The Poetry on the Boards at the Henry Lawson Festival this year had a whole new vibe, due in part to a reduction in crowd size and poets on the day to sign-up; a smaller more intimate occasion ensued.
With many thanks to the Grenfell Branch of Red Cross for their hospitality for the morning our visitors and regulars were again welcomed warmly by these wonderful ladies.
Those who came to Poetry on the Boards to have a go or for those who came to listen and enjoy the line up saw an event that flowed effortlessly from poet to poet with an interlaced thread of Lawson recollections and engaging commentary thanks to Bob Mc Millan Poetry on the Boards MC 2011-2012.
Bob’s natural ability to communicate with the audience is welcoming and inclusive and assists in creating a non threatening environment for walk-up poets to read or recite at the festival.
Bob Mc Millan introduced three poets to the bill Jenn Graham of Grenfell, Greg Broderick of Young and Peter Soley Ed at the Grenfell Record.
Greg performed two pieces, the first: The Thong, by Blue the Shearer, a rollicking belly laugh about the ubiquitous thong footwear and its role in Australian society.
Greg’s second piece: The Echo, by Grahame Watt was also humorous verse and Greg had the crowd again in stitches.
Greg’s stage presence coupled with his flawless delivery earned him the Poetry on the Boards Best Poet on the Day Trophy for 2012.
Greg has attended the Henry Lawson Festival walk-up poetry event for many years and we consider Greg a great friend of the festival and a most deserving awards recipient.
Local girl Jenn Graham delivered her own piece titled: Me Mum Said.
Jenn was clearly fond of the young characters in her poem and the crowd related well to the childhood innocent scenarios and mischief the youths found themselves in.
Jenn went on to surprise us later in the afternoon with a Grenfell heat winning performance in the Poetry Slam with the same piece, Me Mum Said. We congratulate Jenn on this outstanding effort.
The third entrant on the day was our very own Editor of the Grenfell Record Peter Soley performing: The Man from Ironbark, by A.B Banjo Patterson. Peter did a great job at reciting on a day when his mind would have been well across recording and reporting on coverage of the festival and the many events in the lead up to and following on from Poetry on the Boards. We thank Peter for sharing his love of this classic Australian verse by the Banjo.
Also supporting the Poetry on the Boards were Miles Merrill and Candy Royalle from Word Travels, (Miles Merrill’s Sydney based performance poetry company). The amazing duo were in town to host the Grenfell Heat of the Australian Poetry Slam. Miles and Candy graciously extended the Poetry on the Boards bill helping to ensure that the Boards audience were well treated to a full morning of poetry recitations.
There is no doubting that the Boards morning is a unique opportunity for poets to take the stage at the Henry Lawson Festival of Arts.
This event has now run successfully for the past 15 years in its various forms and may well take new shape in 2013.
We look forward to catching up with you all again then...Until then keep writing, reading and reciting!