Wednesday, October 24, 2012
The Slam Poet
As I heard the footsteps come down the hallway I pushed myself back in my seat and tried to look relaxed, intelligent and interesting. The woman who I have admired from childhood. The woman whose career I have tracked closely with admiration was standing in my friend's lounge room. I smiled, I gave her a hug which, quite frankly, was a little over zealous and then sat back down in my chair. I tried not look like I was overwhelmed, but I was. Although I have been lucky to write for her site The Hoopla and we have exchanged emails, I am still shocked when I see her name in my inbox or Twitter feed.
I imagine this happens a lot to Wendy Harmer. There aren't many women in Australia with such an enduring and illustrious career as herself. She would encounter many women who look to her for inspiration. It must be both endearing and tiring.
She sat and started talking about her latest novel, written for young adults. She expressed surprise at how easy it was for her to find her 12yo writing voice. I listened intently, as I would to any writer discussing their craft. And then she opened the novel and began to read slam poetry from it. Slam poetry she had written.
I can't repeat the words here as embarrassingly my hearing went fuzzy. I only heard snippets. I was too engrossed in watching her lips move and thinking to myself: "This is really happening".
Tears filled my eyes.
"Stop it," I repeated over and over to myself. "Stop it or you'll do the ugly cry."
Wendy closed her novel. We cheered. I did not ugly cry.
That was a big moment in my life, can you share any of yours?
Thanks so much for your comments. I really love that you're taking the time to tell me what you think x