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!
Blue Mountains City Library Service is turning the big 4-0 in 2014. The first branch opened in 1974, so celebrations will kick off with a 70s themed party on Library Lovers Day, Friday 14 February from 6pm-8pm. Come along in your best 70s costume (there are prizes for the best dressed) and join in the fun. There will be activities for kids, dancing for everyone, and live music. Plus, the Library Service will be launching the new collection of eBooks on the night!
This is a celebration for the whole Blue Mountains Community, so please invite your friends and family, and also anyone you know who was involved in establishing the Library in the Blue Mountains. Look out for other special events planned over the anniversary year.
Click on the graphic to see full size.
The Blue Mountains Library staff recently made this fun video about the places we Love2Read (with photos taken by John Merriman). What about you – where do you Love2Read? We’d love to know – please tell us in the comments section below!
The Diagram Prize is awarded by The Bookseller magazine each year to the book with the oddest title. The prize began in 1978 as a way of alleviating boredom at the Frankfurt Book Fair with Proceedings of the Second International Workshop on Nude Mice its inaugural winner.
The 2012 shortlisted titles are :
- A Century of Sand Dredging in the Bristol Channel: Volume Two by Peter Gosson ~ documents the sand trade from its inception in 1912 to the present day, focusing on the Welsh coast.
- Cooking with Poo by Saiyuud Diwong ~ a Thai cookbook. “Poo” is Thai for “crab” and is Diwong’s nickname.
- Estonian Sock Patterns All Around the World by Aino Praakli ~ styles of socks and stockings found in Estonian knitting.
- The Great Singapore Penis Panic: And the Future of American Mass Hysteria by Scott D Mendelson ~ analysis of the “Koro” psychiatric epidemic that hit Singapore in 1967.
- Mr Andoh’s Pennine Diary: Memoirs of a Japanese Chicken Sexer in 1935 Hebden Bridge by Stephen Curry and Takayoshi Andoh ~ the story of Koichi Andoh, who travelled from Japan to Yorkshire in the 1930s to train workers at a hatchery business the art of determining the sex of one-day-old chicks.
- A Taxonomy of Office Chairs by Jonathan Olivares ~ exhaustive overview of the evolution of the modern office chair.
- The Mushroom in Christian Art by John A Rush ~ the author postulates that Jesus is a personification of the Holy Mushroom, Amanita Muscaria.
The prize winners for this prize are voted for by the public. Cast your vote by clicking here.
The winner will be announced on 30th March 2012.