Delighted to get a chance to attend and read at another poetry reading while in Australia, this time the November Voicebox, at Clancy's Fish Pub in Fremantle. A very comfortable venue, a large room at the back of the premises with a proper stage, lighting and sound. Plenty of room, a large crowd of up to 50 people and a welcome for the stranger. The food was good as well - the Monday special is Barramundi, chips and a drink for 20 dollars.
The first half featured local writers Jennifer Kornberger and Cecily Scutt. Jennifer Kornberger is a poet, playwright and community artist. Her first book of poetry, I could be rain was published by Sunline Press in 2007. She read a number of longer poems and enthusiastically shared her fascination with the phenomenon of seeing and light which are the subject of her next collection.
Cecily Scutt is a Perth fiction writer and poet. Her short fiction has appeared in magazines and anthologies including Dreaming Down Under (UK, US and Australia) which won a World Fantasy Award in 1998. In the last few years she has also been writing poetry and she read a number of short poems. She also read extracts from a novel she is currently working on which deals with the character of Captain Fitzroy who was the captain of the Beagle with Darwin.
The second half was open mic. Ten to twelve read in this section, the limit was five minutes each, no-one went over the limit, all were poets and read two or three each. A good variety with two from Perth Poetry Club, the two MCs Janet Jackson and a poet whose name I forget, also reading.
I wasn't the only European to read. A lady from Belgium read three poems in Flemish or Dutch and her daughter read translations in English.
I read three poems, starting with my Perth poem for Sinead, then The Truth and ended with the Journey Home. The second one went down very well with everyone "getting" that last line - "I raised her well" -and reacting appropriately. I changed a few words in the last poem to have the Christmas clothes parcel come from Sydney instead of New York. A great night, thanks to the organisers, audience and readers.