For former US Poet Laureate Billy Collins, a poem is ‘a flashlight, an instrument of discovery’. I don’t think this can be surpassed as the most perfect concise definition of poetry.
Sarah Westcott, Gordon Meade, Gillie Robic and Neetha Kunaratnam confirmed this definition last night with verses that shone a light on and helped us discover many different ‘elsewheres’ – some painfully real, like the moment a cancer diagnosis is received; or when a parent is desperately worried about a child’s health; or when one witnesses a parent’s sickness or when caged animals are given a voice. Others almost mythical, where one flies again with an injured bird, watches hawks, listens to ‘the old man by the sea’ or floats out to the ocean without flipflops through a flooded London… And others again, where you’re taken for a literal ride with family members to times and a society so different that it feels like watching a Hollywood movie.
Beautiful voices and not only in the poetic sense. Sarah, Gordon, Gillie and Neetha have beautiful reading voices and I could have listened to them for a lot longer. Comments from the audience expressed the same. If you enjoyed the evening, or if you didn’t make it and would like to read their work, here are some links:
You can order Sarah’s books from the publisher https://liverpooluniversitypress.co.uk/books/
Gordon’s Zoospeak is published by Enthusiastic Press.
Gillie’s books are published by Live Canon https.//www.livecanon.co.uk/store
Neetha’s collection Just Because is published by Smokestack Books.