Red Room Blog
18th November 2019
"Sometimes the poet is not there when you are there" – David Stavanger
By David Stavanger
David Stavanger reflects on the space between the creation and writing of poems during Youth Unlocked workshops with Green Square students in August this year.
Sometimes writing poetry is not about writing poetry. Not focusing on the outcome of a poem, not viewing a poem as an outcome, not concerning yourself about pen or page or stage or microphone. Sometimes the poet is not there when you are there, other times you are not there when the poet is everywhere at once. The best poems are often captured outside the space where writing poetry is supposed to happen, such conventions in opposition to the setting and the nature of the moment (then you're gone.)
Leading student workshops in schools like Green Square is a privilege. Meeting these young poets and writers is a privilege. Getting to play over a dozen games of UNO with them is a gift. Getting to talk about their worlds somewhere near their terms is a gift. Listening to local hip hop crews on Spotify is a gift. Not writing poems is the best poetry of all. Not writing poems and seeing how the cards fall is how this work came to be laid down in this strange place, so far removed from Draw 4 and Skip and changing the colour to blue.
Much gratitude to the Green Square students and staff for allowing me into their space. Thank you for giving permission to create these lines as an aside to the main game. Shout out to Seth and his Skyline.