Head down to the harbour this weekend for a walking tour with a serious twist
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I must go down to the Rocks again, to the lonely sea and the sky, And all I ask is a tall ship and a star to steer us by.
There might not be a tall ship and a steering star, but how about a wandering poetry tour and a Featherstone to steer you by? That Featherstone is Johanna Featherstone, the artistic director of the Red Room Company – the non-for-profit poetry publishers promoting Australian poetry and voices. To coincide with the Sydney Writers' Festival this year, these poetry buffs have planned a stroll – but one packed full of surprises.
Johanna will be leading tours through the Rocks in a literal exploration of a poetry and place. Along the way the group will be ‘bumping into’ four celebrated Australian poets, who will read specially composed pieces for the event.
The selected poets include Martin Harrison, Astrid Lorange, Lorna Munro and Sydney hip hop duo Horrorshow’s Nick Bryant-Smith. Each composer’s piece will explore the ephemeral nature of place that only poetry can provide. As the hidden nuances and poetic currents of Sydney are uncovered and discovered, the walking tour will delve further and further into the vanishing context they are creating. As quickly as the tour creates a mutual consciousness and awareness, so too will it disappear with the passing footsteps of the Red Room’s group, and Sydney’s hidden poetry will be tucked away once more.
To coincide with the walking tour is an exclusive preview of The Disappearing application for iPhones, iPads and Androids. Using geolocation technology, the app will hone in on the user’s place and present them with poetry to read, or a medium through which they can publish their own. Going live in late May, and read for the first time during the walking tour, the application will feature Australian poems that explore history, memory, perception and the environment in individual and offbeat ways.