I was really looking forward to attending the Postgraduate Creative Writing Showcase, and to experience the kinds of writing that have developed from the very same place in which I find myself. I knew dozens of other students felt the same as seats quickly filled in the small lecture theatre.
It certainly didn’t disappoint. Seven authors performed a great variety of works; poems, short stories and extracts from longer ones; each piece unique, each with a strong voice, wonderful plots and strange, engaging characters.
We heard the fast-paced chaos of the self-proclaimed ‘nonsense’ poems, the formal monotone voice of Warden in the prison bath rules poem, a beautifully constructed poem conveying a charming tale of first meetings in Africa, the short tale of a sorrowful man, and the brash, powerful screams of a violent criminal in an extract from a story. Each author made the work come to life and I thoroughly enjoyed hearing them. What really struck me was how each speaker conveyed the tone of their writing perfectly in their recital, sometimes becoming their characters before us. They really got into it, and we benefited because of it.
It was exciting to hear all these writers reading their precious work, and a wonderful event to attend, but for me, the highlight of the event came right at the end, with a hilarious poem which ended with the sadistic line ‘I didn’t mean to kill you’. The whole audience erupted into both laughter and applause.