Holding my book for the first time

I love Canberra. You don’t always hear that do you? I recently participated in a reading at the iconic Smith’s Alternative on their That Poetry Thing night. It’s a regular weekly event with a basic structure of open mic readings followed by one or two feature poets. On this night I was one of the feature poets as I was launching my first collection Girl on a Corrugated Roof. The other feature poet was Owen Bullock who is a wonderful poet with a string of awards and publications to his name. I was feeling nervous but once I walked in the room I felt completely at ease. The vibe was warm and welcoming. There is a lot of red, pink and purple in that room and sometimes colour helps to warm up a room! The audience were so kind to the open mic readers. Some of these open mic readers were very polished at both writing and reading. But some were newbies, included one young person who mentioned this when they stood up to read. The warm applause set them at ease. Shane Strange, my publisher, Owen and the other organisers of the night went out of their way to make sure I was feeling comfortable. In addition I had a supportive group of family and friends drop in to make sure I read ok. (Thank you Jonno, Ally, Grace, Rose, Luca, Andrew, Julia, Dave, Jimmy and Ivora). Outside, the winter chill of Canberra was biting, but inside was like going home to sit by the fireplace and read. In this case I was reading my very own book for the first time. It’s up there with my most uplifting moments in life. Thank you Recent Work Press, Smith’s Alternative, That Poetry Thing and Owen Bullock.