August 5, 2014

On Sunday I did something I’ve never done before, and moved away from the microphone to perform a poem, which I had memorised. No fiddling with glasses. No piece of paper. (Both were there, in case my brain melted, but I managed without.) Speaking of melting brains, here is an ice sculpture of Douglas Mawson, melting in the comparatively tropical Canberra sunshine:
douglas mawson

This sculpture, and the perfomance, were part of a wonderful event called the Winter Festival at the Portrait Gallery in Canberra. An ekphrastic competition was held, where we had to respond to a photograph in writing. The writing ranged from non-fiction memoir, to short stories, to poetry. The judge was Paul Hetherington.

Thanks to my poem (and the obviously impeccable taste of the judge) I now have a gift voucher for the Portrait Gallery bookstore, as I was highly commended.

Recently a novelist of my acquaintance, Kaaron Warren, detailed her haul of booty from winning a voucher for the best fiction book published in the ACT. She bought books.

I may well buy an item of personal adornment. A new beret or something, as one can never have enough headgear. Ask Douglas Mawson.


No poem today.

UPDATE: Michelle Brock was the poet awarded first place. Thanks to Kathy Kituai for jogging my memory.

11 Responses to “Moving”

  1. kaaronwarren said

    Congrats on the High Commendation! That is brilliant and I’m sure well deserved. Keep us posted as to your eventual purchase.

  2. pscottier said

    Mmm, people will think I am vain if I buy a scarf or a hat.

    I may take a photo of a book of post- modernist approaches to portraiture or somesuch, pretend I bought it and buy a bracelet.

    Sneaky is a form of intelligence.

  3. Kathleen Kituai said

    So glad one of my happy snaps was OK to use for this … I was so busy snapping away I didn’t get to hear your poem. Any chance of a copy???

    Congratulations once again, kathy

  4. pscottier said

    Yes, thanks Kathy. I shall send some.

    And I wanted to put up the winner’s name, but I lost my list and forgot it!

    Perhaps you could full in that blank?

  5. Geoff said

    Highly commended… I should think so at the very least. Nice work ๐Ÿ™‚

  6. pscottier said

    Yes, everyone’s a critic.

    Unkind IS he!

  7. Congratulations on the prize and on reading a poem from memory.

    I had a rap-style poem, “Savage Spring”, that I used to perform from memory about the LA riots in the early 1990s. It was more powerful to perform it that way.

    I knew a lovely man (who’s probably dead now) that used to come to our weekly poetry readings at the Leederville Hotel in Perth and recite his own poems and classics by Kipling, Tennyson etc. completely by heart. Amazing feats of memory. I bet Arthur (that was his name) never got Alzheimers with his brain activity going full bore.

  8. I really admire people who can memorise their poems. Most impressive. And the prize …yes a hat is a great idea….I think a sort of half top hat would look good on your performance poet head ๐Ÿ™‚

  9. pscottier said

    Thank you Andrew and Helen.

    My poem was in free verse, but with several very strong images that I used to propel myself forward.

    Whereas I can just imagine memorising Tennyson, I would truly admire someone who memorised a lot of Emily Dickinson. I wish there were more Arthurs around, though, and fewer purely academic poets.

    Thank you both.

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