A while ago when LiPS (The Durban Live Poets Society) moved to A Novel Idea. I wrote about the history of the group from when it formed until I left Durban and moved to Jo’burg. Jill took the reigns after my move and kept the wheels turning for a year until she handed over to Brett. This is Jill’s contribution. LiPS meet on the first Wed of every month at A Novel Idea in Westville.
Convenor: January 2000-December 2001
Finding a suitable and stable ‘home’ for the group was the ongoing challenge during my tenure as
convenor. My first meeting was held in my parents’ spacious house. But as Sula has mentioned,
meeting in a private home is not a great option. In addition to the “intimidating facade”, having to
park in the street also discourages attendance – a sad indictment of crime in our times.
We traipsed from pub to club to coffee shop, hardly ever knowing from month to month where we
would meet next. “Fat Cats” became thin and expired, “The Upper Deck” seemed to turn up its
music decibels whenever a poet was in full flow, the management of “Friends” became unfriendly
as we weren’t spending enough for the space occupied … and so it went.
Out of Adversity …
It’s a tribute to the commitment of the group that it held together through those trying times,
producing fine poetry along the rocky way. Some prizewinning work was penned during my two
years in the chair, notably by Hannah Lurie (“What’s the Point?”) and Brett Beiles (“The Blue
Note”), and I hope I played some small part in that. Thank you to the group for its support.
And thank you to Brett for agreeing to take over when I moved to the Midlands. His visionary
leadership raised LiPS to an inspiring new level and made it something of a landmark on the cultural
map – not only in Durban but the country as a whole. I believe the group now even has strong links
overseas. Although I’ve yet to meet Brett’s successor John Ballam, I know some of his poetry and
am sure he and the new committee will continue to build on what Sula started and Brett continued.
And now for a poem demanded by the editor …
if E = mc squared
the sun will go out
in 5 billion years
darkness will be upon the face of the earth
as it was in the beginning
and our planet
will be burned
or flung loose
to drift eternally
across unknown galaxies
should this concern me