Saturday, January 25, 2014

Poetry in Pubs?

Have you ever thought about where poetry could happen? Libraries certainly have poetry occurring, in terms of books on shelves, workshops and book signings. Where else could there be poetry happening? Bookshops, certainly you can find poetry happening there too.

Schools have poetry being taught to students, both reading the poems of established poets, and the writing of new poetry by the students. Poetry happens in homes, reading and writing too. Where else could you find poetry happening, do you think?

One place, probably my favourite place where poetry happens, is in pubs! There are poetry readings going on in pubs in Australia and in Ireland, and probably other countries too. I know about the Poetry @ the Pub because I'm involved in a monthly event in one pub, and have been for many years.

The Poets@thePub I know about is the event that happens in the South Australian town of Gawler on the last Sunday of every month except December. The action starts at 2pm and goes on until 4 pm. This event has been going on for almost twenty years. It was started by Martin Johnson, a keen poet who has become an icon in the town of Gawler.

Martin has given poetry back to the people, holding poetry readings in a variety of pubs, forced to move on as pubs changed hands or closed down. The last pub Martin had the poetry readings at was the Prince Albert hotel, on Murray Street. Then Martin felt he'd had enough of the poetry game and wanted to give more back to his music.

Fortunately a committee of dedicated attendees of the Gawler Poets @ the Pub got together and took over from Martin. They did a good job, and the numbers of poets coming to the PA once a month kept up. Two of the committee members have had to move on, but the remaining two are still extremely keen to keen the poetry happening at the PA Hotel.

There is an anthology produced every year, with the best of the poems read from each poet chosen published. This anthology is a fine record of contemporary poetry. The quality varies a little bit perhaps, but the standard is still very good. The annual anthology is a great book to add to anyone's poetry bookcase!

The Gawler Poets@thePub often has a guest poet, where the guest is given fifteen minutes to read their works and talk about their poetry. There have been poets from other countries and from interstate too. It certainly looks like Gawler Poets@thePub will keep on going for many years to come!

2 comments:

Veronica Hester said...

Hey, when are you going to announce the winners for the poetry competition?

John Malone said...

May the poetry club long prosper :)