Live on Air with Poet Laureate Telia Nevile
Written by Libby King
Poet Laureate Telia Nevile is proof that poetry is both dangerous and cool. Her stage is a pirate radio station in her bedroom reminiscent of the cult 1990 Christian Slater film Pump Up the Volume – a space she occupies simply in sleepwear and expertly with words.
Her poem about grammar no doubt becomes ingrained in the minds of many who see her, either in relief at having the sentiment so eloquently expressed or in fear of f*cking it up. Perhaps there are also others like me who have a bit of both. I am a child of Whitlam so I am in mortal fear while writing this review.
Yet, I am also someone who feels it necessary to document incorrectly used apostrophes, such as this one in the Garden of Unearthly Delights, so sympathise with her “Abbreviation Armageddon” and “Apostrophe Apocalypse.”
She provided other wonderful standout moments, including a reading of a West Wing encounter as an erotic romance. She held us in her throbbing hand as the audience, especially two gentlemen close to me, shook and gasped – apparently with laughter. Her poem in blues style stuck in my head for days after.
A talented poet and performer, she can recite her poems slowly and rhythmically without losing the poetry to an over-emphasis on either prose or beat. Finishing with the cutest of curtsies, Poet Laureate Telia Nevile knows how to show her audience love both over the sound waves and in the flesh.