I always enjoy poetry when it’s read aloud – it’s somehow more enjoyable to my ears than my eyes. I think that’s especially true with poems with political overtones, a bit of anger, fire in the belly, that sort of thing.
No-one frothed at the mouth, but there was plenty of emotion and power in the performances – this session was a real gem.
Hinemoana Baker read some of her own and other poets’ works, one of which needed a whiteboard for its intriguingly mathematical nature, Tusiata Avia delivered some smilingly sweet assassin style cutting words about New Zealand’s apology to the Samoans, Karlo Mila showed moving images of the state funeral of the King of Tonga and the riots in Nukualofa.
Jeffrey Paparoa Holman and James Norcliffe made for an interesting contrast in styles, and showed that political poems could be inspired by new and old events, with quotes from other poets and references to political prisoners.
Hana O’Regan delivered a number of impassioned and stirring poems and finished the session on a real high note. Make sure you catch her reading at the library next week.
One of the most enjoyable sessions to listen to, my only disappointment was that there weren’t more people buying the books of poetry afterwards.
The session moved quickly and smoothly thanks to David Gregory and a very appreciative audience lapped up every bit.