There seems to have been a seismic shift in poetry in Adelaide in my one year’s absence (causal relationship? Probably not…)
In the past Friendly Street has been seen as the centre of the Adelaide – if not South Australian – poetry community. Certain personality problems seem to have prompted a diaspora…
In 2011 and previous years Ken Bolton’s Lee Marvin Readings have been successful in Adelaide (often competing with Friendly Street on a Tuesday night) and the readings at the Gawler pub are well-entrenched, but 2012 saw poetry communities emigrating to the suburbs. Last night I was invited as guest poet to the newly-formed SPIN (Southern Poets & Musicians’ Interactive Network) at the Ripple & Swirl beachside café at Christies Beach. It was exciting to be part of something buzzing and new. I met a lot of new local people plus poets (like Nigel Ford, Rachel Mead, Heather-Taylor Johnson, Alison Flett, Ian Gibbins, Martin Christmas, Steve Brock and his dad, Julia Wakefield, David Cookson and prime-mover Deb Matthews-Zott) who’d travelled from the city, the Hills and even Victor Harbor to be part of this new initiative. I’ve already mentioned Word Box in Hindley Street in a previous post. We have Avalanche’s Recovery Position at Prospect (haven’t made it there yet), Paroxysm’s Spoke n Slurred at The Squatters in Thebarton and The Artisan café in Blackwood. Meanwhile, back at Friendly Street, a fresh team is planning a new poetry year from Feb 5.
At the risk of sounding parochial, I reckon Adelaide punches well above its poetry weight for a city of its size!