23 April 2008

Jennifer Compton at the Poetry Society

I was really pleased that the April meeting of the Poetry Society (last Monday) was really well attended.

I suspect that people were drawn by a guest reader from overseas, but although Jennifer Compton has been living in Australia for many years, she’s actually a local. She grew up in Rongotai, Wellington – somewhere near the airport if one of her poems was anything to go by.

Jennifer is in Wellington as the Randall Cottage writing fellow, which she applied for because she felt it was time to ‘come home’ for a while.

We were treated to a reading of some of her ‘New Zealand’ poems, which Aussies apparently don’t appreciate as much. A highlight for me was ‘Waikikamukau’ (pronounced why kick a moo cow), about that legendary, archetypal small New Zealand town, which, she said, in her poem is based on Shannon.

Another highlight was a very recent poem, recounting a memory from her childhood. A hard thing to write about, but a very fine poem.

Next month’s guest is going to be Lindsay Rabbitt, who is a writer and multi-media artist based on the Kapiti Coast. He has published poems, essays and short stories. His latest book is These Lives I Have Buried, which was published as part of the Montana essay series, edited by Lloyd Jones and published by his Four Winds Press.

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