Janis Freegard and Sarah Jane Barnett
As a secondary school teacher, this time of year is what I call “The Term three marking bender.” I mark from dawn to dusk: mock exams, internal assessments, mock exams, internal assessments. It’s quite crazy, really. So small breaks when you get back to other aspects of your life are essential. The reading on Friday for National Poetry Day at St Marks Church in Lower Hutt for Poetry Day was one of those breaks.
Vivienne Ball who arranged the reading over at the lovely St Marks church put on a nice spread of hot drinks and cakes and it was great to meet up with other fellow poets Janis Freegard, Sarah Jane Barnett, Kerry Popplewell, Adrienne Jansen, Keith Westwater and my old cobber Tim Jones. It’s a handsome church with fine acoustics. Naturally books were on sale and I picked up Janis Freegard’s The Glass Rooster—which I’ve been meaning to read—and Kerry Popplewell’s Leaving the Tableland. Kerry’s work had been on my mind as last week I’d read her great poem ‘Seeing the Red Hills again’ in the wonderful anthology The Nature of Things edited by James Brown with photographs by Craig Potton. As we all chatted there was talk of the upcoming NZ poetry conference which I’m looking forward to and for which I need to register.
I read three poems: ‘Udon by The Remarkables’ and ‘Tekapo Night Sky’ from my new book to published next year by Makaro Press and ‘Singapore Morning’ from Moonshot. I thought ‘Tekapo Night Sky’ was received well which is good to know as it’s different from my other work and is unpublished. Now, back to the bender . . .