Mandatory Poetry – or Hinemoana Baker Rocks the House.

I am first person to admit that I’m often rude about poets. Since I’ve been working with the talented Julie Beveridge (Home is Where the Heartache Is), I’ve become better … although I’m not going to stop making jokes about people who exhaust themselves spending a day trying to work out where to put a comma. The day Jules explained to me that a semi-colon in poetry says ‘There’s more, but I’m not telling you what it is’ made me regard the artform with a bit more respect.

But! As I said, I’ve become better. Last night as a work-related event, I attended the launch for the new Queensland Poet-in-Residence, Hinemoana Baker ( Now I tend to equate Mandatory Poetry with Involuntary Luge  – you get no choice in the matter and it can scare the living crap out of you, but sometimes, just sometimes you have an epiphany (instead of a coronary).

Last night’s event was such a moment. Hinemoana has the voice of an angel (admittedly, an angel who spends time in bars), her use of words is sublime, she mixes music with her poetry … all in all the word ‘confection’ seems far too fluffy to describe the experience you get … but I must stick with confection until I find a thesaurus and stumble upon a better word.

It’s a tribute to her talent that her first collection matuhi/needle was published as a collaboration between Victoria University Press in NZ and Perceval Press in the US, Viggo Mortensen’s publishing house. (Yes, that Viggo Mortensen – how much does his cool factor rocket through the roof now?)

Go to her website – there are listen-y bits there In short: she rocks.

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0 Responses to Mandatory Poetry – or Hinemoana Baker Rocks the House.

  1. viggan92 says:

    If you think Viggo is cool now, take a look at all of the other things he can do: (so is just a colon saying “there’s more and I AM telling you what it is?” anyway) just check out his paintings or his photography or his poetry, even. The man can do many things AND speak mulitiple languages. Cool factor to the moon and back.

  2. angelaslatter says:

    Indeed he is a Renaissance kind of guy.

  3. jules says:

    it’s not where the comma goes… it’s what the comma tells you.

  4. angelaslatter says:

    And thus my education continues.