Thursday, October 21, 2010

Peter Bakowski Reads

As all writers know, books don't sell themselves. Writing and getting published are only the beginning of the process. How do you find readers? How do readers find your books?

This applies across all genres, but particularly I think to poetry. My guess is that the poetry section of the bookshop, tucked away in the back corner, would be the least visited.

Peter Bakowski, a Melbourne poet, meets that challenge head on. He takes his poetry directly to the public, specialising in readings in private homes for audiences of more than eight people.

About four years ago I heard that Peter was in Tasmania and I wrote to him asking if he could come to us in Mole Creek. It didn't work out that time but when Peter was arranging his recent trip to Tasmania for the Launceston Poetry Festival he wrote to me and this time we succeeded.

Farmdoc and I put our heads together and made a list of our friends who we thought would enjoy a potluck poetry dinner. We scraped together every chair and makeshift table we could find.

And our guests contributed plenty of delicious food and drink.

Peter is a relaxed reader and generous with his time and explanations. He provided a wonderful insight into his life as a poet and his technique. It was also lovely meeting his wife, Helen, and their son Walter.

Peter's aim is to 'write clear and accessible poems, to use ordinary words to say extraordinary things...about what it's like to be human.' His latest book, Beneath Our Armour, a collection of portrait poems, was short-listed for the Victorian Premier's Prize.


  1. A wonderful evening was enjoyed by all present - including, I'm told by them, Peter and Helen and Walter.
    Oh what fun!

  2. I've always enjoyed reading Peter's poetry & I"m interested to see he has been nominated for the Victorian Premier's Prize. How amazing to have him & his family for dinner, I bet it was a wonderful night. You can see by the warm & happy photo that it was x

  3. Hi Beck. I'd never read Peter's poetry before but I'm pleased to have discovered it. Especially under such warm and intimate circumstances. Some of our guests had travelled a long way to hear him and they all enjoyed it so much and felt quite uplifted by the whole event.