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La Mama Poetica at Willy Lit Fest 2015 – Review


Amanda Anastasi, curator of one Melbourne’s best regular spoken word events, held at the La Mama Courthouse Theatre, Drummond Street, Carlton, brought a mini version of a La Mama evening to the Lit Fest. Amanda opened proceedings by describing La Mama Poetica, before reading some of her own delicate, musical, observant poems alongside those of some of her favourite other readers. Anna Fern gave a typically original performance, complete with improvised bird song, sound effects from Footscray Market (members of the audience rustling plastic bags), and all-too-believable details of life in a call centre. Her poem about her mother closed with an unforgettable line. Paul Mitchell read from his latest collection, Standard Variation: a series of poems full of allusions and reflections, that opened horizons and made us want to buy the book and try them out again. He continued the western suburbs theme with his portrait of life in his own suburb: “Kingsville Country 3012”, where “Teenagers are setting off firecrackers/in the cul-de-sac again . . .” Amanda ended this great hour with her own poem celebrating the nature of poetic art. Thanks to Amanda, Anna and Paul for bringing their wonderful poetry to us at Willy Lit Fest 2015!

Chris Ringrose