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Patricia Schonstein

@ Sunday Times Books LIVE

McGregor Poetry Festival 2016

The McGregor Poetry Festival 2017 was graced by the most glorious early-spring weather, with crisp nights and bright blue days. On the early evening of the opening first night, Friday 27, Venus and Jupiter were visible in the western sky, in apparent close embrace, so close that they might have been lovers leaning in towards each other at the start of an erotic-and-real tango, and leaving us Earthlings gasping at this visual poem in the sky.
Over the three days of the Festival, more than a hundred poets fashioned, between them, an atmosphere rich in meaning and beauty. What was immediately apparent was a profound honesty as they each peeled away the garments of reserve or emotional self-censorship, to share with us their ‘deep places’. They were talking soul, vision, love, fear, triumph, prayer, betrayal, mystery and revelation all potentised by extraordinary, personal creative energy.
It is no mean feat to organise a festival. To organise one entirely focused on poetry and to raise funds for it, hovers on the impossible. Poetry, in commercial and monetary terms, offers zero returns but, oh, in real terms, in heart-and-soul terms, it weighs more than gold and silver. Its red is deeper than ruby and its green beyond that of emerald. Those who attended the McGregor Festival to listen were enriched beyond measure by some of the finest attributes of the human condition, which were handed out, heart-to-heart, by our wonderful poets, amplifying the collective good. Bravo the Brave Ones who organised the Festival! Bravo the Poets!



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