The Blue Stocking Poetry Jam

So The Blue Stocking Poetry Jam was AMAZING!

Rhyll McMaster

Rhyll McMaster

We had Australian poets Rhyll McMaster,
Elizabeth MoraEden Riley, and myself
(reading for Tricia Dearborn, who 
unfortunately was sick on the night). 
These ladies have great blogs/websites 
which you can explore - just click on 
their names to read some of their work.

Elizabeth Mora

Elizabeth Mora

Many people commented on our 
particularly strong open-mic 
section, which had a lovely mix 
of new and experienced female poets. 
There was some serious talent, 
and a very generous and supportive 
spirit, in the room.


Eden Riley

Eden Riley

It was a fun and intense experience 
being both MC for the evening and 
stand-in poetry reader. (No photos 
of me unfortunately, I was too busy 
taking them!) However I enjoyed 
it immensely, and will probably 
do it again some time, when I've 
recovered. :-)



Tricia Dearborn

Tricia Dearborn


I'm going to leave you with one of
Tricia's wonderful poems,
which I read out on the night 
to some musical backing. 
It's from her latest collection 
The Ringing World, which you can 
purchase here. I highly recommend 
buying one - I did!


She reconsiders life on the run

Sadness always knew where to find me, though I kept on giving it false addresses, and moved house when it got too close. It discovered my silent number. Tired of its voice on the answering machine, I disconnected the phone.

I took to leaving the lights off so sadness couldn’t tell   when I was at home. I didn’t put music on. I moved around as little as possible in case it had sonar. I wasn’t sure how it was tracking me.

It got so that it was hard to go out. I’d be standing in the supermarket choosing a brand of shampoo and sadness would touch my elbow. I’d realise in the cinema as the lights went down that sadness had the seat next to me.

Eventually I saved up and had my fingerprints removed and my face reconstructed by a plastic surgeon so sadness wouldn’t recognise me, even if we bumped into each other on the street.

The day sadness saw me and knew me in my new face and hands I realised it was going to take a heart transplant to shake this thing. The excitement of living like a get-away driver was beginning to pall.

I decided to reclaim my face, my actual address. I know that sadness will choose inconvenient times to visit, arriving as I’m getting dressed to go out, or at 2 am, or while I’m watching my favourite show on TV.

But it doesn’t unpack its suitcase all over my bedroom, or drink all the milk, or run up a three-figure phone bill calling long-distance, or expect to stay for months like an English backpacker.

And now I don’t have to avert my gaze when sadness catches my eye, or block my ears when it knocks at the door. Now I say, Is it you, sadness? Come in, come in, it’s been a while.


6 thoughts on “The Blue Stocking Poetry Jam

  1. Oh thanks so much for sharing, Michele. This sounds so exciting–yay you and all of the other poets! Tricia Dearborn’s powerful poem reminds me of Rumi’s “The Guest House.” xx

  2. Great reading here and great poets too, thanks for bringing them to us. I love poetry readings and reading in public, the words seem lifeless sometimes on a page, but spoken! That’s when the true magic of poetry comes to life. I often say that poetry (the oldest perhaps of the arts) was originally an oral tradition, Homer was spoken aloud for centuries before being written down, likewise the great Sagas of the Vikings and the older sagas here in Ireland. Great post, I’ll be ages exploring all these links! Thanks again, Kevin.

    • Thanks Kevin, I know you are passionate about your poetry readings also! It is such a lovely (and somehow natural) thing for a person to stand and take their turn amongst others, sharing their words The poetry scene here in Australia is really flourishing at the moment, in large part because of a rising interest in spoken word poetry and performance. It’s great to see!

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