Tuesday, November 13, 2007
It's been a hectic but rich weekend (rich in culture I mean!). Amazingly for such a complicated event, there were few mishaps, and even the notoriously random Auckland weather behaved itself. Among the mishaps were an overly energetic poet breaking our only mic stand ten minutes into the start of events on Saturday, a wandering oom-pah-pah band that threatened to drown out our musician, and a poet having his words literally blown off him as he was trying to read on the main stage. Other than that, pretty much all we had to contend with were the odd case of sunburn (unusual for poets, who usually only emerge at night) and an aspiring open mic poet or two refusing to get off the stage (par for the course at poetry readings).
The festival was busy, with lots of people browsing among the roses nearby or poking through the stalls before heading up the steps to find out what the stage was about. Although a few passers by looked genuinely startled to find poetry being read, many more wandered past, stopped for a poem or two, and some (including a lady with a poodle on her lap) even stopped to listen for a few hours!! Kids needed little persuasion to write us poems for the "Poet-tree" which gradually grew its glittering way up the trunk of a central palm tree.
I was very glad to have my co-MC, Anna Kaye, with me, as well as a rotating group of "helpers" for the marquee and desk. With artist changeovers every 10-30 minutes we were kept quite busy, but we were told our stage was one of the most 'chilled' of the whole festival, so obviously we managed to hide it well!
photos are by myself and Gus (www.printablereality.com)