Who is on the plum tree?
Drum roll…Dah Dah da Dahhhhhhh! Introducing the one and only Tony Mutton!
Tony is a wonderful, quirky poet and friend to Plum Tree Books. I hope you enjoy hearing about his perspective on poetry and poets. Thank you, Tony for being our guest this week. You can find Tony and his poetry hanging out on his blog HERE.*****
As a late comer to poetry and having written for only four years, I have questioned what it is that has enabled me to stay engaged and progress in the world of poetry. I read a quote recently – “it’s not just words that make great poetry – its people. I know some great people in Queensland”. Oh wait – that was my quote.
Since joining the spoken and performance community in Brisbane 3 years ago, what has impressed me has been the generosity of the people within that community. I attend practically every event in Brisbane and the poets at these events are very welcoming and encouraging to all people who attend (very much like here at Plum Tree Books).
I look back over a number of years and realise that for me, poetry did not exist. Poetry was never there, never mainstream entertainment and was, and still can be, a bit of an underground thing. What has kept it going and will keep it going in the future is the passion of the people involved today and the encouragement that they give to new practitioners of the art, the poets of tomorrow. If people are not encouraged to explore and experiment with poetry, it may return again to an environment where it is practiced by few.
To illustrate the point, I was recently asked to enter an Australian Bush Poetry competition – “you could enter the novice class – your only a young’n at 56”. The sad thing is that this is somewhat true – the youngest bush poet that I know is 50, the rest start around 65 and go up from there. It may be a dying art.
Andrea Gibson and Shane Koyczan are two poets (American and Canadian respectively) that just blow me away. The feeling, depth and passion in there words can chill me to the bone.
I have seen Eleanor perform two shows over the past two years – She Stole My Every Rock n Roll with Betsy Turcot (who is amazing) and her recent work exploring the relationship between Sylvia Plath and Ted Hugheswith Doubting Thomas (also amazing).
Darkwing Dubs is a performer/poet who never ceases to amaze me with the depth and breadth of his work – a person who should be on the world stage.
Graham Nunn is a founding member of Speed Poets in Brisbane and is one on my favourite poets.
Ok – so three is now five.
I think that it is here, with these poets, that I have been able to answer to the question I first asked. How have I been able to remain engaged with the poetry community here in Brisbane; simply through the encouragement that these very people have shown me. I hope that we are all able to do the same to other young poets (and old) in the future.