Set­ting poetry’s rep­u­ta­tion right

Central Otago Mirror - - NEWS - By CHE BAKER

For too long many peo­ple have con­sid­ered poetry per­for­mances as dull and bor­ing. But or­gan­is­ers of a new fes­ti­val of words and sto­ry­telling in Wanaka – Out­spo­ken – are out to change that per­cep­tion. Out­spo­ken or­gan­iser Ju­lia Le said the idea of the fes­ti­val, be­ing held for the first time, was to spread the word that words are cool. Many peo­ple shut down when they hear poetry but mod­ern po­ets were ‘‘so alive’’, a mix of stand-up com­edy and poetry, she said. Or­gan­iser Liz Ber­slin said the fes­ti­val will fea­ture renowned Kiwi po­ets in­clud­ing poetry slam cham­pi­ons Ali Jacs and Tourettes, a rap­ping hip hop poet. ‘‘Rap-to-poetry, the line is very fine. It’s in your face stuff,’’ she said. The fes­ti­val was of­fi­cially started on Sun­day with per­for­mances by one of New Zealand’s most cel­e­brated bards, Sam Hunt. His per­for­mance, dubbed ‘‘songs for the tone-deaf’’, touched on war, life-af­ter-death and his son but was also lit­tered with hu­mour. On Mon­day a Rhyme Time free ses­sion for 5- to 9-year-olds will be held at the Wanaka Li­brary. From then work­shops and per­for­mance nights will be held ev­ery Tues­day un­til Fe­bru­ary 18 as well as a spe­cial workshop on Jan­uary 22 by Sue Woot­ton.

Out­spo­ken – Fes­ti­val of words and story telling

To Fe­bru­ary 18 Visit out­spo­ken­fes­ti­val.co.nz

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