An enthusiastic crowd gathered at Lithgow Library on Thursday 21st February to hear 11 local poets and wordsmiths perform their own work at this year’s Seniors Festival Poetry Slam.
“This event provided our seniors with an opportunity to perform, to be heard and connect to community through poetry. Creative ageing is good for us. We have more friends, experience more joy and live longer when we are involved in a creative activity,” said Mayor Ray Thompson.
Viktoria Gulabovski, Community Development Officer for Lithgow Council, was thrilled with the interest shown in the event by performers. “It was really amazing to see people together sharing out loud the things they have written about!”
“We had a bit of everything. Rhymes and beautifully delivered spoken words about the new age, being heard, listening to your doctor (or not), friendship, love and loss,” added Acting Library co-ordinator, Sharon Lewis.
Other performers spoke about things such as working in the coal mines, political correctness, becoming older, growing up, and guinea pigs. “It was a wonderfully diverse afternoon of entertainment’” commented poet and performer, Reg Reid.
To set the tone for the afternoon, Master of ceremonies Sophie Meredith, herself a poet and published author, impressed the audience with her energy and versatility as she opened the slam and welcomed the audience.
Each contestant was then allowed two minutes to impress the 5 judges, selected at random from the audience, with their own original word artistry.
The winners of the slam were Su Leybourne with her poem, A New Age Lament, followed by Paul Meverley in second place with his poem, Thank You for Listening, and Wendy Varney landed third place with her poem, Doctor’s Orders, who entertained the crowd with her exuberance and spark.
Anyone who was inspired by the Lithgow Seniors Festival Poetry Slam, and would like to start a self-directed poetry group at the Library, please call Sharon Lewis on 6352 9100. Also, keep your eyes peeled for an upcoming creative narrative writing class soon to be scheduled at the library.