Poetry pulls 'em in

BY SARAH YOUNG
Last updated 05:00 25/03/2010
Janis Freegard and Lewis Scott
SARAH YOUNG
PULLING THE PUNTERS: Janis Freegard, left, in the sea anemone hat she made especially for her reading, with co-founder of Poetry at the Ballroom Cafe, Lewis Scott.

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Poetry is pulling capacity crowds at the Ballroom Cafe in Newtown.

About 45 people – young, old, African, Samoan, Maori, East European and more – filled the Riddiford St cafe last Sunday to hear noted poet Janis Freegard and local musicians.

Co-founder Neil Furby said it was only the second of a planned monthly series, but both had been packed.

"[Newtown's] such a beautiful mix of cultures and people – and they are definitely turning up and embracing [the event], which is exactly what we are looking for."

Mr Furby said the monthly event provided a sense of community and belonging which was sometimes lacking in society today.

"It's harking back to how things were done before the rise of new media and technology, and people are embracing that."

Co-founder Lewis Scott is pleased with the range of people getting together.

"[Newtown's] been an Indian community, a Maori community, a Pacific Island community and now an African community. All these flavours are now coming together.

"Whatever church you belong to, come down and give a sermon."

Ballroom Cafe owner Kathy Smith said she did not charge for the venue because the series was a great opportunity to help give people in the community a voice.

She said she had been blown away by local talent.

"The poetry is just brilliant. It's uplifting ... genuine people talking from the heart."

The next session is on April 18, from 4pm till 6pm.

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- The Wellingtonian

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