I've been asked to fill in at Poetry Live (presently based at the Thirsty Dog, K. Rd.) tomorrow - Tuesday 28/6, from 8 pm onwards - as the scheduled poet has had to cancel.
I guess the fact that Bronwyn is away all this week visiting her mother in Christchurch (Chilean ash-cloud willing, that is ...) makes me a bit more prone to drive out into the moody, stormbeaten city of an evening, so I've said 'yes'.
I'm not quite sure what I'm going to be reading yet. One idea was to intone some bits from my version of the Oresteia in an attempt to flog some copies of this innovative and fascinating work ...
I do feel that I should dedicate the evening to Dave Mitchell, though. He died last week, on the 21st June, after a long and protracted illness, and though he could no longer speak or read with any ease, he must been pleased to see Run Away Boy, his selected poems (edited by Martin Edmond and Nigel Young) finally out and getting reviewed.
He was, after all, the guy who started off the whole thing, back in the 80s. It seems truly extraordinary that it's been running ever since ...
Here's a little suite of photos from the last time I saw him, in Sydney last year, sitting to one side of the Poetry Symposium at the University of Technology, and getting a hug from Michele Leggott:
[a great big hug]
Thanks for these photos of Dave Mitchell.
Jack, sorry I didn't realize you were reading. Coincidentally I was pondering going to Poetry Live tonight. I keep doing that and then I feel too cold and I simply don't go ... I went quite a bit in 2009. Best for your reading.
David Mitchell! I didn't know him in the 80s but in the 90s I met his daughter Genevieve McLean and she is a wonderful poet also (I was with him and her once and he asked me about her when she went off for a bit - and I said that she was a very good poet) - he was obviously very proud.
I didn't know he had died. But I knew he was ill. When I went back to Uni in my late 30s I did an essay comparing a poem by him with one by Allen Curnow. I came out in favour of his poem (but perhaps the poem by Curnow was far from his best). Mitchell also gave a great reading once at the Shakespeare tavern in about 1992 or so.
His reading of one of his My Lai poems was one of my favourites on that CD you and Jan Kemp did.
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