2014 KURILPA CUP REVIEW
A book of verses beneath the bough,
a loaf of bread, a jug of wine and thou,
singing beside me in the wilderness,
that for us is enough a Paradise!
Cup day, February 23rd, and the Olde Croquet Club was alive with great verse, great food, great music and great company.
New faces and Old Hands mixed and mingled as Mystery Musician of the Month, Matt Barnes opened the day and set a mellow mood with his down-home slide-geetar stylings.
But soon it was time to start the Cup itself and so the Reverend Hellfire, soberly dressed in flaming red and gold robes, waved his magic, laughing-pumpkin wand (an after Halloween discount)
and set the ball rolling.
There were 12 contestants this year and the quality of both verse and performance was high. Certainly a wide variety of styles were in evidence. Sadly though there was only one female poet in the comp this year. Come on Ladies, step up!
In order of appearance, those reading in the first round at the 2014 Kurilpa Poets Performance Poetry Cup were, (drum rolls):
Tony (Darkarse) Mutton
Jeremy Lee Pike
It was a fittingly symmetrical coincidence that the first round opened and closed with the previous winners of the Kurilpa Cup, Tony Kneipp and Cameron Logan taking the stage. (Cam’s still waiting for his cup but I’ve been told one’s on the way.)
End of round one and Matt Barnes took the stage blues-ward again with his flame red Hawaiin Guitar, whilst the poets ate and drank and chatted about their chances.
As always the Rotunda was where much of the intermission
action was, so unfortunately the smokers missed a lot of Matt’s set.
We really must get some external speakers put out there one day.
Suitably refreshed we returned to witness Master Poet David “Ghostboy” Stavanger mesmerize the audience with a typically high-octane performance. His “Mon Cherie” number, performed with the aid of an (extremely) co-operative audience member and a stick of lipstick, was especially well received.
Ghostie’s never more serious on stage, than when he’s clowning around. And how I laughed as he led us on a sing-a-long to Nick Caves,”Up Jumped the Devil”.
Finishing his set David, swiftly switched back into his judicial robes whilst the Reverend briefly distracted the audience with his antics and a chilling ode to Winter.
Then onto the Final Round, with five instead of the planned four poets being given the nod by the Ghostly Judge & Jury.
As I recall, (correct me if I’m wrong) but it was Quetzal Otto, Tony Mutton, Jeremy Lee Pike, Dushan Bojic and former cup winner Cameron Logan in the fabulous final five.
Each gave it their best shot. Personally, I liked the chances of one of the younger poets, but I was glad I didn’t have to make the decision. David had kind and encouraging words for all the finalists, but..
In a shock win that was said to have left industry insiders “stunned”, the Winner of this year’s Kurilpa Cup was non-other than Dushan Bojic,
the poet-artisan who crafted the 2013 Cup! Surely another piece of symmetry come full circle!
Dushan happily accepted the loaf of bread, bottle of wine and several books of verse that accompanied the Cup itself as prizes.
However, in a stylish display of noblesse oblige Dushan tore up the prize-cheque and donated his winnings back to the group’s coffers.
There must have been something in the air that day (or maybe the water), as Feature Poet David Stavanger, always a gentleman, also declined to be paid for his services, as a show of support for the Kurilpa Poets and its efforts.
Gentlemen, we thank you both.
And indeed Thanks to all who made the day a success;
Linda and Carol keeping the kitchen running as always, John manning the door, Shane for documenting the occasion for posterity, all the helpers who brought food and hangers on who helped put away the chairs, and to all who listened and last but not least, all who read their work, especially those who got up there for the first time before an audience. Good for you!
See you all next month.
-words by Unckle Rat
-photos by Shane Kneipp