|Andrew @ The Gods|
Barbara Temperton @ The Gods
Geoff Page, compering
Last night, Barbara Temperton and I were guests at The Gods, a cafe/bar on the grounds of ANU, Canberra. The reading has been going for many years and is run and compered by its founder, Geoff Page (poet and musician).
With half an hour each to read, Barbara and I had time to stretch out and talk to the audience. Going first, Barbara read from her early book, Going Feral (FACP 2002) and then for the majority of the reading, took the ample audience through the three narratives of Southern Edge (Fremantle Press, 2009).
Skillfully she kept track of the narrative(s) as she quoted from various sections. Then, Barbara finished with a few more recent poems. This was a quiet audience, different from the noisy mob we're both used to The Moon for the Perth Poetry Club!! But at the end of this reading, the audience showed their enthusiasm for Barbara's poetry with loud and sustained applause. Not only that, but many rose and bought her books - that's the best applause a poet can receive.
After a short interval, in which I caught up with Alan Gould, Mark O'Connor and Chris Mooney, Geoff Page introduced me with a rather flattering description of my career so far. I then read and joked for my half hour. As usual, I didn't read all the poems I'd chosen, but I did receive a healthy round of applause and even a few laughs during my reading.
In fact the biggest response of the evening came when I read a poem - by Barbara! The poem, 'A Letter to My Chooks', is a beauty. and I shall post it here tomorrow when I get home.
This reading was signicant in another respect too - it was the night of my wife Jeanette's 70th birthday. In fact the evening began with a rousing version of Happy Birthday To You sung loudly and proudly from the poets and poetry-lovers of Canberra. Thanks all!! It was a memorable night.