15 November 2009

Charlotte Simmonds at this month's Poetry Society meeting

This month's Poetry Society meeting is actually tomorrow, which seems to have come rather quickly. (This whole year has gone terrifyingly quickly, and this next less-than-three weeks before we launch Ithaca Island Bay Leaves will go very quickly. It's almost ready to go to the printers though, so I'm confident that it will all be done in good time.)

Charlotte Simmonds, this month's guest reader, is the author of The World's Fastest Flower, which was published last year and was a finalist in the Best First Book category of the book awards. I had heard good things about it from my friend Emma, who, when she first read it, enjoyed it so much that as soon as she finished it she started reading it again from the beginning.

I realised, after hearing that she was the next guest reader, that I'd seen/heard her read at a couple of open-mic poetry readings, and had been really impressed both times. So I decided I'd read her book before the reading, and I really enjoyed it.

How to describe it? It's a bit different, and thank goodness for that. It's like a breath of fresh, youthful air. It's not all necessarily easy poetry, but it isn't dense or dry. It isn't what you'd expect - or, at least, it isn't what I've come to expect.

There's a prose-poetryness about many of the poems, with lots of long lines, little narratives. But the language is playful and intense. Sometimes the poems were clear, sometimes they made no sense, but only a few didn't grab me. Many of the poems seemed very personal, raw even, but the narrative voices/personas are different from each other, and many are clearly not the poet (or at least not a straight-forward version of the poet), so it's a bit more complicated.

Anyway, I'm looking forward to hearing her read. If you want to go along too, the details are:

Monday 16 November, 7.30 pm
The Thistle Inn, 3 Mulgrave St
Entry: $2
The meeting will open, as always, with an open mic.

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