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THE last Thursday of the month is looming and this means poetry night at Manning Clark House.In the past year the Robin Boyd-designed house, in Tasmania Circle, Forrest, originally home to legendary historian Manning Clark and his wife Dymphna, has been under siege because of funding problems. But it now seems to be home to feverish artistic activity once more.
That is largely because of the efforts of enthusiastic art lovers and intellectuals in Canberra.
One such is poetry guru Kathy Kituai, who is at the heart of regular readings in the house. These are always, in the tradition of Omar Khayyam and the ancients, accompanied by wine and good conversation.
This week’s session on Thursday, October 27, will feature three very well-known Canberra poets, Paul Hetherington, Adrian Caesar and Harry Laing.
Hetherington is the author of eight volumes of poetry, the most recently “Burnt Amber”, 2016. He won the 1996 ACT Book of the Year Award and more recently, the Chief Minister ACT Creative Arts Fellowship in 2002. He is a founding editor of the National Library quarterly humanities and literary journal, “Voices” (1991-97), and is a member of the board of “Australian Book Review”.
Laing is a poet, comic performer and children’s author who lives beside Monga National Park. His most recent collection of poetry is “Backbone” (Bunda Press). He co-runs Poetry Alive, which organises residential poetry weekends, he has given many public readings, and appears at festivals. Laing’s first collection of children’s poetry, “Shoctopus – poems to grip you!” (Bunda Press) came out in 2015 and he presented them at Whitsunday Voices Youth Literature Festival in July.
Caesar is a Canberra writer and the author of several works of non-fiction including, “The White” (Picador, 1999), which won the ACT Book of the Year in 2000 and the Victorian Premier’s Award in that same year. He has also published a novel titled, “The Blessing” (Arcadia, 2015), which has been long-listed for this year’s Voss Award, as well as five other books of poetry.
Poetry night at Manning Clark House, 11 Tasmania Circle, Forrest, 7.30pm, Thursday, October 27, $10 at the door. Inquiries to Kituai at 0478 640169.