Tuesday 24th November 2009 — Travelled over to Victoria with Jane on the weekend, to the Castlemaine readings run by Ross Donlon at the Guildford pub. Caught up with Robyn Rowland again, she invited us to stay with her in Ireland some time if our visits coincide, ‘I rent a lovely little cottage on Ireland’s west coast, overlooking the sea – for three months at a time,’ she said.
Ross runs a good poetry event. Sixty-five or seventy people in attendance, not easy to secure a seat.
Listened to an open section of eight poets [good poems too] as well as the launch of a chapbook from BN Oakman and a reading by Robyn Rowland.
Ross habitually reads a couple of poems to introduce the reading … one, on this occasion, a poem about hens by Sarah Day, a recent guest to Castlemaine … it struck a chord, (I’d visited friends not long ago, really took to their four gorgeously plumed hens who are destined to die of old age: they’re doted on by the family’s children who view them as pets so they’ll never reach the cooking pot) … Sarah presents powerful images, but (more than that) does so with integrity, walks the talk
BN Oakman’s full of energy, witty, humble. ‘If there’s one thing a reader appreciates, it’s a good listener. You’ve been that this afternoon, thank you.’ Robyn Rowland – particularly enjoyed the poems where the personal came to the fore, one poem spoke of the weight of depression, the relief once it’d been lifted. [More to the point, as she added with humour, what to do with all that energy once the weight of depression had lifted]. Also presented was some moving poetry on her relationship with her mother. I’d not heard Robyn read before — thoroughly absorbing.