Clockwise from top left: Alan Wearne, John Koenig, Chris Lynch and Graham Nunn.
With the wind helping the bamboo outside Riverbend Books to provide a rustling chorus and the night punctuated by city sounds - cars, conversations and fire trucks - Pascalle Burton, Alan Wearne, John Koenig, Chris Lynch and Graham Nunn read their poetry on the front deck of the bookstore in Bulimba last night. The evening also launched Brisbane New Voices II, featuring the work of John and Chris.
At the beginning of the night, with a glass of wine in hand, I was handed one of six or so envelopes to participate in one of the readings, I was worried that this may involve me reading something out loud (!), but thankfully the envelopes acted as cues for Pascalle Burton and depending on the envelope's contents, that was the cue for which poem Pascalle read next. It was a fun way of involving the audience, and as she was the first reader, it worked to warm the audience up. Pascalle also utilised sounds (like ping pong balls bouncing) and pre-recorded speakers (some even being played backwards).
Alan Wearne's reading was a highlight for me, especially after interviewing him this week, his reading was lively and full of stories and laughter. John and Chris' work was well received and even though Chris was reading mostly short poems and suggested that the audience might like to hold their applause to the end, he was clapped after every poem. The evening ended with Sheish Money, who had started the event with a song, playing with Graham Nunn who was reading a new poem written in response to the recent floods.
It was a great night, and more readings are coming up, if you interested sign up for the Riverbend newsletter.
Or check out more details at the Queensland Writers Center.