Liz Lefroy and Jonty Watt – Launceston, November 16th 2023.
Visiting UK poet Liz Lefroy
Liz’s opening poems of the evening involved “that very British sport of queuing,” the first of which – “In the Queue in the Waitrose Cafe, I Meet My Love” – can be read online at Liz’s website, at Liz Lefroy – Poet.
Liz: “I love noticing the small things that happen in life. And that’s kind of what happens in the next poem in which my son Jonty, who I’m absolutely delighted has been travelling with me for half the time we’ve been in Australia, features. It’s called ‘Michelangelo’s David'”.
(In a personal blog post back in July of 2016, Liz explained this poem is also set in a queue, but in Florence. ‘… it’s also about love, language, and the fluidity and permeability of borders between people and cultures. It’s about the joy of the taken-for-grantedness of those exchanges: it’s about knowing the words pizza, gelato, cappuccino without having to try. I read the poem with new energy, as an act of poetry.’
I didn’t plan for this, queuing with my son …
Liz, Evie and Jonty
Liz Lefroy, Erin Coull, Sophie Campbell and Zeke Lanham
Liz: “I’ve wanted to come to Australia since I was twelve, when I touched down and we were coming out of the airport in Perth I felt emotional and moved … even caught up with an old schoolfriend in Sydney the other day.”
“So yes to friendship! Yes to poetry! Thank you for having me, really appreciate it. I also want to say: shall we give our young poets another round of applause … Evie had said to me, how would it be having some young local poets read first, and I can’t think of anything better to do. In my other life, I’m a teacher….’
Colin, wrapping up: “Once again, thank you very much Liz and Jonty, this was more than I could have anticipated, a really interesting, amazing experience. I really like the feeling I get from your poem about Western Australia – taking what is the everyday and reminding us that it’s a very different world here physically from the one from where you’ve come. Thanks very much people for turning out, I was really glad that we could get Liz and Jonty into this session and it’s reminded us that we can extend the poetry festival with one-off events such as this throughout the year. I’ll very briefly mention the fact that we’ve been mightily supported this year by the Launceston City Council and by Stella and Harry Kent as well as by other sponsors, and I think it’s important we carry that support over into the fortieth anniversary of the poetry festival next year, making it the longest poetry gig of its kind in Australia. Once again, thank you very much … really impressive.”