Thursday, February 05, 2009

Poetry Idol heat 1 / Paradise Anthology launch

Last Sunday Nick Whittock and I acted as judges for the first heat of Poetry Idol 2009, which was held at St Kilda Library along with the launch of the second Paradise Anthology.

Nick and I eventually picked out Marc Testart and Ozlem Baro to go through to the final, while the audience voted for Sharona Radovsky and Duanne Clarke. The encouragement award went to Corrine Phillips. All were worthy winners.

The two former Poetry Idol winners, Geoff Lemon and Ezra Bix, gave energised performances of poems and promoted their respective books. The publication of Ezra's had been part of his prize, while Geoff's is published by Picaro.

Aside from judging on the day, in November I ran a workshop with several Paradise Anthology poets to prepare their poems for publication. I was also asked to pick out what I thought were the three best poems in the anthology. The poems I chose were written by Kai Jensen, Emma Kerrin and Fiona Stuart, who were all awarded prizes at the launch.

It was a great day of poetry and music, and a treat to see Chris Wilson perform live again. I also enjoyed Trish Anderson & Michael Crane's duet of Leonard Cohen's Who By Fire.

Thanks to Michael, Odette & Sally for all the support and encouragement. And kudos to all the poets, musicians, organisers, and everyone involved in The Paradise Anthology for pulling off another well-attended and fun event.

The Poetry Idol 2009 final will be held at Federation Square as part of the Age Melbourne Writers Festival. Chances are I'll be judging another heat or two before then. The next heat will be at South Yarra / Toorak library on Monday the 6th of April.

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