Thursday night was a great night for me. It was the opening night for The Museum of Features Visual Poetry Exhibition and I performed a poem that I wrote with my friend Ripley. Although I was quite nervous beforehand, it was such a good feeling to have beaten my fears. It was the first time I have read my poetry in public and I have no regrets.
I think the one thing that made it easier was knowing that Ripley and I were in it together. We had spent quite a bit of time trying to perfect it but ultimately, the best version was the ‘live’ one. We were both shaking slightly before it was our turn to perform but once it started we attempted to throw ourselves into it and forget that there was a room full of people watching us.
It’s interesting how this was originally a class project and Ripley and I partnered together to create something, but it ended up that our teacher thought it was original enough to be shared with other people. We were both so proud of what we’d done.
I’m also ultra proud of myself for a poem I have in the exhibition. When we got there, I saw a woman looking at my piece on the wall. She asked me if I wanted to get in to see it and she told me it’s lovely. When I told her it was mine she complimented it again and I was so happy.
SJ Fowler is probably one of the wackiest, weirdest and wisest teachers I’ve ever had. He taught me that poetry is more than words. It’s art, it’s performance and it’s colour. Uni is coming to a close and it is times like now that I realise that one day I want to be like my tutors. I want to be wise and weird and wacky. One day.
To anyone who wants to get involved in more things but feels a little scared – just do it. I wish I had sooner and I wish I had known about the different opportunities I could have had. I wish I had more time now to get involved and build up my confidence in my poetry, in my writing and in myself.
I feel like I have achieved a lot in this academic year so far but now I’m still not sure if I’m ready to leave my degree behind. I have heard a lot of other people say they’re scared to go out into the ‘real world’, to not be studying anymore, to have to go and get a job. I’ve still got my postgraduate study so I can become a college teacher, and that’s going to be a big step.
Dammit, I want more time.
The Museum of Features is full of new and interesting works by local poets and I am delighted to be part of it. There are some truly talented people out there who deserve to be discovered.