by Gill Ward and Elizabeth Coleman
Representing the working classes – Bob Orr
Our March gathering featured Bob Orr, a “working-class poet” (quote: Steele Roberts) who has written and published for nearly 50 years, in journals and anthologies and with nine fine poetry books to his name.
He read mainly from his latest collection One Hundred Poems and a Year and you could’ve heard a pin drop (except when Elizabeth dropped a glass, sorry). What a bargain it is to listen for half an hour or more to a professional poet reading his/her own work, plus a wonderful variety of open mic performers (total of 21 for March), and in the pleasant Robert Harris Café. All for $5.
Hand to mouth in a great setting
Did you know that we make no money except enough to pay our guest poets? It’s a sort of hand-to-mouth existence, thus we depend on your attendance in order to pay a fair fee to our featured artist. So far we have managed to do this. We’re always chuffed at the way invited guests jump at the chance to hold the floor for up to 45 minutes and hope this continues.
Thanks go to Gail and her staff at Robert Harris who make our new venue a very comfortable one. They are welcoming and good-natured and closing the doors into the main mall has made a terrific improvement to sound quality and the atmosphere at our event. We’re grateful for their help in this. And their food, coffee and wine is delicious! Please support them generously.
Rob Hack coming up
April’s guest is Rob Hack from Paekakariki. Dinah Hawken (who is also a local) writes of Rob’s collection Everything is Here : “ Everything is here …stories told in spare, accessible poems that are both strongly placed, and full of people and day-to-day things. What delightfully holds everything together is Rob’s easy tone and his characteristic, understated humour.”
Rob himself says that his new collection will be out “later this century”, despite having written 35 poems in 35 days. Let’s ask him how this went.
Thanks for your continued support. We look forward to seeing you again on
- April 28th, 4 pm
- Robert Harris Café, Coastlands
In the meantime, tuck yourself into a poetry book or two. Enjoy!