Thursday, 4 March 2010


In Melbourne or Sydney I counted myself fortunate if I attended one good poetry reading a month (in Brisbane make that six months). This week I’ve been to three readings, all of them worthwhile. Last night’s, which clinched the trifecta, was my first Crossing the Line reading for the year (weather and unavoidable circumstances meant that I missed the first two).This one featured Anthony Mellors (below) and Robert Sheppard (top). Mellors’ Gordon Brown sonnets were intriguing though he spent an inordinate amount of time explaining and digressing. I would have enjoyed coming across the often hilarious footnotes while reading the book but in the circumstances of a reading they tended to lose the poems themselves. Robert Sheppard read (in the first bracket) from Warrant Error, another appropriately political poem in this pre-election lull. I’ve heard him read from this before. He is a powerful reader and the effect (from a poem that is quite dense and compacted) was one of great clarity.

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