Last night I attended the opening night of the 17th annual Queensland Poetry Festival 2013 : spoken in one strange word at the Judith Wright Centre of Contemporary Arts.
The is the second year I have attended this festival’s opening night and can vouch for the festival going from strength to strength. It’s success is a real credit to the dedicated staff and volunteers that organise it.
The winners of the Arts Queensland Val Vallis Award for Unpublished Poetry and Thomas Shapcott Poetry Prize were announced and we were treated to performances of the winning pieces by their authors, my favourite being that of Brett Dionysius (Val Vallis Award winner, pictured).
The opening night show that followed Set Fire to the Air was a cracker!
The program featuring the intensity of Shane Rhodes‘ found poems exploring the experience of those living with HIV, haunting and tender pieces from Jacqueline Turner and the highly entertaining performance from TT.O (pronounced Pi O) was beautifully MC’d by the very talented Eleanor Jackson.
The night finished with a generous set from Bertie Blackman and band. It is the first time I’ve had the privilege of seeing this Aussie indie artist perform live and based on this experience it won’t be my last. She is one supremely talented individual whose originality shines bright without any hint of pretence.
For anyone that has appreciated poetry in the written form but never had the opportunity to experience works being performed by their authors live, this is an opportunity not to be missed.
My attempt to take a photo of Bertie rocking out to share with you was thwarted by a sweet yet diligent usher, so instead I leave you with the official video clip of one of my favourite songs from the night, ‘Boy’ from her latest album ‘Pope Innocent X’.