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I was guest poet at Poets’ Corner Monday evening, a bi-monthly event held at the Effective Living Centre in Wayville, and thoroughly enjoyed it.

Having been recommended by Jules Leigh Koch, fellow poet, friend and a member of the group, Mary Taylor who runs the event invited me to read, which I managed to do for an hour! The centre is celebrating its 20th anniversary this year and the evening drew a small, but attentive audience.

Preparing for it, a few themes emerged – family, health and travel – so I structured my reading around them. I started by talking about my background, how I got into poetry, shared my first published poem (a whole nine lines!), and then my thoughts on the purpose of poetry and my creative process. I read 22 poems in all; some from my chapbooks and a few from the collection I’m currently working on. Questions followed.

Louise Nicholas, another fellow poet and friend, wanted to know how I can be so disciplined with my writing routine. Being fortunate enough to work part time, Fridays are my writing day, plus I love to do lists and so make one for what I want to achieve that week. And if I do something not on the list, I add it on and strike it through! (does wonders for the sense of achievement). I was also asked how I find out about submission opportunities. I’ve signed up to a weekly email, Submishmash, which lists upcoming deadlines for both national and overseas publications seeking work, and also hear about them through my poetry groups, with Facebook being a valuable source too. However, I plan to cut back on the number of submissions I make this year to focus on my next (and first full length!) collection.

It was a wonderful evening and I was surprised how quickly the time went. There was a short break followed by an open mic session in which others shared their own work. I sold a few chapbooks and had some interesting, and insightful, conversations. And that’s one of the many beautiful things about poetry – its power to bring people together, which sometimes, in itself, is enough.