On Friday 29 November, 2013, Blue Mountains City Library held the second annual Poetry Under the Stars event. The weather was not as kind as last year, so we moved inside the Katoomba Library rather than braving the elements in the Courtyard. Under the twinkling ‘stars’ of fairy lights, the evening’s entertainment proceeded.
Our MC was poet and Creative Director of Word Travels, Miles Merrill. Miles did a wonderful job of introducing our invited poets, Steven Herrick, Sandy Holmes, Tez Mak, Emma Brazil, Greg North and Craig Billingham. He also introduced local musicians Christine Wheeler & Friends, who performed Henry Lawson ballads, acapella choral group Canon Fodder, and jazz pianist Neil Sagewood.
Our Open Mike Sessions, where members of the audience got a chance to read one of their own poems, were one of the highlights of the evening. We had lots of volunteers, proving that the Blue Mountains is full of talented folks! This was such a hit, we plan to run these sessions again next year at Poetry Under the Stars 2014.
Here are some of the comments we received from you, the audience members, about the night:
• “Many thanks to all concerned. So good to have LIVING words and laughter shared by all.”
• “Excellent event, please keep doing it.”
• “Great night, lovely poetry, please continue more of them.”
You also suggested we encourage more young people to participate, and we agree! Next year, our Children’s and Young Adults Team Leader will be running Poetry workshops for teens in the lead up to Poetry Under the Stars, and we hope that we will have some volunteers for our Under 18s Open Mike Session to come out of this.
Many thanks to everyone who made this night such an enjoyable one, including all of our poets and musicians, Neil Sagewood and his trusty sidekick who ran the sound system, Ben Pearse and John Merriman for the memories they captured with their beautiful photography, and Naomi Oliver who filmed the event. Also to all the staff who volunteered their time to help with setting and packing up, timekeeping, catering, selling merchandise and answering questions. And of course, to all of you who came to this event (approximately 200 of you!), thank you for coming along. Poetry Under the Stars would not be an event without you!