Take one poet . . .


Take one poet and book reviewer, combine with an MC with a deep knowledge and appreciation of literature, quick wit and keen sense of humour.

Add a sprinkling of poems and meditations on books and authors.

Mix with an audience of book lovers, season with questions and you’ve got what was promised: an evening of literary brilliance and sparkling repartée, chaired by Jim Hopkins and starring the fabulous Kate Camp.

It was a stimulating and entertaining evening, organised by the Janet Frame Eden Street Trust.

They even served desert – the launch of the Friends of Janet Frame House.

One workshop . . .


. . . does not a poet make.

But this morning’s session with Kate Camp was helpful.

I learnt about the importance of nouns and the rationing of adjectives.

Nouns help to show not tell, in contrast to those describing words which are also telling words.

So easy to learn, so hard to apply.

Kate was interviewed by Kim Hill today. She came live from Burnside Homestead and spoke about Janet Frame’s autobiographies.

It was Janet’s birthday yesterday. After the workshop the class decamped for lunch and inspiration at  56 Eden Street  where she was brought up.

Not averse to moving outside comfort zone


I threw myself off a bridge last year.

We’ d taken several people to A.J. Hackett’s Kawarau Bridge Bungy jump over the years and I’d never been tempted to try it. But when we took an Argentinean friend last February a moment of madness led me to say I’d do it too.

They say it gives you a buzz that’s better than some of life’s more pleasant experiences.

They were wrong. It wasn’t awful but at the time I didn’t think it was particularly wonderful either.

However, it has had an impact on my life because since then when I’ve been confronted by an opportunity to do something outside my comfort zone I think, “If I can throw myself off a bridge, I can do that.”

A poetry workshop is not in the same category as bungy jumping but it’s something I’ve never been tempted to do before. Unless you count a few angst-ridden adolescent attempts at writing poems which are best forgotten and a bit of doggerel for fun, I’ve never even tried to write poetry.

But I got a phone call asking me if I was interested in an evening of literary brilliance and sparkling repartee chaired by Jim Hopkins ESQ and starring the fabulous Kate Camp of Radio New Zealand National renown, tonight.

When I said I was, the caller mentioned Kate was taking a poetry workshop this morning that I might like to join. A thanks-but-no-thanks was on the tip of my tongue when I remembered the bungy jump.

So this morning I’m making a literary leap into unknown creative territory. Should I survive that I’ve got the evening of Kate’s Classics to look forward to.

Kate's Klassics

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