Canberra Can – Canberra Speaking

Canberra is speaking

Canberra and the beauty of Canberra is speaking loudly at this time of year! Canberra is such a fine city in so many ways apart from benefitting from the relatively low impact of the virus. I do hope those local readers can get out in the spring sunshine and enjoy the colour flush and associated return to warmer days. We have an abundance of recreational areas and nature parks. It raises the spirit no end; especially for those that have been confined at home! And isn’t it wonderful that the majority of those infected have recovered and are now able to get out and appreciate the change!

Here is an image from our garden of the crab-apple saying a white hello.

Unfortunately, the Australian media often uses ‘Canberra is speaking’ in a different context. I say unfortunately because those that have never experienced the delights of Canberra can have a coloured image associated by the political life of our city.

I wonder to what extent this stereotype is changing and how much people can Canberra in this way. It is in this light that I encourage the uninitiated to come see and for themselves in the following sonnet …

Canberra Can
Canberra can be quite annoying 
the polies are soul destroying
they come from a different place
to give our fine city a tainted face
please do not send rubbish here 
to rape their time in sex and beer
we care about our reputation!
we are the Capital of the Ozie nation!
so, peel off this superficial skin 
place firmly in the rubbish bin
and come to Canberra yourself to see
the abundancy of our city
then I am sure you will discover 
that this fair city is like no other!
Richard Scutter

For those readers outside Australia the unacceptable sexual behaviour by some politicians has come to the fore, including inappropriate behaviour and lack of respect for women generally. Interesting, the ‘Profumo / Christine Keeler Affair’ documentary has recently been on television. This was a major scandal in British Politics in the early sixties.

‘Poetry on the Move’- Canberra 2017

POETRY ON THE MOVE is a festival of poetry, taking place in Canberra University and other local venues from the 14th to 21st of September 2017. Paul Munden, Festival Director,  explains this year’s program …

The theme for this year is ‘Border Crossings’ …

The theme emerged naturally. ‘Borders’ of all sorts are very much in the news, and poetry reflects that. We have an event at the National Portrait Gallery (Saturday the 16th), exploring issues of identity and migration. Another session considers cultural boundaries within Australia, led by poets who have done exceptional work with regional communities. And we’re fortunate to have a number of distinguished Japanese poets attending, so poetry in translation became another major focus, relating to the theme.

The poets-in-residence this time are …

Two wonderful poets, both from the UK. Vahni Capildeo won the prestigious Forward Prize last year for her collection Measures of Expatriation(yet another connection to the Boundary Crossings theme). And Glyn Maxwell, whose collections have also won major prizes, is particularly well known for his book On Poetry. Simon Armitage, one of last year’s guests has called it ‘the most compelling, original, charismatic and poetic guide to poetry that I can remember’.

Full details can be referenced here