Raising My Profile:Public Performances

I'm an old duck now, and don't get out and about as much as I once did. But if I want to sell my books, I have to let people know that I, and they, exist.

I entered the poetry Super Slam put in by Poets Out Loud in Murwillumbah as part of the latest 'Murwillumbah Arts Trail' event, a biennial exploration of artistic activities here. I didn't win the slam, and didn't expect to; I know what it takes to win these things. I was there as a profile-raising exercise – but I enjoyed myself, and enjoyed hearing the other poets too. I did my Godzilla poem (also shared earlier on TikTok) and it was welcome light relief, exactly as I intended. Afterwards a number of people told both me and Sarah Temporal, the event organiser, how much they liked it. An audience member shared a video, reposted on Instagram by Sarah: a clip of me declaiming part of my poem, with the caption: 'WE LOVE ROSEMARY. VINTAGE AND SASSY.' Oh yes, love that label!

Here's a pic of me on the night, taken by my friend Judith in the audience.

A week later (last night!) I was a featured reader in the poetry night at Kyogle Readers and Writers Festival. Kyogle's a very small town not far from here, but the Festival, started a few years ago, is rapidly growing bigger. It was quite an honour to be included. Again, I loved being in the audience, hearing all the great poetry that was shared. I shared a bit of a journey in poems, from my beginnings (back in the mid-seventies) of becoming a public poet instead of a private scribbler, through the experience a few years later of running workshops in prison. One woman in the audience told me afterwards that she too had taught in prisons in the early eighties; she was excited to meet someone else who'd done it too.

'What were you teaching?' I asked her.

'Oh ... love, basically.'

'Me too!' I said; and we hugged.

I forgot to ask anyone to take photos of me at Kyogle. There may be some official ones later. But after I got home I did take a photo of the unexpected gifts I received in return for my appearance. And very nice too!