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who let the critic out?

Overland RemixOverland Overloaded reviewer Alec Patric is on the prowl today, reviewing the Westwords and Voiceprints Overload Poetry Festival events this evening. Poets beware, this reviewer is unforgiving, with a sharp eye and a real knack for no-frills criticism. He’s armed with a notebook and ambivalence and is thirsting to be impressed. Stay tuned for his take on his Overload travels.

Alec let us in on his mindset, as he gets ready to take on the Overload poets.

“I can’t say I’m champing at the bit. There’s a few things I’m looking forward to. Mostly, I’m just mildly curious. Wandering around Melbourne to bars I’ve never been to before, to hear people I’ve mostly never heard of, read poetry which will mostly bore me I suspect, but hoping for that flash of illumination, the cutting insight, the combustible combination of images, thrown to the distracted air with pitch perfect panache.

I’m ready for transport. Even if first I need to push this wheelbarrow of bones and organs over cobblestones. Because I’m tired before I’ve even begun this thing. Carrying your own life is enough work sometimes without taking on the extra weight of a festival. I mean it sounds like fun, on paper, but I’m not as bright-eyed or bushy-tailed as once I was. I walked home with yet more books last night from the store. I’ve got books I’ll never read piled up around me imploring me not to go gallivanting with Melbourne’s poets. One is a collection of poetry I bought just last night by Peter Bakowski. In his poem, ‘Portrait of the colour black,’ he writes, ‘Sometimes you throw knives at my heart/That’s your ace/and you play it,/blindfolded, while muttering the word eclipse.’ I don’t think he’s going to Overload but he does make me realize how hungry I am for good poetry.”

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Comments

  1. “The difference between critics and audiences is that one is a group of humans and one is not.”
    Edward Albee (except for Alec of course.)

  2. What about the blogger, Paul? What would Albee say about us in-betweens? Not quite audience or critic. A cyborg of the sentence or werewolf of the word? Or maybe just another writer wondering how words work, and scratching his head when they don’t. I’m interested in both, the humans and the aliens. Let’s all just decide to kiss the green children.

  3. Perhaps he was making the distinction between the human response to someone doing their best which is hopefully compassionate and supportive and the critical response which is hopefully inhumanly merciless. As to blogging, the glorious diversity makes a definitive statement impossible, but I would suggest that to assume you know who someone is by reading a few pieces from their blog is dangerously naive. I used to get in trouble for saying that every blog is a work of fiction.

  4. No, it’s true Peter Bakowski doesn’t seem to be in Overload this year – though I’m pretty sure he’s done six out of the eight O/L festivals (one year he was overseas if I recall). He does have readings coming up, which you can find on his blog http://bakowskipoetrynews.blogspot.com/
    The blog is also a great place to check out his writings and thoughts.

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