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25th May 2017

Sara Hirsch Wins Over Write Angle audience again!

On stage, Sara's as natural and confident as if she was born there. Words pour out; her voice and eyes carrying them as if she's speaking just to you. Her poetry varies and runs a fine line between being totally hilarious and deeply poignant. She's highly entertaining and animated and has the unique ability to switch the atmosphere in the room to suit each specific poem. Her work is sharply observant, and her storytelling, fluent and accessible. 'With words, Sara says, ''..., you can bend truths, change minds, you can play with words...but your silence….your silence is your secret weapon. Your silence can speak of all the reasons why you can't. Your silence arrests me. Holds me hostage. To your silence, I am handcuffed….'

In her work on 'Feminism and Architecture', the men are building while looking at the women looking at them. The women still have to look like women. Men can wear anything – T shirts, whatever, but if women wear the same, they have to be grateful if they get home safely. Sara speaks of wanting to build pools on every street corner. No lines - only one massive one in which there's no judgment, no racing, just fun. She's always grateful for the edge – 'I need to know my limits... Beauty is the point where air meets the space. She then explains why people should be designed differently.  

Her poem, 'How to be Better' makes you laugh while somehow feeling guilty. 'You don't listen to podcasts? You should listen to podcasts. You can download them to your smartphone. How much storage do you have on your smartphone….Do you read articles? You should read articles..On your smarphone, or your tabet. Do you have a tablet? Buy a tablet. One with storage..Do you write every day? You should, in your notebook or on your laptop..' and on and on. (Is it your mother? brother? father?) Sara puts together all the 'shoulds' – till you're 6 inches tall!

She then tells of her adoration for her father. How, each November, she pulls his jumper out of the drawer and wears it through the month...remembering him.

'What does it feel like to be loved? It's a fairy tale city. I don't think I can answer that', she says. 'Thirty-six hours in total with a break in the middle. How long did it take to fall in love?' 'If I had to, I would probably say Twice times half its length'. Her language so accessible yet simple words put in such a way, they produce enough energy to blow up the room! On 'Hair dye and Dementia'- 'Last week my grandad called me Sonja and asked if I was a natural blonde. On visiting the sex clinic, she says, 'There is something distinctly unsettling about sitting in the waiting room at the sex clinic

What does she hope her life will be? '...I want the kind of life that by the end of it, I'm tired. Proper exhausted, like I need a cup of tea and a chocolate digestive before I can even begin to digest it. know when you're in the middle of a life and then you lose your place and you have to start again at the beginning but then you end up discovering this massive thing you missed the first time 'cause' you were distracted? ..or when you've saved your life, but then you log back in and it's all been deleted and you didn't do a backup?'

Sara's subjects seem to spring out, one after the other. On falling, she says, 'My thoughts feel claustrophobic on this kind of train, my brain feels too small for that kind of email. Send help. Send pillows, please, and possibly cake. Make all this seem manageble.Mould me a mountain I can easily climb, build it out of marshmallow. Leave footholds enough to get me to the top and remind me to drop cushions in case I should fall. That is all…' As Richard Marsh says of her, 'we all stumble at some point. Sara invites you to join her in enjoying the fall'. She is pure magic! If you can't get to see her, or even if you do -we suggest you buy her book, 'Still Falling'. Sara is pure energy – on stage and page!

Meantime, our Open Mic started with Dominic Prag, first time WA performer but no 'first time performer' by any means. He takes poems, such as 'Philip Roth's 'The Explosion' and adapts them into songs. He also writes his own songs. 'Charlotte's not coming'. Dom has a good voice and style and we'd love to see and hear more of his work. Richard Hawtree then performed 'Skydiver', about a man who jumped 15,000 feet. 'I'm thinking of a soldier in the Great War'. Then, 'Climb the Steps', about Bishop Fox of Winchester, during the period of Keng Henry VII. He was an admirable man, well respected and trusted and in his latter years, having become blind, he had a staircase built to the castle with 7 steps, 7 paces between each flight – so he could easily get to the 7th set.

Barry Smith spoke of the forthcoming Chichester Festival, then read 'Earth Bound', about alternative life styles. - modern technology versus the old outstretched rod, moving it about, until it twitches and suddenly, you've found water! 'Remove your shoes. Don't disturb the kharma'. 'Seek out laylines. Empty your minds….yes, it works! 'River' followed. He then spoke of the small town in Mid-Bedfordshire where 'a little boy growing up on the river Ivel, deserted the town for something more. A bit of reminiscing...Interestingly, 'mindfulness' appeared in both Sara's and Barry's poems, and was followed by someone who runs a course on 'Mindfulness! Colin Eveleigh got up and read, 'Doing time by numbers, going from 1,2,3 4 to 5,6,7,8 and on...'gotta make every moment count...if we live to 80.

Bruce Parry then read about an unexpected holiday he had, with some friends, to Blankenburg. How breakfast at the hotel consisted of hard boiled eggs, no egg cups, and neither the British, Chinese, Bolivian, or Russians at his table knew what to do with them! He told how some of them tried smashing, some crushing with their fists, some had egg shells remaining, but then Bruce took a coffee cup, placed a napkin at the bottom, cracked the top of the egg off and slicing the rolls into toy soldiers, dipped the soldiers in the eggs and everyone else, intrigued, now did the same. A delightful tale! Hopefully these will also end up in a book!

Jilly Funnell told of her love for her daughter and their exchange of 'I'll always love you, butterfly daughter', and 'I'll always love you, butterfly mother'. Very tenderly done. Then Jilly spoke of the poet, Julia Darling, 'who looked outwards, not inward. She faced things other people don't. Julia passionately believed that poetry should be part of every modern hospital. She wrote life saving poems'. May (Speakezewerdhogge) then read of 'Life in the fast lane'. Cars crashing. 'Missing in action', flowers around a tree. Three girls, side by side. Only the tree knows how he has met his death in this senseless state. Phyllida Carr then did several sing-along songs, 'Runaway Train', 'Clementine'., on her harmonica with the audience joining in, followed by Jake's 'Poets of Petersfield, describing how some are good and some are bad. Yours truly then did a few poems including, 'Re-Birth'. 'When my waters break, will I pop out and be myself?'

The two free dinners at La Piazetta were won by a multi-time winner – who promises to use it herself instead of giving them to her family – we promise you it was not fixed! It's simply the nature of the gamble! And, the evening came to an end! This is Sara's second time round and we hope she'll join us again in 2018! This reviewer is already looking forward to hearing her again!

And, right now, we're looking forward to seeing you all next month when we have 'first timer' comic poet Cynthia Hamilton, very highly recommended by several performers including Paul Lyalls!

Hope to see as many of you as possible!




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