechnical poet David Howard as MC.

Viva Poetry!


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