Day two of the festival got off to an incredibly cool start when I caught Rachael Briggs and Zenobia Frost in Celestial Monsters. It’s difficult to describe exactly what we saw – but in a nutshell it was clever, witty, funny, surprising and so so entertaining. One of the performances of the festival for me! It was also great to pick up a copy of Zen’s new book Salt and Bone which has been published by Walleah Press – a small independent press once more supporting Queensland poets and giving new voices a chance to shine!
I was back on MC duties immediately following, in Fall to Float, featuring Kathryn Lomer, Jessica L Wilkinson and Cyril Wong. I really enjoyed this session – Kathryn read some new pieces, including a long and beautiful piece inspired by the cliffs outside MONA in Hobart, Jessica read from her forthcoming book Debut for Percy Grainger and it was wonderful to see the poems as they appear in print as she performed, as the way she sets out her work is such an incredible feature. Cyril Wong was amazing. His poems were really beautiful and spoke about simple things, simple experiences. I love that!
Other performances I caught were the end of Lionel Fogarty’s set in the shopfront, and Fly in Formation – featuring Ian Gibbins, Pascalle Burton and Nathan Shepherdson and Christian Bok. This experimental-style is definitely not my style of poetry, because I find it hard to make a connection, but I was open to the experience at QPF. Pascalle and Nathan’s piece was mesmerising and interesting though.
I was excited to see Warsan Shire perform one more time, in the last session I caught at the festival – The Diamond Constellations. It also featured our own Chloe Callistemon performing more of her bird poems from A Bird’s Guide to Flight, and Amanda Stewart, who is also known for her experimental style and energetic performances. Once again Warsan was able to fill my mind with images, stories and words that I carried away, and I can’t think of a better way to finish what was another incredible Queensland Poetry Festival!
Roll on 2015…