Performance Poet at Sydney Writers’ Festival

performance poet Derrick Brown_1Just before we say goodbye to the Sydney Writers’ Festival for 2014, let’s send out a big tick of approval to performance poet Derrick Brown who seems to retain a sense of authenticity – sincerity even – in the midst of a professional performance.

In the Sydney Dance Lounge beside the harbour this afternoon, backed by recorded music, Brown read excerpts from two of his anthologies and from a scrap of paper, creating a mood of love and tenderness, especially towards science, logic, his mother who’d lost her diamond ring while washing up, and the miracles of the universe.

All that reading … He got thirsty at times, especially under the scrutiny of one of his greatest fans, Geoff Lemon, an editor at Going Down Swinging.performance poet Derrick Brown_2performance poet Derrick Brown_3

Brown’s recent anthology, Strange Light, won Book of the Year 2013 from the Texas League of Writers.

He explained that he found poetry ‘in a foxhole’ and afterwards realised that as a poet his life was going to be ‘very hard’. His quotable quote on being a poet: ‘I don’t want to be the best – I just want to be the favourite’. performance poet Derrick Brown_4

And his most compelling idea: ‘… the design in the stars is the same in our hearts’. Audience members in ‘the gods’ seemed to agree.

Last chance to catch him performing will be tomorrow night (Monday) at the ‘Giant Dwarf’, 199 Cleveland St.

Contact our creative writing writers workshop on 0432 289 311 or email


    26 May, 2014 at 1:13 pm

    Informative. Thanks R K Dhawan New Delhi

    Reply »
    1. Christine Williams
      27 May, 2014 at 4:20 pm

      Always pleased to have a response from north India, RK. Thanks.

      Reply »
  2. Christine Williams
    27 May, 2014 at 4:46 pm

    Sharon Dean's comment: 'Made me feel like I was there.' Glad to have shared the experience, Sharon, even in this restricted form.

    Reply »
  3. 2 June, 2014 at 7:53 pm

    Glad you enjoyed the show, Christine. It was a pleasure having Derrick out here, and bringing him to such receptive audiences. Parts of some shows were filmed or audio recorded, and will be released gradually through the Going Down Swinging website.

    Reply »

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