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General News · 6th May 2021
This April, a new roadside stand made its quiet appearance in Whaletown: the Poetry Shack. Located in front of the old Trude's Cafe, the Poetry Shack offers a cache of art supplies, large bulletin boards, a chalkboard and magnetic poetry board. The structure's theme is collaborative - "Take a Poem, Leave a Poem".

A year ago, alone in my yard, I found myself gazing up at the (surely bluer, cleaner?) sky and wondering how our small community could continue to thrive socially and emotionally, while facing a scenario of long-term isolation and retreat. I approached artisan builder Steve Mawdsley to gauge his willingness to co-create an "island-style" neighbourhood feature: a poetry stand, for Cortesians, to reach out and connect via the exchange of poems and art. Thank you Steve for the whimsical and inviting result; thanks also to the Gorge Marina for hosting the stand.

Everyone is welcome to post poetry and art, to produce word-works using the materials provided, to remove and keep poems. It has been so exciting and rewarding to see local artwork and poetry spontaneously appearing on the bulletin boards! In addition, a rotation of curated poetry will feature works by local authors, contemporary/international writers, and favourites from the canon, to promote and amplify diverse voices and perspectives. There will always be something new to read!

What is a poem? That is for you to decide. A sassy limerick or inscrutable koan, an acerbic cartoon or classical sonnet - let it be a gift to your neighbours, to prompt a chuckle, or spark a moment of solidarity - for the love and celebration of language, as we navigate these uncertain seas alone; yet together.

With apologies to Rumi:

Out beyond the shrinking zoom box
and timethief facebook
there is a poetry shack. I'll meet you there.