Po­etry for the people

Central Leader - - FRONT PAGE - By JENNY LING

Amanda Ea­son scribe.

Her nearly four-decade-long love af­fair with po­etry has taken her to the Span­ish moun­tains, an ec­cen­tric English school and a bo­hemian squat in Lon­don.

The Mt Al­bert res­i­dent is now back in New Zealand and pre­par­ing for a free po­etry read­ing with some of the coun­try’s most well-known and re­spected writ­ers at the Pt Chevalier li­brary to­mor­row.

The free event fea­tures poets Bob Orr, Jo­hanna Emeney, Janet Char­man and nov­el­ist Sarah Laing.

Ea­son says po­etry should be in­ter­est­ing and re­lat­able.

‘‘I’m very dis­ap­pointed when po­etry is bor­ing be­cause it should be elec­tri­fy­ing,’’ Ea­son says.

‘‘I write po­etry that hope­fully other people want to read, so it’s a real per­son talk­ing about real

is no or­di­nary ex­pe­ri­ences,’’ she says.

‘‘It’s about or­di­nary life; a woman al­low­ing her­self to go grey, or their child cop­ing with bul­ly­ing or sewing name-tags in your child’s cloth­ing.

‘‘Read­ers will en­joy and un­der­stand the work. Hope­fully they’ll be en­cour­aged to pick up a pen.’’

Ea­son be­came in­ter­ested in the writ­ten and spo­ken word as a teenager while study­ing mod­ern Amer­i­can po­etry at Auck­land Univer­sity in the late 1970s.

She com­pleted her post­grad­u­ate stud­ies in teach­ing and a masters in English be­fore head­ing to a quiet Span­ish moun­tain vil­lage to write. It was dur­ing her 20 years in Lon­don that she re­ally es­tab­lished her­self with work ap­pear­ing in pub­li­ca­tions in­clud­ing the Ob­server, the New States­man and The Lon­don Mag­a­zine.

She taught at Hill House, an ‘‘ec­cen­tric prep school’’ in Knights­bridge while liv­ing at Bon­ning­ton Square Hous­ing Co- op­er­a­tive in Vaux­hall, a fa­mous bo­hemian com­mu­nity founded by artists, writ­ers and mu­si­cians.

Ea­son has been ‘‘writ­ing like a ma­niac’’ since re­turn­ing to Auck­land in 2010.

‘‘Some people may think po­etry is elit­ist and not for them but I be­lieve po­etry is for ev­ery­one,’’ she says.

‘‘It’s of people.’’

Ea­son has pub­lished four col­lec­tions of po­etry. She will be read­ing pieces from her book Rea­sons for Lov­ing pub­lished in 1992, and a se­lec­tion of her more re­cent work.

The au­di­ence will get the chance to read their own po­etry dur­ing the sec­ond half of the event.

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Write stuff: Amanda Ea­son en­joys teach­ing po­etry as much as she loves writ­ing and read­ing it.

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