Wednesday, August 09, 2006

Floods, Poetry, Books and Prisons

It has been raining heavily here the past two days. I caught part of the news on TV last night and learnt that there was flooding in Christchurch. The Heathcote River had burst its banks. Since the river is at the end of my street and I was going out, I tried to find out on the internet which streets were affected, but no luck. I figured that if there was water across the street I'd see that there was water across the street, so I went anyway. No problems. Later I learnt that some houses in the next suburb were evacuated, but nobody actually had water through their house, so it wasn't too bad.

The reason I was going out was that it was my poetry group, which I always enjoy. And we made plans. Firstly, one of the members had been asked to go into the women's prison as part of a "Books in Prison" scheme. She suggested that our whole group (four poets) should go, and we could tell them how we work together, and how we did our book. This might lead to something ongoing with the women writing and publishing a book.

This is the reason those lists: "fifty things to do before I die" don't work very well. Every so often someone comes up with an idea that just wouldn't have occurred to me. The most interesting things I have done were opportunities that arose unbidden. Like my former job as a forensic scientist (I was planning a science career but not forensics specifically) or the time I did a firewalk. It certainly would never have occurred to me to read poetry in a prison.

The other thing we agreed on is that it is time to plan a second book. So, first we are going to go out for brunch with some of the profits (only a small portion!) that have been sitting around from the first one. Then we will apply for a grant to go with the rest of the money to enable us to publish another. Then we just have to select, edit, workshop, write some more, select and edit some more, format, print, publicise...We plan the launch to take place at next year's Arts Festival which is in about twelve months time. Watch this space.


mar said...

Oh, pls send the rain to Spain, our reservoirs need it. Desperately, before emergency measures need to be taken.
Poetry in prison. That's something very different and wonderful at the same time.
Sounds like you have interesting, fun plans!

Star said...

That is quite a no nonsense group! Good luck. We had lots of rain and flooding here in the Eastern US as well. Fortunately not me, but very nearby. Michele sent me.

paris parfait said...

I think it's wonderful that your group is producing another book and that you're sharing your poetry in a prison! It's wonderful that when people put their heads together, they come up with such great - and unexpected - ideas. Sorry to hear about the flooding. Hope it doesn't get worse!

Tia said...

Hi Catherine! Here from Michele's today (via Vickie's). We JUST got our visas for NZ in the mail and I am SOOO excited to be headed that way. Scared, but excited.

The poetry in prison thing sounds awesome. Good luck with it and your next book. And the jail break of teddy bears below - I was laughing out loud! =)