Friday, 22 July 2011

National Poetry Day

Today is National Poetry Day so I thought I'd share my favourite poem from the NZETC collection.

When I first started at VUW, I'd recently returned from Oxford, where I'd been quite removed, physically and intellectually, from my years as an undergrad at Canterbury. One of my early tasks was assessing our collection with respect to google suite of tools. I'd not yet really had much to do with the Sport journal, but one of the pages was highly ranked for both "fucking poems" and "fucking poetry" and I instantly connected with the poem. The poem reminds me of two wonderful years I spent as part of the Canterbury Writers Group set up by the then Writer-in-Residence Bernadette Hall (whose Wikipedia entry I would later edit). For me those years were filled with poetry that was long on passion, shock value and pseudonyms but short on writing craft and life experience. We edited two anthologies (Find the Red (which ran to two printings) and Eels in a Bucket); we drank cheap red wine; we supported each other at poetry readings; we got to know the AA crowd (they were in the room immediately before us); in short we had a ball. One of my poems from the period eventually washed ashore in the School Journal, so maybe it wasn't an entirely misspent youth.

All that floods back to me when I read Short Poems About Fucking by James Brown from our Sport collection. I hope you enjoy it as much as I do.

stuart yeates