Poets lift words from the page at university

23 March 2012

Poet's corner

Poet's corner: Tracey Slaughter, Michael Morrissey and Stephen Oliver read their work to first year English students and members of the public.

First year English students at Waikato University were entertained by poets as part of their New Zealand Literature paper.  This year’s university writer in residence Michael Morrissey, award-winning writer Tracey Slaughter who teaches creative writing at Waikato and Stephen Oliver read a selection of their work. The lecture was also open to the public.

Poetry comes to life

Lecturer Dr Sarah Shieff says she decided to host the poets because the class was reading the New Zealand poet Ursula Bethell earlier in the week, and it seemed a terrific opportunity to have some real ‘live’ poets read their work.

“Poetry is fabulous on the page, of course, but it comes alive when it’s read.  It’s especially wonderful to hear poets read their own work.”

Good response to variety of poetry

Dr Shieff says the audience responded really well. “The poets were all very different – Michael likes playing with language; Tracey writes with a dazzling but restrained emotional intensity; Stephen’s work ranges across ages and continents.  I think the students and visitors from off-campus really appreciated the variety, and the writers’ commitment to what they do.”

She hopes this type of “lecture” will become a regular event.

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