Overland 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.”