If I didn’t know better, I’d say my body decided to punish me for overdoing it. But I’m sure that’s not really what happened. I’ve spent the better half of the last two days in bed and am now getting back to things, in slow motion. I’ll spare you the rest of the details, and apologise profusely if I passed it to anyone.
So, it is a somewhat delayed report on my weekend adventures. Which means, you may already have noticed that others, like Angela and Genevieve, have reported on the excellent launch of Nathan Curnow’s The Ghost Poetry Project. Go check ‘em out. I always find a book launch exciting, but this was perhaps a little more special. Not just because of the location. I’ve mentioned that Nathan is one of my heroes and, while it’s true, I enjoy his poetry, it isn’t about that.
It’s about knowing something of what he’s been through to get to where he is. Knowing that every time he goes to a poetry or launch event or haunted site, he’s leaving his young family behind. And given that this book sent him all over the country and he keeps popping up at festivals, it’s fair to say they get to do it without him for reasonable chunks of time.
So, it was a privilege to meet Kerryn, the champion in the background, and to see the smiles on his daughters’ faces as they watched their daddy’s book come to life. Truly inspirational.
That was Friday. Saturday had me all over town again, with the highlight being the Doris Leadbetter Melbourne Poetry Cup. It was a great night with almost forty poets strutting their stuff (one of two disappointments for the night was that not all forty spots were filled…the other was that one could not buy a meal). One of the great things about the night was the range of voices it attracted, including new and not-so-new.
With less than the maximum number of entrants, the final comprised eight poets, with the $2000 first prize going to Jillian Pattinson and the $300 runners up cheque to Matt Bennetts. The two $100 encouragement prizes were awarded to Vicki Thornton (yay, go Vicki) and Eleanor Jackson (who I secretly hoped would win, because I thought she was great).