Words in Other Places

A super quick post just to let you know about a couple of Dorky Family things going on in other places.

My third column is up at The Island Review. It’s all about food in Tasmania and you can read it here.

Far more exciting is that DorkyDad’s first big poetry gig in Tasmania is happening this Thursday night. It’s called Beat Night – Where Jazz Meets Spoken Word and it’s at the Lark Cellar Door at 7pm.

The band is a brilliant group of musicians – Andrew Legg (piano and hammond organ), Nick Haywood (bass), Alf Jackson (drums), Al Dobson (horn), Damien Kingston (guitar), and Frank Bansel.

I always get super nervous watching him at events, but this one should be a lot of fun, and I’m hoping that a dram or two might keep me calm… Please come along if you can!

Beat Night in Hobart

I Am Not A Poet

I used to collect poems, like some people collect postcards or glass paperweights.

I’d keep a notebook, and if I read or heard or found a poem I loved then I’d scribble it down, as though by writing the words out myself I could somehow own them.

Sometimes it wouldn’t be a whole poem, it would just be a phrase.

a gossiping stream full of blethering pebbles

a shotgun sprinkle of freckles

I give you an onion.
It is a moon wrapped in brown paper.

Good poetry – even a line or two – takes your breath away a little bit. Good poets make you feel like they have peeked inside your memory and plucked out an experience that you have lived, but then gone on to express your feeling or describe your scene better than you ever could yourself.

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Slam

BBC Edinburgh Fringe Poetry Slam

I love the fact that DorkyDad is a poet. I’ve lost count of how many times I’ve seen him perform – in venues ranging from libraries to Jazz bars – and I always come away feeling proud and happy.

Except when he’s doing a slam. I hate watching him in slams. That competitive element takes all the joy out of it for me, and rather than being able to support and encourage him I turn into a jangling, fidgeting ball of nerves. Slams have always made me feel a bit sick.
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BBC Poetry Slam at the Fringe 2012

BBC Poetry Slam Edinburgh Fringe 2012

Whoop whoop! It’s almost Edinburgh Fringe time, and I am hugely excited that DorkyDad has been asked to compere the BBC Poetry Slam again.

The Slam took place for the first time last year, and it was an absolutely brilliant line-up of poets, but this year it’s EVEN BETTER! (It’s actually a bit ridiculous how good it is.) This year it will feature the 2011 BBC Slam Champion, Catherine Brogan; Scottish Makar Liz Lochhead in her first ever Slam competition; and a special guest appearance from the 2012 Paris World Champion, Harry Baker.
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Last Chants…

Leaving parties tend to be pretty awful affairs. People feel obliged to bring gifts and cards, which is really the last thing you need when you’re trying to cut the size of your life in half and pack it into boxes. You never get as long to speak to people for as you’d like because you’re too busy topping up wine glasses, and someone (usually me) overdoes it on both the alcoholic and the emotional fronts, and ends up sobbing into a plate of sausage rolls.

So we’re not having one. Partly because it would be awful, and partly because we’re not really leaving Scotland, we’re just living somewhere else for a bit.

What we’re doing instead is inviting folk along to this awesome poetry and jazz gig – Last Chants – where you can see Young perform with Dave Conway and Steve Kettley from the Click Clack Club. There will also be poetic awesomeness from Robin Cairns, Jenny Lindsay, Kevin Cadwallender, Sophia, not to mention the briefly reunited Chemical Poets. All in the excellent surroundings of the Jazz Bar (where Young and I ‘own’ one of the keys on the grand piano…).

It would be lovely to see some friends there (and indeed some new faces too!). There will be no sausage rolls, but there will be wine, and I promise I’ll try very hard not to cry.

You can note your attendance and keep up to date with new additions to the line-up on the Facebook event page here. While you’re at it, why not Like my DorkyMum page too…